31
May

The magic of play

And I would sit in my home and do laundry and cleanup and live in my reality and get to watch my six-year-old play and create worlds and friends and whole conversations. It was as real to them as the laundry was to me...

Have you ever peaked in on a little one playing alone? Have you ever listened in on the full on conversations they have...all by themselves? Have you ever been cautious, knowing the second they spy you, it stops because they start laughing to themselves?

Have you ever stopped what you were doing and really listened to the whole world and people they create around them? How real it is to them? How boredom is not boring when you are this young and you have so much magic living right inside of you? How real this world is to them? How engrossed they become, how large this world is? Have you ever watched a child play?

Do you remember doing this too? Do you remember playing this way? I definitely do. I remember that little big world that I created, I remember the discussions, I remember feeling not alone. I remember doing it with my parents "around" but when I noticed them, I would feel differently. The world would shatter because their reality would set in. I remember playing school with real students sitting there, I remember assigning homework and doing math problems. I remember the wall I used in my pantry as a chalk board and I remember my basement when we moved being my whole world. I remember posts in my house being people, I remember dancing with them. I remember playing.

Have you ever watched this world be built from the ground up? Have you ever seen how intricate it becomes, how legos become whole worlds, amusement parks, stadiums, war zones, homes, communities? I have a little one building communities like crazy in here. Have you ever watched a child play?

Have you listened to the families they create? Have you listened to how they set up different rooms in their homes and cradle their babies and talk about having to go to work and the pets they have? I have a little one creating her dream family, from the ground up, all the things she wants, baby in hand, career ready to go, dinner with those she loves. I have a little one creating a family. Have you ever watched a child play?

I remember how young it started, how my 2 year old would spend his days creating and building and constructing and conversing. I remember working close by and whenever I was able to take just one little breath, I would hear this tiny voice in the room next to my office, I would hear his imagination and all he was up to. I would smile so hard tears would spring to my eyes. Here he is at 8, doing the exact same.

I remember a little girl, my one and only, for three incredible years. I would watch her take care of her toys, I would watch her dress up and make and become so involved in the world she was creating. Here she is at 11, and that little girl is still there. The little girl that still wants to play with a doll and have a make-believe moment because it's not make-believe, it's her reality. Even living in the in-between has not robbed her of this joy.

Have you seen magic unfold in front of you? Have you seen the magic of play take over? Have you ever watched a child play?

13
Apr

The talks

They started long before the world went quiet. They started when you needed me most and when I was finally able to be there. They started on our walks, or right before bed, or in the car. They started as nonsense, little things that made you hysterically laugh. They would always have something I never realized about you. Something you've been wanting, waiting, to tell me.

They've brought us closer because we are building trust and I am working on my reactions, especially my lack thereof. So, the quieter I am, the more and more you talk.

You tell me about your day, you tell me about your friends, you tell me about your teachers. You tell me about what is concerning to you, sometimes I have to prod a little to get you to talk about some bigger stuff. Sometimes I have to ask more open-ended conversations about things. But mostly, you just talk and I just listen.

And, you look forward to this time together as much as I do. You ask for it now, time with just us. You ask for moments with me, walks, drives, errands. You ask to be together. Most times you want nothing more than to just be together, but that's how it always starts, moments of quiet that get you to talk.

And I do have to filter through it, sometimes I need to stop you and ask a follow up question, sometimes, I let you know how I would feel, but none of that is important.

All that matters is that you are talking and that you keep talking. All that matters is that you know I am here, I am available and I am listening. All that matters is that you know it is safe for you to talk to me, it doesn't mean there won't be questions or at times concern, but you are safe. You can ask me things, big things little things, they all seem pretty big to you right now. You can ask me how I met dad, how I knew I loved him, what we were like when we were dating, you can ask me what it was like before I met dad, you can ask me what I'm afraid of and what I do about it. You can tell me that you're afraid too, and even though you think you're scared of a lot more things than you actually are and even though you think this bonds us, the truth is sweetie, you always try. You always put yourself out there and try so, that makes you so much braver than you will ever realize.

This introverted mom is pretty tired. There is very little alone time and my moments of reprieve are now filled with kiddos in tow. There is a lot of time together, a lot of hanging on each other, a lot of talking.

