Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Waking Up And Tuning In.

This was borrowed from HERE.

Look at Me When I’m Talking To You!

Hey.  You are Mixing Your Messages.  You know like when I’ve done something that makes you mad?  Like drawing in a book?  Or sitting on my sister?  Or eating the apple pie before dinner?  And you get your body real low to look me right in the face.  And you turn my shoulders so I have to look at you while you are angry with me.  And sometimes I don’t even know why you are angry.  I knowMarkers Are For Paper! but a book is paper and I needed to draw a lizard on that rock in the sunshine.  And I know Your Sister Is Smaller Than Youbut I am smaller than you and I can ride on your back like a horsie and she likes the horsie too.  And I know now that The Pie Is For After Dinner! but I was hungry and I don’t know when dinner is coming anyway.
And then you say, Look At Me When I’m Talking To You!  but I want to turn my eyes someplace else because I’m embarrassed but I know you will get madder if I don’t just Look At Me When I’m Talking To You!  Then you talk and talk and talk and sometimes I get distracted by the cat or my friend or a shadow on the wall or the fly that landed on your ear.  Then my eyes go someplace else and you get mad again.
You know those times?  The times when you want my Undivided Attention?
Or when Important People come to visit?  And you talk and talk and talk, and sometimes I need to tell you about the painting in the kitchen or the boats I saw last weekend or my panties that are on backwards.  And you tell me toWait My Turn or Don’t Interrupt Me When I’m Talking.  Or you tell me to sayExcuse Me and I do but you don’t stop talking.  Or you tell me to say Can I Interrupt but you still don’t stop talking.  And when you do give me my turn you have a very heavy breath that tells me I did something Frustrating.
You know those times?  The times when you want me to Not Interrupt!
And then when I am in the middle of looking for my lost green butterfly and you say it’s Time For Singing but I don’t want to come because I am doing something important.  But you tell me Do It Later so I have to leave the spot where I almost saw her fly over a rock.  Then when I am running so hard and fast around the chair and you tell me No Running In The House. Sit Down And Read A Book. and I don’t want to read because of running so fast.  Then when I almost build a castle to the ceiling and then you tell me to Clean It Up Because It’s Lunchtime but I’m not done with it yet.
But I have a problem.  You want me to look at you, even when you are very angry and I don’t want to look at you.  And you want me to wait my turn for talking, even when I have something very important to say.  So why don’t you look at me when I’m doing my very important things before you tell me to stop?  And why do you get to interrupt what I am doing without waiting until I’m done?
Maybe when I am looking for my lost green butterfly when it is really singing time, you could let me keep looking, or you could ask me what I’m doing before you tell me that I have to come and sing.  You could come and look with me or maybe singing time could be after looking for my butterfly time.  Because no one told my butterfly it was singing time and she was almost going to fly over the rock.  Or maybe when I am running so fast around the chair and you don’t want me to run in the house you can tell me to run outside so I can still keep running so fast.  Or maybe when my castle is almost as tall as the ceiling, you could help me save it for after lunch so I can build it later.

If you want my attention then give me your attention,
even if you need me to change activities.
If you don’t want to be interrupted don’t interrupt me,
and if you have to, then help protect my important things until I can use them again.
It might make things a little more clear.

When I read this I did have a few tears.  I am guilty of not always being "present" when I'm with my kids.  I'm busy thinking about the laundry that I have to get done before my husband gets ready for work, or that it needs to be done before the kids go to bed because Little Daughter can't sleep when she hears the washing machine...
I've spent too much time worrying about what I'm going to make for dinner, and stressing over the mess my basement is.  I know I've missed important details along the way while worrying about things that should not have mattered.  I have missed things I should not have missed, and it just destroys me to become this fully aware of it.

I am guilty of allowing myself to become overwhelmed with how I keep getting told things "should be", and instead of enjoying my children in this oh-so-very-important time in their lives, I instead freak out because there are toys scattered across the entire floor of the living room, and random laundry here and there that the kids took off and chucked over their shoulder.

Not only am I finding that all of this is making me fail as a housekeeper, it's also making me feel as though I am failing as a mother.  I can't seem to manage to do it all, and the whole thing laid out in front of me is so overwhelming that I just feel like I'm drowning...  

Along the way I forgot that there are things more important than following a schedule.  And there are things more important than doing everything a certain way because some person you don't even give a flying rat's BEHIND about, tells you that's how it should be.  
Along the way I stopped seeing the crickets.  I stopped finding joy in super-tall Mega Blocks castles.  I stopped enjoying life and started feeling like I was simply maintaining it, at best.

If there is one reason to be thankful for the internet, it's that we can connect with other people who have managed NOT to find themselves buried under a sea of size 4 underpants, and self doubt.  And they can light something inside of us that was burnt out by people undeserving of that ability.

I am thankful for this blogger and the post that I copy and pasted above.  I am thankful for the opportunity to make tomorrow better than today.  And, most of all, I am thankful for the never ending, unconditional love I have from my children.  They have been watching me grow right along with them.  What I saw in my own life, and what I want them to see, are so very very very different.  

I will stumble along the way, but for me, this is a path never taken by my own family, and it's not going to just be easy and natural.  It's not what I know.  The bumps and bruises I get to my ego or my heart, along the way, will make me the person I want them to be.  And hopefully, through watching me trying so hard to be everything to them, and watching me succeed, and seeing me fail and keep on trying, they'll find that the path to this kind of parenting isn't quite as full of brambles as it was when I walked it.  Because I led the way.  Because someone had to go first.

I end this post with this poem (we all know it!) that now means something much different to me than when I read it in high school.
Robert Frost (1874–1963).  Mountain Interval.  1920.
1. The Road Not Taken
TWO roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;        5
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,        10
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.        15
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.        20

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