love, life, and the pursuit of liberation
when we become parents, it seems that the obvious dynamic is that the parent will teach the child skills to help them negotiate the world. i’m finding that as LA gets older (she just made 6 months on 9/16), she is teaching ME more about life.
she teaches me patience and determination. the other night, she woke up at 2 am and was very wide awake. i had to go through the bedtime routine 3 times before she finally settled into playing with a toy before drifting off to sleep. i know that when i’m frustrated or upset, she feeds that energy. so i realize that i must be calm in action and in tone when dealing with her. i hope that this calm permeates the rest of my life.
i learn efficiency. i have been the master procrastinator for as long as i’ve been alive, it seems. in fact, i was born 2 weeks past my due date and my mother reminds me of the 56 hour labor she endured to produce my tiny, barely 6 pound self. this procrastination has followed me my entire life and often has prevented me from being my best possible self. i was always the perpetual B student, not because that was a reflection of my academic abilities (I was tested as gifted and talented as a kid) but because I turned in every single assignment late and refused to do homework or study beyond what was necessary to get a B. Now, my time is so severely limited due to my hectic work, school, and parenting schedule, that I really have to maximize every moment possible. If I have a spare 15 minutes or my professor is droning on about an article that we already read in preparation for the class, I whip out some other article to read or work on a few paragraphs of a paper. If I didnt have LA, I KNOW i wouldn’t be like this.
LA teaches me how to be joyful in the moment. She’s not worrying when her next bottle is coming or if she’ll be home in time to take her bath, she is just content with playing peak-a-boo and putting every. single. thing in her mouth. How can I be stressed or not smile when I pick up my little Papaya Bean (I have a thousand nicknames for her)?
She definitely teaches me determination. Even though she hasn’t figured out how to crawl forward, she HAS realized that if she rolls a certain way and use a one-legged crawl, she WILL reach that toy or that dog collar or that microscopic piece of paper. And to see the smile of satisfaction when she finally gets it in her mouth, you would think that she’s an Olympic trainer. And if by chance she cant get it, she will scream (not cry) and demand that you get it for her. If that’s not determination, I don’t know what is!
So when it seems that 3-hour nights of sleep will be the norm or that I have her by myself yet again all day on a Saturday, I know that my life is blessed because of the lessons that my daughter teaches me.