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Learning to Surf

I may have had the best conversation with J yesterday that we have ever had. Ya know why? Because it was an actual CONVERSATION, a back and forth of dialogue, that stayed on topic (for the most part), in which we were both totally engaged!! I can cough it up to (a) him having exercised, like REALLY exercised at football practice, (b) he was happy because he had just spent time doing something he likes with kids who make him feel good about himself and who accept him for who he is, and (c) he and I were sitting together while he ate dinner with no other interruptions or input. It was amazing and I will carry it with me in my pocket.
But, it made me crave more. And it correlates with the realization that I had just the day before that I am not being fair lately. I have been short and impatient. Life is stressful right now and I have been wearing it on my sleeve. So, I will dive into my mom bag of tricks and pull out the tools that work. First up, getting back to Mindful parenting. J’s psychologist recommended Sitting Still Like a Frog (which is, by the way, available at Short Stories in town, neighbors), which I, of course, rushed to purchase, and then let sit on my nightstand after skimming through it.
I went back to it yesterday and immediately felt the calming and clarity take over me. I don’t know why we resist helping ourselves, or making things easier for ourselves. And by easier, I don’t mean in “taking the easy road” but in reducing pressure and demands, and going back to the simpler things. Why do we (I) need to always complicate things so much?
So, now I am recognizing that I cannot stop the waves that occur in my life, but I can learn to surf. Figuratively, that is.

These are things that we have all heard before, from programs and therapies…”accept the things you cannot change”, “you gotta be in it to win”, “patience comes to those who wait”…a million overused expressions that actually are true, and hold weight in how we travel through this world.

I take being a parent very seriously. I think most of my generation does, as the generation of so much divorce. We want to get it right and we beat ourselves up about it constantly. I suppose that is why there are so many parenting websites, blogs, Facebook pages telling us all that we are in it together and that we are all suffering sometimes. There are celebrations too, of course, and we see those on the forced reality that is Facebook too. I mean, come on, it can’t all be that perfect. We know that but it doesn’t stop us from coveting the smiles and experiences that we see others having.

But we must remember that those are snapshots and we remember those moments because we carry them with us on the not so good days. They help us keep in mind that there were better times, and that there will be again. We NEED those moments to keep life in perspective. To make sure we understand what we do it all for. Why we work so hard and stress so much…so that we can take a break from it, and smile. Go out for dinner with friends, or see a show. Take your kids someplace they have never been before. Buy them something they have wanted.

And the reality is, that, for most people, doing those things, making those moments do not happen every day. There’s not enough time or money for that to be reality. There are obligations and things that must get done before we can enjoy the fruits of our labors. And that is a good lesson for our kids to learn as well. That you have to earn things. You have to work hard, and the fun comes later.

Again, I’ve gone off on a tangent. Because this is how my mind works. I begin with a simple thought, and all these other thoughts and feelings sneak in and want to be heard.

So, I am off to sit still like a frog in an effort to remain here, in the now, and be more present for my family.


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