Forgiveness

2016. The year the world broke or that’s what the media would have you believe. So many of our legendary musicians, actors and heroes disappeared from our planet. It pains me to think that they will not be around to make more music or films or write books. The thing is we are getting to an age that the people we idolised in our childhoods are starting to get old. Yes, some died too young and it doesn’t seem fair but excessive lifestyles and genetics demand we all be taken at different ages. It is unfortunately part of the process. However…if any of you have discovered a way of becoming immortal then drop me a line!

My own personal 2016 saw pain, I felt a bit like Supergirl when she was banished to the Phantom Zone, all my powers were gone and the mud was so sticky, there was a possibility that I wouldn’t get out alive. Luckily, I have strong women in my life like my mum and best friends that have shown me that just like Supergirl, you NEVER GIVE UP!

At the start of my turmoil a friend wrote to me, she said “Go to the ocean, pick up stones and name each one with an emotion. Throw away the ones you do not wish to have anymore, throw them far, as far as possible and let the water wash them away”. So I went and I threw and I threw. I threw so hard and for so long until the sinew twisted and burned, I threw until I could not even pick up another stone. One stone that I named forgiveness stayed by my side. I could choose to throw that stone away and get on with my life holding a little black hole of hate. See the problem is, forgiveness is the heaviest of stones. You know that if you choose to forgive, it will feel beautiful like a sneeze. But sometimes that sneeze just won’t come and you do everything to try and get there. You look into every light, grasping at every tingle, hoping. Then without any warning the euphoric snot flies all over. I’m not saying that my snot is flying yet, but it could happen any day. Until then, my stone of forgiveness will stay by my side and one day I’ll be ready to hand it gracefully to my former ally.

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Frightened Heart.

I have it pretty easy when it comes to the bedtime routine. Yes, I repeat myself endlessly and sometimes have to step out the room to count to ten. However, it’s guaranteed that between the hours of seven and eight my mini me’s will be in bed and quiet. But something changed a few weeks ago, the littlest one become scared of something and was constantly get up or screaming “Mummy” from beneath her sheets. To say it got my back up a little would be an understatement, she was really cutting into my adult time. I have some classy (crappy) TV to watch. Does she not understand I’ve been with her all day and need to tune out?! It’s not like she’s alone in the room, there are two other kids there….she is not alone!

I finally caved in and decided that I would stay in the room, but with no contact – don’t want this to become a thing, right? So I lay on the floor doing some yoga, a little plank here and there, stretching myself all over the place. Until that moment where I would look at her from the corner of my eye to check she was asleep, then I would bolt out the room straight to the sofa via the kettle.

But it hit me, she’s scared, she’s little, she’s mine, and I’m the one who makes her safe. What the hell was I doing? She needs me!

She needs me fully present, laying next to her. I don’t go off the clock, that’s not what being a mum is all about. I ease her frightened heart, her overactive brain and it is me who will quell the nightmares. I give her peace from the scary monsters that could jump out from beneath her bed(and they might due to my lack of cleaning skills!)

This is not about me, how did I even make it about me?

This is about her needing comfort, I should be dropping everything to embrace that embrace. Will it really make much difference to my life if I watch one less episode of Buffy? Or will it make a real difference in hers if I am holding her, stroking her hair and making her feel loved?

There is only a small period in their lives that they will actually need me to do this, so why am I fighting it?

When you first give birth, you stare at the little squished up thing every minute of the day, wishing you could bottle every single second. Every smile, every smell – well maybe not every smell! You think that it will never end. Then suddenly without any warning you’re sighing at the moment they wander into the living room when they should be in bed.

I know there are all the theories on self soothing and the old ladies telling you not to spoil them. But can you really spoil a child with love and attention? or is this just total crap so that we can get on with our own lives, leaving them to become a hardened mess.

When they were babies, I always went in for the bed sharing, I practiced baby led weaning. Wore them in a sling until my back was giving way. Taking parts of my parenting from the continuum concept and enjoying all the moments I could. What changed?

ME!

Tonight, I lay with the littlest. Stroking her hair and listening to her breath becoming deeper, staring at her beautiful skin and watching her eyes blink slowly until they were so heavy that she couldn’t open them. I didn’t stop there, the other two were still awake, the eldest reading and the beautiful boy just looking into space. I sat next to his bed and repeated my actions, stroking his hair and wondering where my little boy went. I rubbed my nose against his, he looked up at me and smiled then fell into a deep sleep. I moved onto the big girl, clambering up into her bunk. While she was still reading, I gave her a foot and leg massage as she gets growing pains. She put her book down, cuddled into me and told me how much she loved me before closing her eyes.

This is so much better then any damn TV series. What was I thinking? I have three children who have gone to sleep knowing that in a world with so many unknowns, they can always count on me!

I stayed an extra five minutes just to hold the moment close.