Sylvia Boorstein says something that I agree completely.
When we have a baby, when we become a parent, we’ve turned into someone who depends on the happiness of this little person.
It is so true. And it’s hard sometimes. But I need to remember to stay in the moment, staying present, because it won’t be long when my own two little people, won’t be little anymore.
I remember when I was pregnant with Siena, 10 years ago, that from the moment we learned we were having a baby, I started to worry. I saw these worries as ‘natural worries’ of our changing lives. I worried about eating healthier, about where I was (not to be breathing anything that wasn’t “good for me”), making sure I rested, and more.
It made me more mindful and more aware of my days. I loved it for that (I try to forget the 9-months of morning sickness I had with both of my pregnancies…)
As my belly grew, it was more uncomfortable to sleep, and my bladder seemed to shrink as the days and months progressed, waking me up many, many times at night.
I realized not long into my pregnancy, all these physical changes, was a way to prepare me to having kids. When Siena was born, nursing, changing diapers, I woke up many times at night. The same happened with Lucas. Your body must know, big changes will be happening when you have kids, and we need to get ready for it some how.
As both of my kids have grown, the nights are still interrupted. There’s no more nursing or diaper changes. But we are awaken, or late nights with coughs, runny noses, bad dreams, too hot, or too cold, body parts that tingle and hurt. I don’t think I’ve had a non-awaken night in 10 years. Well, probably close to 11.
As Sylvia Boorstein says in her interview, on raising children: “Parenting is the greatest loss of control we’ll ever suffer.” And I feel this is true.
As Siena turns 10, I feel her need to grow, to be more independent, to be herself grows daily. Lucas at six, I can see he’s also trying to be more independent, figuring out what and who he is, what he can and still cannot do.
Many times it hurts, mostly because it’s scary. I’m ‘loosing control’ over their life I want to protect, and it scares me. Not to say that I ever had control of their lives, but it felt as if I did in a small, ‘parent way’.
There is a whole lot of world out there for them. And to me, it seems too big for my little ones.
But I know she’s watching us. I know Lucas is watching too.
They’ve been watching us from their first day out here in this world with us. They’ve been learning and figuring out this world together with us. How we interact with other people. How we talk to them. How we talk to each other. How we learn. How we live our days. That’s what kids do.
My kids, our kids, grow, as we grow. They also learn, as we learn. We are always learning on this life. I guess I like that. I don’t feel that I know all there is for me yet. I do not know everything as a person, as a parent, as daughter, as a friend, as a partner. There seems to always be room for learning. I’m glad.
And I try to remember that our kids can teach us a lot.
I love it how they see the world.
I keep remembering our days in India, and how much they were in the moment. Sometimes it was hard, to be in a different country, different home, with different food, language, and people. A very different place for us. But they knew it was for the moment. And they kept it in perspective. It was just that moment. They helped me see that whatever was happening, whatever day it was, it was just that moment. They are much more present, mindful, than I am. I need to learn from them.
They have a clean, new life. Like a new canvas. A new way to see life, to see the world. It is precious, and I feel the need to take care of it, for them. It feels delicate. As they grow it feels that I need to balance what I want to protect them from, and what I want them to discover for themselves. It might hurt, but I’ll be there.
It’s hard. It’s a balancing game. I guess it’s what you can call it being a parent.
I like the Native American story Sylvia Boorstein tells in this interview.
There is a wise grandfather telling his grandson: I have two wolves in my heart. One loving and one vicious. They are in war with each other. Grandchild asks: “Which one is going to win?” The grandfather says “The one I feed.”
As she says: “Children gives us new eyes. It’s like if everything has been invented for them. They mean it. Everything is fascinating.”
And it is. Everything is fascinating if we pay attention, I think. I wish you a beautiful weekend.