Please keep talking. Please allow me the wisdom to keep my mouth shut. Please afford us this time. Please tell me how much you really want to go back to school and why. Please tell me who you miss and why. Please tell me what is changing around you and why. Please keep talking.

24
Nov

Save the girl

Hi lovies, there is something I have not shared with you. I keep telling myself it's because of your age but that's not true. The real reason is that I haven't found my voice yet. So, I'm going to write it all down, think it over, find an afternoon to read this to you and then have a very long conversation about it all.

Several months ago, I had an incident. I sat in a room with someone that made me feel so little, so gross, so belittled, so wrong. But they were so evil, so ugly, so awful...and I did nothing. I sat on my hands and I did nothing. I listened, I got teary-eyed, I whispered when I did speak, I had the weakest of voices when I did answer questions, and then, someone else had to swoop in and save the girl. He had to save me from the situation. He, of course, did not feel this way. His profession is such that he defends all day long. He doesn't allow people to be taken advantage of and the second he saw the direction the conversation was going in, he stopped it. He is a very kind man, he is caring. He understands that life can be hard on people sometimes and he could feel how wrong this was and he made it stop. For me, he spoke up for me. Because that is what he was there to do, protect the situation and I was part of the situation.

I, continued to sit. And although I am so grateful for him being there with me, I had to have him there no matter what, I am just very disappointed in myself. Anna, all I could do was picture you. Your desire to also appease, your ability to sit quietly and listen when you are being spoken to, your want to make things right. I was picturing me watching you do this. I pictured your little shoulders bearing this weight, I pictured your head down, cowering. I pictured your big blue eyes filling with tears, I pictured your voice, shakey, upset and sitting in your rightness, but not knowing what else to say.

See, sometimes, it's good to sit silently. Sometimes, it's important to have people feel heard. Sometimes, the words you do use, they will not land, not when someone is in that place. All of that was true in this case. But, the one thing I could have done and should have done is refused to join in the disgusting way he wanted to act. He asked me to join in and I did. And then I felt like I had to be saved, and I was. And that was wrong of me.

Yes, I needed to be more silent than loud. Yes, me speaking the truth would not have mattered, it would not have been heard. Yes, they needed to feel heard and go through a tantrum. But I needed to speak up for what was wrong with the way I was being asked to join in. When I picture you there sweetie, I am mad. I am screaming from across the room "make that stop right now and don't you dare Anna". I feel like I let you down, I wasn't proud of how I handled that and I let you down. That was not a moment I could have you watch and feel good about. I was embarrassed by who I became in that moment. I was embarrassed and mad at myself more than anyone else.

So, I'm sorry sweet girl. I know you weren't there and I know I can decide not to ever share this with you but here's the most important lesson of all...it wasn't my fault. When you are in that situation, your reaction is your reaction. Someone else is trying to get you to react, force rage out of you, make you feel small. And, we react the way our bodies react. I go in, and I shut down. I can work on this, yes. But when in this situation, this is more likely than not how I will respond. I can fight to get a little stronger, a little more set and find a way to say this stops now. But, more likely than not, I won't.

Luckily, I had a clear thinker in the room. And there was no way he felt like he was saving the girl. He was just doing his job, what he was there to do. And as angry as I am that he needed to swoop in and be my voice, well, sometimes we need an advocate and I was smart enough to have that represented. My strength comes in different forms I guess and yours will too.

9
Sep

Unfamiliar Road

For the first time since you could talk, you said you didn't need a story read to you, you were fine reading all on your own. I pretended to cry and say, "I guess that's okay, it's your first day of 5th grade and you just want to read your book". I was hugging you and said, "it's fine, you can grow up". As I pulled away, I saw your eyes glisten. You were actually starting to cry.

We are headed down some unfamiliar roads you and me. But isn't that the way we kind of have always been? Being our first, you are the first everything. The first experience of everything and so even though time goes on and we fall into grooves, there are always surprising firsts. Like how it dawned on me you don't need help in the shower anymore and I couldn't remember the last time you did. Or how soon, our reading dates will look a little different. You reading your book in your room, and maybe I will be beside you...maybe I will be in a different room, maybe it will all change.

