14
Dec

Difficult

Anna, remembering the time when you were 2 turning 3 gives me intense anxiety.
Sometimes, just talking about those days, and the storming that came with them,
it brings actual tears to my eyes.
And the stubborn rage, it continued.
You would dig your feet in,
and so would I.
You would want your voice heard
and so would your dad.
And somehow we all thought that whomever was the loudest won.
You would expect to be reasoned with
and we thought we knew better.
So maybe we needed a different approach.
Maybe in order to teach respect, we had to show it too.
In order to teach kindness, we had to be kind, to you.
To teach being gentle and loving, and we had to be those things, with you.
So what if we place our arms around you,
realize you are not giving a hard time
realize you are having a hard time
and love you.
Even in the difficult.

Cole, you turned one, started to cry and have not stopped.
And we always wonder why.
It's not a matter of you don't have the words, you always have.
It's not a matter of we give in and give you what you want, we never do.
So maybe it's because you just need to cry and we need to accept that.
Maybe it's because our way isn't working.
And we now need to change our approach.
If we want to teach you quiet, we have to stop yelling.
If we want to teach you to listen, we need to listen to you too.
If we want to teach you to follow directions, we have to stop saying NO!
To the boy that can't sit still.
NO! to the boy that has to move.
NO! to the boy that wants to climb.
NO! to the boy that wants to touch.
NO! to the boy that wants to talk.
It's time to place our arms around you,
realize you are not giving a hard time
realize you are having a hard time
and love you.
Even in the difficult.

You are people.
You do not want to be controlled, you want to be guided.
You do not want shouts of anger and rage, you want to know what gentle feels like.
You do not want rules just for rules sake, you want to be respected.
You want a voice.
You want some control, some decisions.
You have bad days, because everyone has bad days.
You have moments when you are not being difficult, you are having a difficult time.
You are struggling and you need the grown-ups, the adults in the room to realize you are asking for us.
So what if we changed it all?
What if we put our arms around you,
realize you are not giving a hard time
realize you are having a hard time
and love you.
Even in the difficult.

And what if we remembered how hard we tried for you.
What if we remembered how great it felt when we felt confident in our ability to parent.
How wonderful you can make a life.
What if we remembered that we create childhood for you.
We are the owners of your heart for such a short period of time.
We have to stop waiting for a time period to be over and done with.
What if we put our arms around you,
realize you are not giving a hard time
realize you are having a hard time
and love you.
Even in the difficult.

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