Here & There
Stream of consciousness as we enter another week. September is in our sight line, and frankly I’m happy to bid August au revoir. I was chatting with a fellow mom friend yesterday about what a bum month August is: it’s so hot, you’re over summer, you’re ready for the kids to start school already, and you’re probably sick of the pool at this point because OMGSOHOT. In short, you’re done. September feels like a great big kickoff to all things fall, even if the temperature hasn’t gotten the memo yet.
Midway through last week, the first full week of school, I had to take a moment to mentally go “Ok, slow your roll. Or it’s gonna get ugly.” Back to homework, back to 6:45am alarm clocks, back to the rushrushrush to get out the door. A far cry from lazy summer afternoons where 2/3 of us napped almost daily. And I’m trying to take it easy and remember that this is not my season to do All The Things. That it’s ok for me to slow down and take a break because I’m healing slowly but surely.
So it should come as no surprise on Wednesday night when there was a total meltdown, but instead of me it was the 3rd grader. Internet, it makes for SUCH a good story because he said some really hilarious things, buuuuuut I’m trying to remember that the older he gets, the more I should refrain from sharing out of courtesy to him. Bless his precious little heart.
Suffice it to say, the poor kid has inherited both my and Simon’s perfectionistic streaks which made both of us look each other in the eye and recognize just how powerful that attribute can be. And we were all “Look, kid, it’s only the first week of school. Cut yourself some slack. Because we care more that you’re kind, loving, and are trying. The end.”
Isn’t that what we should all be saying to ourselves? “Cut yourself some slack, love. You’re doing just fine.” It sounds so much better than the critical “Why can’t you pull it together?” that we often say to ourselves. I’m learning so much about perfectionism and how it eats at every relationship around us. And as I listened to Jude bemoan his lack of perfection straight out of the gate I felt my heart clench tight in my chest. Oh my baby – you are loved just as you are. Good grades or bad. Good choices or bad. Ugly or beautiful. You are valued and loved simply because you are YOU.
Saturday night, we went to my parents’ house and cooked a big roast chicken dinner. And before we left, I sat in my dad’s chair next to my mom and leaned my head on her armrest. I felt her fingers intertwine in my hair and it was like being a little girl all over again, climbing into her chair so she could scratch my back and tell me it’s all going to be okay. It was a brief, fleeting moment that felt so good. Just like a mama does – knowing you’re loved and accepted and heard.
That night after we got Jude tucked into bed, he said to me “Would you please just stay a little bit longer and snuggle with me?”
Yes, my baby. Yes I will. Snuggles in the big bed, fingers intertwined together, lullabies and bedtime books, smelling baby hair and talking over the highs and lows.
Here’s to the end of August, my friends. Fall is just around the corner …
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