You have taught me that that's okay. Because as unfamiliar as these roads are, I trust you. I know you will ask for what you need and for what you want. I know you are loving to walk slow so you won't push it. And, as unfamiliar as it continues to get, we're still us and you still have a lot of me in there. Like when you cry at the thought of mom not needing to read to you, or like how you cry because sometimes, you and I just need a good cry. As I held you, I told you it's okay to cry. People like us, we need to let it out sometimes. It's also okay to want to get so into a book you don't want to stop. It's also okay to be held like the little girl you will always be in my heart, even when you're 25 or 45...because sometimes, you just need your mom. All of that is okay sweet girl.

As you held on to me, you said, you can read to me mom. I know sweetie, but I also know you're really into what you're reading. No, please read to me, our book...just stay. That's the other reason these unfamiliar roads will be just fine. Because we can count on each other to stay and hold each other. Because you still want me to. Because when you are living a childhood you don't have to recover from, a #happychildhood, it's all going to be okay, even unfamiliar roads can lead us to home.

So, I stayed, we read our book together, we snuggled. You stopped crying, you put your head on my shoulder and I stayed. When I was done with the chapter, you went back your book, we did our goodnight ritual, and I left.

Lovey, all we are trying to do here is to remind you that you are home, you are where you need to be. You are where you belong. And we can walk these unfamiliar roads together sweet girl. We will figure it all out together.

6
Apr

I never knew

This week is your birthday.
And before you
before us
before this connection
there was so much, too much
I never knew.

First, I had no idea how I would be as a mother.
And you sweet angel, you made it so easy.
You never ever made me feel like a first-time mom.
You didn't give me new mom fog.
You were just always here, we always fit and we were always connected in this weird and wonderful way.
I never knew how brave I could be until I said yes to you.

I never knew how much I would adore having a daughter.
I never knew how great believing in happily ever after would feel.
I never knew how great feeling like a queen would feel.
I never knew how gorgeous I would feel standing next to you.
I never knew there was power in pink.
I never knew what grace looked like.

I never knew that beauty does not come from a mirror, it came from the eyes of someone who saw you as everything.
I never knew you could quiet years of not liking yourself by holding a gorgeous girl in your arms.
I never knew how important it would be to let you be any form of girl you wanted to be, including loving all things girl.
From dolls to princesses to pink and purple to twirling and dancing to singing and dresses.
You were this girl and I was all in with you.
I never knew that your love for girl would finally make me love being the woman I am.

I never knew I would have a shadow and I never realized how much I would adore that too.
I never knew I wouldn't want my space from you.
I never knew that I would have no problem answering your questions, holding you close.
I never knew how important all the little steps were to make you feel like I will always be here.
I never knew how big all the little things would be to you.
I never knew how important bedtime snuggles would be, how much you would bask in love.

I never knew how much you would look like your dad.
How much it would make me fall in love with him all over again.
I never knew just how handsome I had married, until I met you.

I never knew how strong I could make all the princess you loved.
Belle for being brave, her love of reading.
Moana who wasn't a princess at all.
Rapunzel for finally leaving her tower.
Anna for being so loving and proving once and for all, love is all you need.
I never knew how easy it was to make strong the new pretty.

I never knew how much you would love Cole.
How important that relationship would be to me,
how much you two will always need each other.
I never knew how great it would feel to introduce you to the concept of framily and how important it is you pick the right people to spend your time with.

I never knew how simple love was.
How just being with you, spending time with you, made everything for you so much more special.
I never knew how much you would recognize my stress
how much like me you would be.
How much you would cry and laugh and how hard and loud each of those emotions would sound, how easily and quickly they would come.

But what I know now, all you have taught me is that I wasn't really me until I met you.
You allowed me to slide into a place of rest and love and acceptance.
And what I also know now is I cannot imagine a life without you in it.

I never knew,
how much I would love you.

22
Sep

Five Minute Friday - accept

Every Friday we unite for five minutes. Only five minutes, that's all we get, that's all we have. And then, right where we are, no edits or second-thoughts, we publish those words. This week, we write on accept.
Go.

