Wednesday, September 26, 2012

10 Sweetest Things - 15 Months

I have always enjoyed the stage of life when kids start talking. It's fascinating to me to see what's on their little minds. Now, with my own child, it feels downright miraculous to hear him say, "no," or "monkey" or "diaper" in appropriate context. He might just be a genius. Here are a few other amazing things:

1. He toddles across the room, puts his head in my lap and says, "Hi Mama."

2. He says, "Bye bye," while opening and closing his entire hand.

3. He gives kisses, in slow motion, approaching the cheek, planting his lips, then smacking them together.

4. He hurtles down slides with a look of pure joy.

5. He reads books to himself, turning the pages and cracking up.

6. After I put him down for a nap, and close the door, I'll hear him say, "Night night."

7. He refuses to say, "Hi, Grandmom," but he perfectly enunciates, "Hi, Peg."

8. He clicks his tongue in time to the turn signal.

9. When he's upset, he'll calm down if I mention one of his favorite people, like Pop-pop, or Charlotte, or Tessa.

And my very favorite thing he does right now:

10. He shouts "A-men!" whenever we sit down to eat. Last week at church, after the sermon, when all was quiet, you could hear his Amen reverberate through the crowd. Yes, he already has a sense of timing. Like I said, genius.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Give a Little Leeway

This week, when my normal impatience arose, I breathed deeply and reminded myself that most of the world is going through back to school transition, and therefore may need some extra leeway. I’m happy to report it made for a pretty peaceful week.

Change is hard for me, even good change. In June, when Carl’s school year ends, and he’s around more, I love it, but the transition is still hard. Now, after a lovely summer, Carl is back to work, Daniel is back to the babysitter, and I’m back to managing more of the household. Going into the week I worried. How would Daniel adjust, after hanging out with Daddy all summer? How would Carl adjust to work life again? What about our poor puggy, home alone so much more?

To maximize peace in our home, and within myself, I decided to try giving everyone extra leeway for the week. Rather than reprimand myself for failing to write enough, I praised myself for writing at all. Rather than battle with Daniel about his nap, I surrendered, played with him, took him to Target. Rather than chastise Carl for coming home late, I invited a friend over for a play date. In all cases, life was much more enjoyable. I even forgave the asshole who cut me off in traffic yesterday. Yes, I felt the flood of righteous anger, but I remembered leeway, and had some compassion for his hurry.

This week, with all its changes, was so peaceful that I’m wondering if leeway should be a permanent mantra. Maybe I’m always harder on people, including myself, than is necessary or helpful. Maybe I’d be happier with lower expectations and greater acceptance of shortcomings. Hm. Maybe I’ll extend it another week and see how it goes.

Where do you fall on the leeway scale? Do you give too little or too much?