This is the usual send-off I get when I go to work on my long day:
“Mom, wait! I’ll walk you out!” Our three year old, in his full workman gear, runs to the front door, opens it for me, lets me through, and then stands on the stairs.
“Wait! I need a hug!” We hug…about four or five times. Then he stands there waving and blowing kisses while my husband is holding our daughter on the front porch behind him, smiling.
These are the gems that make me smile, that I want to collect and keep in my pocket of memories to pull out — when I’m frustrated with a protesting toddler, when I need to have my 45 minutes of mama-time before bed and hear from the bedroom “MAMA! One more song!”, when Brian and I are old and gray (and still practicing yoga?!) and sitting on a park bench (yes, this was in our wedding vows!) reflecting on the life we’ve created together.
Here are 5 more gems from our son just from today for my pocket:
1. This morning, A. came and sat next to me on the stairs and asked, “Mom, why do you put your hands like this (hands on cheeks, elbows on knees)? Are you sad?”
Me: “Oh a bit. I’m wondering about your sister and the binky.”
A.: <puts his arms around me, pulls himself up to my cheek and kisses it>. “There mom. I think that should do the trick! See? All better!”
2. A. in the bathroom: “MOM! Come see this giant poop! It has three parts!” (Need I say more?!)
3. Going down for naps, one of our favorite “songs” to sing is the Buddhist mantra “Om Mani Padme Hum.” I sang it to him this afternoon. When I left and went into the next room, I heard this soft little voice singing “ooooo hooo manny padme huuuung” to his stuffed animals.
4. After doing a whirl-wind shopping trip to the supermarket this afternoon right before lunch and naps, I was lifting C. in her carseat into the car and banged into the sliding door and smashed my chest. Trying not to swear, I was like “Shhhhhhhhoot. Ouch. That hurt!”
A.: “What happened, mom?”
Me: Still rubbing the spot and still trying not to swear, “I just hit my boob.”
A.: “I love your milk boobies. I’ll put a bandaid on it when we get home!”
5. Playing “fireman rescue” in the house he just made from couch pillows and A. “rescuing me” from the “burning house”…
A.: “Mom, I need to call the doctor.” <picking up his toy phone> “We need a doctor here.” <A. comes back in with his stethoscope>. “I’m the doctor now. I make sure u heart is still working and you have blood.” <Listens to my heart.> “Yep, you still have a heart.”
Ahhh…what sweetness. Things have been crazy since the day he turned 3. And often my reaction to A. is based less on what is happening in the moment and more on all the PAST moments of whining, protesting, and sassing.
What if I did the Buddhist thing of greeting each moment with fresh eyes fully present to what is right there as though it is the first time it is happening rather than reacting from the load of past frustrations?
Thumbs up! "No big deal!"
I think I’d have more compassion for our son, more patience with myself and him, and we’d all make it less heavy and a lot lighter. “No big deal!” Says Pema Chodron, ” Treat it as ‘no big deal!” Most things really are NO BIG DEAL!
These gems from our son remind me that I’m living with a delightful, curious, finding-his-voice-in-the-world three year old and the whining really is no big deal (and it WILL pass and it is part of him but not all of who he is).
Gosh, how our children really are our greatest teachers!
What gems are you collecting today?