It turns out that being nearly five years old makes for a touch and go kind of season in our home. My mama heart is aching with a familiar pang for the blinding unknown of what's next on this parenting journey. In one hand, she can't stop herself from wanting to help manage and lead with the proficieny being years beyond her. And in the other hand, she is still very much quite the little girl and is still learning to manage her own strong emotions -- all while slowly having the veil of innocence lifted from her view. She is discovering that all of us living here on this great big planet are, in fact, not on the same page and that there are a thousand shades of gray. Absolutes rarely exist. I can only imagine that after a lifetime of absorbing the values of mommy and daddy (the two people that epitomize safety and nurturance), to be made aware of such complexities must feel so confusing and disheartening to a nearly five year old.
These are stormy days. Tantrums, yelling, whining, trouble with peers. We are wading through the thick and murky waters of it all and we are mostly exhausted and feeling very tender.
Though with my fare share of these cycles under my belt now, I know this too shall past. She is not done. And neither am I, for that matter. Grace will find us both . I'll keep trying to be the mommy she deserves. The one that remembers to parent from the place of love and compassion. To say what I see. To give horse rides through the hoouse and to play fetch with my human child/puppy every single day. To be the model of calm and to do my best to save my own tantrums for moments behind a locked bathroom door. To chuck the to-do list more often than not. And to remember that the really ugly, really unmentionable, unsavory moments, those are the saddest cries for help. Listen carefully to those.
Yesterday was one of those days. It'd been months since I'd felt so rattled by her behavior. I was beyond frustrated. I was just sad. And I knew she had to be feeling awful inside as well. After her quiet time, which she clings to lately (to sort through the difficulties of her days, I'm guessing) I asked her if she wanted to go to our favorite park. "We can climb the tree, pack a picnic, and just enjoy the fresh air." I was expecting her to say no because that's her automatic response my suggestions these days. But instead, she let out a big sigh and said, "Yeah, let's go."
It was a perfect early spring afternoon. We were both in such dire need. We climbed our favorite climbing tree. We snacked. We played Ma and Laura. We made a fairy house. But most importantly, we just enjoyed each other -- amongst swaying wild grasses, red tail hawks soaring, pecan trees, and springs. "It's so beautiful here mom. It's own little special spot." Yes, it was the redemption we both longed for.