Saturday, March 08, 2008

The Eight Ball!

Happy Birthday Seven.... No... EIGHT!!!

It's your golden birthday, eight on the eighth in two-thousand-EIGHT!!!

Oh, and, as usual, on your birthday, it is International Women's Day!

Since many of these blog-stories revolve around bits and pieces of you and me and our struggle together in growing up (both as parent and child), I don't have monthly newsletters devoted to your development, so how can I summarize a year? How do I measure a year in a life?

"How about . . . lo-ove?"

Not unlike the past three, four, maybe five years, this one felt like another pendulum swing toward a low at the half-year and then back up as we have approached the whole.

Lets just say that you and I have explored our differences this year.

Last week in ECFE though, I had an epiphany that has, in all seriousness, changed the way I see you on a daily basis. The teacher reminded us that we could choose WHO to be as parents and suggested identifying our goal -- WHO we want to be in any given situation, and then using that goal to ground our actions.

I decided I wanted to ground myself as a loving parent and it has made all the difference.

Imagine how doing so changes your daily actions. "Loving" rather than "rushed" or "busy" or "exhausted" or "stretched to the limit"?

In the words of Alfie Kohn: "Therefore, give them affection (which they need) without limit, without reservations, and without excuse. Pay as much attention to them as you can, regardless of mood or circumstance. Let them know you're delighted to be with them, that you care about them no matter what happens."

In learning to stand as a loving person, I've taken to taking you for who you are and asking questions to clarify your actions and intentions. What has been fascinating to me is how I would never have known what you meant most of the time, and therefore who you ARE. Who you are becoming.

Eight: I am delighted in you. Happy birthday, Sweetie. We love you SO much.

Here are a few ghosts of birthdays past, including a video that highlights the OCD in BioMom:

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