Thursday, October 20, 2016

Lately, the whines, demands, all of the things that trigger me have really been triggering me.

I feel it build, like a bubbling volcano.

Sometimes it explodes out of me, I scream.

At my three year old.

That doesn't feel good. Okay, it feels good for a moment until I realize how scary a large woman screaming sounds. Mostly though, I see how ineffective yelling is.

Time and time again I see how effective staying calm, staying boss, CEO, tree like, sturdy like a post, a street lamp, is. But how? How, when the levels rise again to a new level of whining, demands, and triggers every several months?

Stepping back I can see that these new levels are a time when the boss, CEO, and tree are needed most. It's also the hardest time to be sturdy because I am meeting a new bubbling of volcano at the same time. To meet yourself like this, many times over these years of parenting is/must be continuously, exhausting, wavering, unstable, unconfident. How then, does one reach deep within to calm a righteous volcano of real human lava?

I am not sure.

But, I was telling Bea that patience takes practice after she asked what patience was. And  along with that, we are helping shape a real live person here. So the need for sturdy is very desirable and that helps.

More parent breaks.

Janet Lansbury helps me stayed focused.

Kenny. Star Trek. The Peanut Gallery. Friends. The shaping of a real live person. Goodnight.

Monday, October 17, 2016


And just like that she is almost four.

Bea is big and she is beautiful in every way, even when she's angry. She towers over many her age. When she smiles, she gives her light generously. One of my favorite things is watching her interact with people. She offers stories to strangers all of a sudden, "Do you know why we are laughing," she starts with a stranger we pass in the neighborhood, laughing gaily and goofily tromping along.

I always saw the lightness of her in there, in between uncomfortable tantrums and explosions in the middle of the night when she was little. Explosions that took both parents and long daddy hugs to calm her.

She never seemed to fully connect to the kids we played with regularly.  I have had many experiences of waiting out Bea's big feelings described by screaming and body thrashing, at these group hang outs because another kid took something she was playing with or sat too close (we're talking ten plus minutes). It still happens occasionally and not for as long. Now, a little more relaxed about it all, I look at parents and insist, "It's okay. She's okay," because they look to me concerned, like, do you want us to go play somewhere else? No way and that won't help in the long run. Now that we are a few years in, I know the suggestion of pretending to be airplanes will be more appealing than screaming and thrashing. We wiz around in semi circles, feeling fresh air on our cheeks, relaxing as our arms stretch outward, running, running out the angst.

Bea likes small groups and one on one play time with friends, we've discovered.

Now, Bea has her first friend. The first one she picked out by herself, someone she connected to outside of our family friends, someone she adores and sees many times a week and this someone happens to feel the same way about her, Ellery.

The mom's in this friendship get teary eyed over it, regularly.

Ellery and Bea express kindness and give freely. They offer suggestions for turn taking when times get tough. They give hugs and drawings. When it's time to say goodbye, each of the girls on a side of the window pane draws out love in condensation.

Ellery and Bea have similar dispositions. They're both dynamic and energetic, a little shy at first, and brazen in time. Both of our homes are filled with art taped up about 4 feet from the ground and tables with pens and pencils are a part of our furnitures and of course, kittens, the shared love for stuffed kittens is beyond measure, so cuddly, so cute.

The mom's connect and lean on each other because they, we, believe so strongly in respecting our daughters, showing them kindness, while setting clear boundaries. We like to be confident mamas.

We are confident mamas with such big, important people to help raise.

Friday, September 11, 2015

You know when you change a lot and then you open up a bit more than you already thought you had and suddenly the relationship feels refreshed, relaxed, renewed and you remember such beautiful things about somebody and you see just how splendid of a mother they were and are? It hasn't taken me until now, thirty-one, to see all of these things but it has taken me until thirty-one to have a completely care free, lovingly tender time visiting with my mom.

I am thankful for this peaceful, sweet and new-kind-of relationship we've started.

My mom is beautiful from deep in her heart all the way to those capable-of-anything eyes.

The way she plays, listens patiently, suggests thoughtfully, inserts herself knowingly, and just is with Bea well, it's all I could've asked for, for them. Her way with her granddaughter, her first and only granddaughter, reminds me of how she mothered us, so playfully and sweet, with singing and coloring and imagination and constant, never fleeting, always there love.

I am loving this new us and this you, mom. I am seeing you so clearly and loving it all so much.

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Getting calm

I often think about and discuss ways to help Bea, at two and a half, acknowledge a big emotion and get back to calm after her top blows over with big, loud uncontrolled feelings. I hadn't thought about the idea of helping her keep a calm state of mind throughout the day in a preventative sort of way.

Here are some suggestions this interesting blogger gives that resonate with me. Even though our day moves similarly to hers with art, playing outside, and hugs, having the preventative outlook helps my frame of mind. It seems as I grow wiser in this parenting business, some things are certain, there's no real recipe and what worked a few times may not work the next few times.

It is certain though that we are learning Bea's rhythms and even as her needs change, there are things about her personality and needs that I can't quite put my finger on but are more of an instinct that I know about this spirited child that help some of the time navigate through this messy, boisterous and outspoken, wildly emotional, independent and shockingly beautiful age of two. I can barely get through a few hours without enveloping myself around her.

I still lose it sometimes. I still feel crazy sometimes. I still want to run into the backyard with a wine glass in my hand, empty and ready for a squeeze sometimes, but less because I notice if I can remain calm and patient, we all do a little better so I guess that takes a little practice on my end too and a lot of personal care time and may I be frank about how important that is. It's vital for the success of being everyone you are to everyone in your life including yourself. I think I am learning that.

I have these really wonderful friends that remind me that we are human and that it is okay for our children to see these very emotions in us
so I guess it is how we handle these big, alive, human emotions that matters most because we aren't capable of canning them every single time and if we try to and fail what is left is a whole heap of guilt and isn't that a feeling most of us are trying to break away from?

Here's that link, Tips for a calmer toddler.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015


Making, merry making, always making, sleeping, eating, playing, making, always making.

Now for some finishing, hopefully, really soon.

Monday, August 3, 2015

I cherish the imagination of children.

We adults sit and the child gathers food (iris leaves) for papa bear and mama bear and she, baby bear no little bear, brings the real food to the blanket.

I drape wet clothes over the rope a few yards away from our picnic blanket and am purposefully silent, a new thing for me. It is purposeful so she has time to play in her own world without me. "Mommy, play hi?" she asks. "I am putting laundry up to dry right now. You play," I say. This casual statement is a bit of a question inside of me, hoping she doesn't have one of those m e l t d o w n s about it. She doesn't. We are all happy.

We had a very rough one the other day. I wasn't feeling sturdy enough to stay in the bubble of tantrums, miscommunications, house chores, and all so we packed the car up and headed to Kelly Point Park, a nice sandy beach spot nearby where the Willamette river meets the Columbia river.

It was the perfect medicine.