So glad I’m not missing this

Who knew Chick-fil-A could be a fine dining experience? Take a Penguin with you and you will see. Despite the intermittent play breaks it still takes her a good thirty minutes to even eat her food. Plus she must decide the difficult decision of keeping her treat or turning it in for ice cream. There are list involved sometimes.

During one of these visits while she pondered life across from me, I just couldn’t help but smile. Smile and thank God for this opportunity that my husband was giving me to be a stay at home mom with her. I was immersed in her conversation while at the same time so delighted not to be at a workplace. I could feel the freshness and weightlessness of the genuine moment we were sharing.

“It’s weird I like these cherries, I mean , I didn’t always like them.”

“Okay, and then what happened?”

“But, I drink cherry coke, and that’s cherry…..so, I don’t know”

I’m just smiling from ear to ear.

She flips her hair.

“Was my hair like this when I was five”?

Then I just laughed and was so thankful I had not missed a moment of what just happened.

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Let your soul be wild and free my little one

I have pondered the nature vs nurture debate quite often when it comes to my anxiety. It always seemed that nurture would win in the cause category until recently. If I were to make a list of MY anxiety, it may still beat out another hypothesis as the root cause, but I am learning, in the parenting game, things are not always what they seem. I know one thing for certain. Someone without anxiety cannot understand another person trying to explain the reasons why and how to them, which make dealing with it quite lonely at times.

I contributed most of my anxiety issues to my grandmother. I learned as an adult, due to multiple tragedies in her life she had much to be anxious about. But when I stayed with her a lot growing up I didn’t understand that. As my anxiety began to take hold, I thought it must be because I was exposed to hers so much. Then I learned my daddy has it too, which would make sense. Except, except I never knew growing up my Daddy had anxiety.?

Now I see my seven year old experience it. She has exhibited signs since a young age and it manifest in different ways. But, I make a very contentious effort NOT to expose her to my anxiety. So much so that I have other family members help rationalize situations for me so I do not let it get the best of me. Believe me, I’ve come a long way since she was an infant! But to see her with it breaks my heart because I know how she feels. Could it be a manipulation at times? Sure, I am aware of that, just as I am aware of what true anxiety looks like on the face of my seven year old.

My husband, as great as he is, is not someone who understands. Oh sure, he understands my anxiety for the super Center and that look I get when I am about to melt down. But he doesn’t understand this gut wrenching, deep breathing anxiety. The kind that has kept me up all night to write this at 4:15 a.m

I only hope she can hold on to the parts of her soul that are wild and carefree. The parts that laugh at everything with a giggle that can warm the coldest of souls. The wander I see in her eyes as she studies something with her mind working on how it may operate. I want her to hold onto the part that operates on stuffed animals with ketchup and gloves and leave the heavy burden of anxiety to me. I’m her mama, her keeper, I can carry the load for us both.

Fairy Tales & Magic

  

 

This will not be a long post. I am coming out of a week long hibernation courtesy of an awful sinus infection. However, after the important conversation with the Penguin this morning, I did feel it was important to address this important topic. Fairy tales and magic. 

As an adult I may have become slightly jaded to the idea of the White Knight. But, I will not let the 5 year old penguin loose out on the innocence of believing in such things. The conversation started because I offered to use “mommy magic kisses” to help an ant bite not sting . The penguin replied, “magic isn’t real”. 

Pause. Gasp. Hand on my hips as the door to the mini van was automatically sliding closed, I find myself shouting, “you have to believe in magic. Magic and fairy tales”. The door is closed and I continue my speech as I climb in the driver’s seat. 

“Why don’t you believe in magic? You have to believe. What about Cinderella?” 

“Cinderella not magic mommy. The fairy godmother ….”

“And what do you think the fairy godmother uses?”

Pause. “Magic”

“What about Elsa, and the ice?”

“Magic”

“Okay, so you believe in magic”

“Yeah, I guess you are right”

Whew. My heart is relieved. She will learn the truth soon enough. I don’t want to keep her “little” or “innocent” forever as it may seem. But she is 5 years old!!! She is supposed to be little and innocent. In a world where everyone is in a hurry for everything, it is my responsibility as her mama to make sure she believes in fairy tales and magic. There is no need to hurry this.