I am a firm believer that the universe gives to me what I need to hear, in that moment. Over the past month, I have heard a recurring message which has been very comforting. The message has come from elders - those who have paved the parenting path before me.
To set the stage: our children turned 1 & 3, three months ago. All of the sudden I no longer have a baby and a toddler. I still have two little people, and both my babies, but they are increasingly able. Don't get me wrong, Cameron was Kaitlin's age when I became pregnant with her and I now look at her and wonder how I ever thought he wasn't a baby at this age. That said, she's running and babbling and feeding herself. She communicates with a defiant & continuous nod that emulates a bobble head meant for a dashboard. Cameron is my bigger challenge. His feelings are big and I find myself spending a great deal of thought on how his days should be shaped & enriched.
While Duncan and I both work, being my own boss does give me the opportunity to be with the kids in the afternoon. Life currently feels like a logistics play and the double edged sword of being accessible for the kids was starting to take it's toll. I've often wondered if it would be easier to be expected in an office and not tortured by the teething baby who wants one last snuggle. Which leads me to the wisdom that was imparted to me.
Jenny, the mother to four children I grew up babysitting, listened to my stresses about Cameron. He started having night terrors and our sleep was rocked again. He has recurring respiratory infections and tubes seem to be on the brink. He still isn't reliably gentle with Kaitlin, and I am increasingly pained by this. Cam is really big personality and I constantly wonder if I have a low threshold for three year olds or he is actually hyperactive. I'm inclined to believe that he is an incredibly spirited child who deserves to be engaged in a very mindful manner. I also refuse to apologize for this, which is in my nature. Jen responded, "little people. little problems."
I laugh that one of our preschool teachers swears the world can be solved with pasta and hugs. In reality, it likely can at age 3. As Jen reminded me, one day our children will have big problems with real world implications and a band-aid won't fix them. They will make choices that effect their self esteem, for better or worse. They will grow up in a society that teaches them their value is based on the likes a social media post evokes. They will have a heart break. Or vices. Or massive disappointment. They will have problems that pasta doesn't fix.
So for today I am trying to meditate on the small moments that we are privy to and the simple answers we can offer our children. When my little people have big feelings, I am trying to celebrate their emotions and find teachable moments. After all, their small time is finite. If I remind myself of a credo that has assisted my growing up, spiritually and mentally, "this to shall pass" - and I want to be present before it does.