Thursday, October 7, 2010

Fly out of her heart

Andrew and I did not have a good day yesterday.  That's putting it mildly, but it was pretty much a train wreck of our relationship yesterday.  He slammed a few doors.  I wish I could have.  It was just not pretty all around.  I knew he was SO sleep-deprived, but that didn't make the hysterical tantrums any better to absorb.

It was saved only by an afternoon playdate, where he could run off steam in the backyard (lightsabering with other children is very cathartic for him)... while I could sit at a kitchen table drinking a perfect cup of tea with a friend.  Take a few deep breaths in and out.  And then drop him off at home with Steve while I took Jack to lessons...while I sat and stared out the window of the studio, at the ocean below. 

Apparently, we needed some space from each other. 

It is days like yesterday that can make parenting just seem like a direct route to a juvenile delinquency program. I hate not feeling like a good mother.  Not many other failures in life can shoot so deeply into my core.  

I absolutely love Andrew's spirited deeply he experiences life...and most days, that means he's just an Energizer bunny of love and joy.  But all that passion has the dark-side, when he's overtired or hungry or ate something with food dyes. =)  Then it's a mess.  We're a mess. 

I don't want to wish away the dark side, because I tend to think it's just the preschool version of the greatness that will come from those traits.  As I've seen Jack mature out of some of the emotional intensity of the young years, it makes it easier to take the long-view with Andrew and Simone.

But yesterday was still awful. Awful!

When we have those hard days, I can feel stabs of terror about what's going wrong.  It's hard to see them like that...and it's hard to feel that absolute disconnect from him.  I had nothing soft to give him yesterday.

Last night, we all went to bed freakishly early (for us, at least) and woke to a much better day.  Steve saved our morning by cooking a huge batch of buckwheat pancakes last night, so Andrew could jump right from bed into food.  That can make all the difference in our morning. 

Jack had Russian today and I teach in the Andrew and Simone went to Casey's for a few hours. When Jack was dropped off, Andrew just started chatting away to me - pouring out all his thoughts.  Instead of talking Star Wars with Jack, he and I got some space to talk.

Andrew: "Why does Grandpa Mike like fixing cars?"

Me: "Probably because he's good at solving problems.  People like to do what they're good at, usually."

Andrew: "When I grow up, I'm going to fix cars too.  And be Superman and a science teacher.  And a Daddy."

Me: "That sounds great, Andrew.  You're going to have a full life filled with things you love.  That's a nice life to have."

Andrew: "Superman is good, you know. I want to be good.  But...I do get mad sometimes."

"Being mad isn't a bad thing, Andrew.  Some things, we should get really mad about.  But it's what we do with our 'mad'.  You can use it to make things better, or to hurt people."

"You know that little girl that always hits people? She has so much hate in her heart.  She needs to HUG people...and LOVE people...and then all that hate would just fly out of her heart."

My heart just thudded with love for him.  I wanted to stop the car and pull over, and hold this sweet little child in my arms. 

How can I ever, ever worry about this tiny little 3-year-old spirit who can say things like this?

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