Saturday, November 9, 2013

... you angel you...

This parenting thing is confusing. Just when I think I've got a bit of it nailed, things shift out from under me and I am reminded that I don't know squat about any of it. I'm hanging on by my fingertips and hoping that I don't lose my grip.

miss l, wearing clip-on earrings

But we all lose our grips now and then, right? Like digging in my heels and insisting on telling K where in the book we were, even though it doesn't really matter. (For those of you following along at home, the next night we read in the book again after I talked her into letting me do so and assuring her that we wouldn't disagree about it, that where ever she said we were, we could be.)

Tonight we're solo, by which I mean I'm playing at being a single parent while M is out at an event. She's been gone since about 9a this morning, and the girls are now in bed and asleep and we've had our moments, but I just stopped by their beds and kissed both of their sweaty heads and was reminded of just how damn much they mean to me, and so instead of crawling into bed as I had intended, I came back downstairs to write this.

Yesterday I read this column in the NYTimes about parenting, and there were several things in it that really struck home for me:

  • She [his mother]  taught me that you must allow yourself time to find stillness and so you can be moved by it. Sometimes we are so busy that we forget why we’re busy. We have so many things on our list of priorities that we lose sight of what’s really important.
  • And she taught me that my children are not truly mine. They don’t belong to me; they’ve simply been entrusted to me. They are a gift life gave to me, but one that I must one day give back to life. They must grow up and go away and that is as it should be.
And I'm reminded that even though Miss L has a breakdown every single time she has to find something to wear, when she snuggles in close to me to listen to Frog and Toad or smiles at me or even when she crosses her arms in a grumpy display of attitude,  she's doing her job and I need to do mine, to raise her and her sister (who can be a separate handful too, when the two of them aren't being sweet siblings) to stand on their own feet.

I took them to Circa for dinner, the first time we managed to get out of the house all day (the morning trip down to the beach to run around like horses crashed into the reality of L not being able to get dressed in anything that "works" for longer than 5 minutes, so she spent the morning in her underwear and nothing else, crying until, ignored by me, she stopped and got distracted by a book, her sister, or some other thing), and K was very well behaved while L acted like... well, like a 5 year old, which she still is for another month.

But that column by Charles Blow, and the goodnight kisses combined to make this a good day. These two are a gift that life gave to me and M, and one day they'll be independent and on their way and that is as it should be. So I need to hold tightly to the now, and make the most of every day we have.

Sleep tight, with the most pleasant of dreams.

my horsewomen at home
(september, before the rains started!)

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