My daughter and I are reading a new book together, Wonder.
It's been all over every bookstore and elementary school but it's about a strong and dedicated family who has two children, one was born with many obstacles.
August was born with genes and gene mutations that caused his face to look deformed.
He has undergone so many surgeries, so many life-saving procedures and was for a very long time just living in a hospital.
He has been homeschooled for most of his life and in middle school, his family decided that it was time they stop.
Stop treating him as delicate.
Stop treating him differently.
Stop treating him as breakable.
And start him on the path to normal.

He has an older sister, she is in high school and she too has grown up quick.
Not because the home isn't loving and supportive and full of grace
but because so much attention has been focused on sick.

It's a story of acceptance.

As I read to my eight-year-old, there so many questions and topics we have to cover.
That's the point of the book.
She's 8 so she doesn't yet comprehend that not everyone is a friend.
She doesn't realize that friendly doesn't equal friend.
She doesn't know that you create a circle and who you choose to spend time with.
She doesn't know that circle is a reflection of who you are.
She doesn't know about mean.
She doesn't know about looks and how important they are because she's right, they're not.
She doesn't know about clicks and hurt.
She doesn't know about singling out, talking behind backs, making people feel bad...on purpose.
She doesn't know that accepting yourself will one day be hard.
She doesn't know that there will be a time she will question everything good about her.
She doesn't know that there will be a time she will have to decide if she is accepting of this behavior, this outcome, this person.
She doesn't know.

And as we dive deeper and deeper, there are moments I feel I am taking away her innocence.
I am taking away some sweet parts of the world this child holds.
The parts she sees through the eyes of a child.
Because even though she has an old soul, she doesn't believe in darkness.
Not yet.

And so, sweet Anna...
it starts with accepting who you are.
Your good, your bad, your limitations, your point of no return, yourself.

It then means bringing people into your fold that accept you, all of you, as you are.
They laugh at your crazy with you.
They help you to see the humor in life.
They too accept your good, your bad, your limitations, your point of no return, they accept you.

That also means you accept them.
You surround yourself with people that talk about ideas, not people.
You hold each other to standards of kindness and affection.
You realize that none of this matters.
That beauty has nothing to do with how you look.

But the start of all of this, is you.
I have always surrounded myself with those that accept me.
Not because I am enlightened, because as an introvert, big and popular are never important.
Small circles of connection matter most.
I have always accepted them, because I have loved them and what they have meant to me down to my toes.
But, it took me over 30 years to accept me.
It took looking into the eyes of a daughter I put here and saying
acceptance starts with me.

Stop.

24
Aug

I will wait for you

In happens all at once.
You become a different child, a different person and I lose you.
I feel you slipping farther and farther away.
The real you, she disappears.
And what is left is a tired, angry, and former version of you.
I don't recognize who you are.
Your words are full of anger, rage, red hot rage.
Your eyes are not yours.
Your voice, your personality, it all slips away.
Your laugh comes with such authority.
You dig in, as hard as you can.
And I kneel down and wait for you.
I will wait for you.

I slip into your room, we lay down, face to face.
I start my confession.
I feel as though I am losing you, as though I have lost you and I just want you to know, that I miss you.
The tears, they start trickling down your face and mine.
The honestly just pours out of me and I always wonder if this is too much information for you to hear.
My disappointment is hurtful.
My anger is trying to cool.
And I kneel down and wait for you.
I will wait for you.

Kissing noses, you say that you love me, that you are sorry.
I tell you that I know this isn't the real you, that you are full of good and love.
You are kind and caring, you are loving.
I know that you can lead.
I know that you are the definition of love.
And I kneel down and wait for you.
I will wait for you.

I know that tough times are ahead.
Times where I will lose you all together.
Times where you will be trying to figure out who you are so your definition of self will change every day,
almost moment to moment.
I know that this is just our beginning.
That the little person I put on this earth and loved and thought I knew so well is fighting for her own identity.
And I kneel down and wait for you.
I will wait for you.

At the end of your journey,
your self discovery,
I will be here.
I will be waiting for you.

No matter who she is.
No matter your choice,
I will kneel down and wait for you.
I will wait for you.

Follow childhooodtake2!

Back to Top
Social Media Auto Publish Powered By : XYZScripts.com