Tonight, I am compelled to write.
I don’t know what yet…
It’s been a long while that I’ve had the precious few moments I have now to write and share with you. As such, I am exhausted now and so won’t edit this right away; please grant me grace. Much has happened in the past months, as my little one has grown extensively and on so many different levels and layers. I am learning daily.
I have come across three (maybe 4) excellent resources for parents in the past season. Some of these have simply been reassuring, while others seem to be uncanny in their timing of critical information as it relates to my present experiences, often brilliantly the very day it is most beneficial to receive the external perspective. I’d like to share them with you and will do so at the end of this post. In the mean time, however, I’d like to share what our family is doing now, and some of the challenges and triumphs we’ve had of late.
My daughter awoke the morning of her 4th birthday to discover sand beneath her feet and a very large ocean 50 or so steps away. We took her to Northern California for her birthday and first official family vacation. We managed to land the RV on the coast after dark the night before her birthday, timing it wonderfully for her special day. She squealed with delight (as did her big “sister” who was with us) and ran on the beach for an hour non-stop.
What is it about seeing your child run free on the beach, playing in the sand and kelp, jumping over waves and off rocks, and stopping every two inches to explore and discover the many creatures and debris washed up on shore with each new movement of the ocean that just sets the spirit free?! It’s surreal. And much to the dismay of a few in my family, I am thoroughly convinced we belong on the coast (as in our residence) and I intend to make it so.
The joy and pure, simple delight I observed my daughter bask in while on the beach, and then wonder and curiosity (and courage) as she relished the giant Redwoods, moved me beyond words or even clear thought for a few days. It was all I could do to just watch and admire as she grew and developed right in front of me. Honoring her right where she was, as she was, and how came as naturally as breathing. I will hold on to that sensation and experience and recall it when reality returns and she and I engage in the daily grind that sometimes generates some rather intense conflicts and challenges for us to overcome.
My daughter, all of 4 and a few weeks, is a formidable opponent. I am thankful for this. She speaks her mind, states her intentions, makes known her desires, and stands her ground. She also has the compassion and empathy of a wise old woman, weathered and tendered from a lifetime of choosing to find the beauty and bestow the love that can be found and given.
I am starting to see another trait in her that, while it is not at all surprising, it is quite intriguing to me. My little one has a sense of justice that rivals my own, and is very insistent on her need for it to be recognized and respected. It is a very effective method of me having to be genuine and fair consistently. And though at times this aspect of her being is aggravating from the adult perspective, when I stop and see through her eyes, our world takes a shape that allows me to re-evaluate my actions/thoughts and create a sense of peace and justice for her that I’d not otherwise have bothered to generate.
Lately, my daughter has been exhibiting some significant feelings. In short, she’s demonstrating anger. I assume it is related to the many transitions, and the seemingly endless list of tasks her father and I must accomplish while still making sure we are available to play (and inviting her to play as well). She also wants a sibling, which is an interesting point of debate she and I have gone rounds over.
Her feelings are big, her actions are intense, and her ability to communicate clearly grows daily. She senses things more than even I had realized, and she is in a stage of mimicry that is as precise as it is intelligent. As a result, her father and I are reviewing our own behaviors and actions almost constantly now and working where work is required.
I hope to begin chronicling our daily experiences that might be useful to you all again soon. I understand that the dialog and interplay relayed in story form seems to be the most appreciated and useful, so I will endeavor to allocate an appropriate amount of time to write.
And as I’ve said before, it is valuable to have your feedback as it encourages me to share, as well as provide invaluable perspective to me and to each other. Thanks for taking the time to see the world through your little one’s eyes tonight. May your day tomorrow be intentional, and may your child(ren) know you (the internal you) in a way that comforts them and renews their security and self-esteem. Wholly respected and loved without condition… imagine what can happen in a single generation.
Respecting Children: Gently Parenting a Wholly Loved & Honored Generation
Please feel free to join in the discussion