She is not yet independent or resilient or patient or empathetic. She is an only child who wants and believes she needs full immersion intensity, attention, interaction, responsiveness. School is hard, structure is not hard but noise is, and chaos, and no space for quiet. She arrives home tired and hungry. And needing to be internal. So in she goes, but near by. barks out needs: Toast! More toast! while her screen saves her with magical worlds the way mine once did with the original Star Trek and no I am not kidding.
I have rarely known anyone so often and deeply disappointed and disapppointable. Or someone with as lovely and contagious a smile and laugh and true silliness. She knows we are here, but aches for us to be closer. No longer wants kisses, will negotiate for hugs.
parenting in the time of consent is curious. Yes it is your body but we NEED to wash it.
and me, oh I am missing the snuggles. I am missing being the throw pillow that held her weight even if not her attention. And as I try to reconnect with my own independence. My own patience. My own resilience. I am strung deep and hard into empathy and anxiousness, my desire to avoid discomfort a true pathology that gets in the way of joy and experience. And I am navigating like a new driver with a standard transmission, too many pedals, too abrupt a change causes a lurch or a stall or a fearfilled rolling backwards as I forget all I know, emergency brake, flashers, ignition, my ability to walk or sit still or wait or think. there is a perpetual immediacy that I feel in parenting, and am learning (SLOWLY) to create gaps. longer and longer. between a thing and a response while still being responsive. I can say, let me think about that. I can say, hm. I'm not sure.
Parenting means parenting me too. this weirdness of finding out all the areas I've glosssed over with make do skills. la la la avoidance. la la la. well hello there unfinished business, guess I will scooch over and make some more room for you at this big ole table of other things I need to address. learning and learning and relearning. not always comfortable. no, that's a lie. not comfortable nearly ever. I reposted something on FB today, a great quote posted by someone who posts great quotes.
“You know, sometimes all you need is twenty seconds of insane courage. Just literally twenty seconds of just embarrassing bravery. And I promise you, something great will come of it.”
Benjamin Mee, We Bought a Zoo
I cannot promise the same. Something great may not come of it. But as I am learning my tiny brave steps. my tiny insane moments of courage. I can say that they are their own tiny greatness. Look, I can say, look. I am trying. I am pushing beyond what I knew or know. I am thinking of things differently. I am willing to try to change. Panic still has fun with me. A recent Lyme diagnosis has not been resolved with doxy. I wonder as I move forward who I am and what will stay, what will go. and how I will adjust to what my body feels like whatever that turns out to be. the same way I wonder who I am and what will stay in the wake of so many years of struggling with panic. I know I am still here. but also ever evolving. ever changing.
Last night, I tucked a sleeping Della into bed after reading, and I felt teary. A deep ache for time passed and passing. the preciousness of it all. and the impossibility of the adage to treasure and remember every moment. Some moments suck and are not treasured. Many go unnoticed in the act of being and doing and folding and working. Almost none can be remembered for me. I know I held that baby full time for nearly a year. And yet, my memory is nearly a dream. the curve of her cheek. her ear. Her eyebrows. the way her chin dimples. Now stretched into a strong 7 year old who cartwheels in the living room, dances, and cries every single time she needs a bath. That, at least, remains the same. A touchpoint that connects the beginning to the now.