If you don’t try, you don’t get it wrong. If you don’t try to answer the phone, you will never accidentally hang up on your daddy.
I felt like I got things wrong today, too. Tactless in a couple of instances, inattentive in others. Not present. Bothered by the echoes of flooding and loss that are all over, here (we’re right on the Connecticut river and unscathed but surrounded). And bothered, as I think I always am, by a beautiful, stunning day this time of year. It’s not September yet, but I don’t trust September, and it’s bleeding over into August.
I was trying to write, today, about what brought about my eventual turn-around in Rory’s and my relationship. (Pretty much exactly two years ago.) It was very clear; I know exactly what changed for me, although it was tough to pin it to a precise moment. What changed for me was realizing that I had to change. That she wouldn’t, that circs wouldn’t–or if I was lucky and they did, it wouldn’t really help. I just had to change me, and the way I felt about the way I felt. If that sounds convoluted, I guess it was.
The thing that’s discouraging about it is that it’s still a work in progress. Every day offers that kind of choice. Get frustrated or be patient? Pay attention to one thing at a time, or juggle? Criticize the child who shouldn’t answer the phone, or embrace the effort? And now that I know that I’m even more in control of that one thing–me–than I ever imagined, I’m even more upset with myself when I make the wrong choices. I have the worst time trying to choose to accept that!
I know the feeling. It can get really hard. I am striving to parent with humility. Hard to do, but I feel like it is the best thing for my children. If I parent from my heart and with love it all runs more smoothly. But I don’t always do that and then I have to forgive myself and do my best to be better…next time.
As for the phone. I never let my oldest answer the phone and as she got older she didn’t want to. A couple of years ago I had a baby. My 4 yo (at the time) would answer the phone when I was upstairs. She was pretty good at giving me messages and if she didn’t know the persons name she would do her best to describe that person. Yes, she has occasionally hung up on people (like the music teacher) but people just call back and if they don’t, it must not have been important. And now at alomost 6 she is very confident about the phone. I’m sure, when the time comes, she will happily make phone calls on her own.