Do you see that red dot on the pink of my lips?
This morning while we snuggled after a good night's sleep my kid accidentally headbutt-ed
Joyfully threw his head back against my groggy and still-waking form.
He cried, I bled.
We are in toddler territory, friends. Orion has become something of a wild beastie with a heart of gold. I referred to our relationship yesterday as one in which I love a wild wolverine who adores me right back.
He cannot help his fierce ways, and I am here to domesticate and mold him into someone who walks through the world doing right, touching nice and saying 'thank you' after that second helping of peas.
It is my job to ensure he knows how to use flatware and hammers, his spirit and his hands.
It is a time of lassos and games and chasing and falling and choosing one's battles carefully.
You can imagine we are often at an impasse. This was very hard to adjust to, coming from the pristine calm of infancy where the only thing that made him cry was an unmet need and I never once remembered seeing the devil-spark in his eye that he gets right before his hands go all slappy
and he puckers his mouth in frustration.
With some amazing solicited advice I have found the right combination of distraction and gentle discipline that allows us to continue having an awesome time together but also ensures that he is learning empathy and gentleness. Learning, not yet mastering.
This experience of toddler parenting is doing something supremely alchemical in many other areas of life. Patience, calm and a sense of everything being very universal are benefits that arose unexpected.
I have mindblowing respect for parents of multiple children.
My husband's generous contributions to parenting thrill and delight both mother and child.
Diligent scheduling for our daily activities have given me (in his napping hours) time in the studio
and time to BE.
I understand now what they say when your friends or when your books chirp "your children teach you as much as you teach them"- it's not in the way that their ego-centric little despotic selves navigate the world necessarily, though I would be hard pressed to say I've ever smiled more than I do now. That's mostly from his wonder and excitement and infectious giggle.
I am seeing that they teach you about layers of self and love and archetype that might go unearthed if not for the sometimes not-so-gentle push and pull of living out this phase together.
When the day is done and time for reflection presents itself there is a sense of pride no matter how good or lacking the waking hours were summed up to be.
A little boy sleeps in his pajamas, warm and safe and dry and fed and LOVED.
After a day of mothering I become acutely present for the other aspect of life that literally feeds me
and smooths the rough patches into silk.
He wakes happy, I wake awashed in gratitude.
The dot of crimson I sport now is just a funny little reminder of the bumps on our path
to loving more and learning 'please' and 'thank you'.
A little fang mark from a wolverine's attempt at a kiss.