Sunday, February 6, 2011

Day 35: Sad Feelings

I will choose to find a positive perspective under even the most negative circumstances.
I will choose acceptance over resistance.
I will choose to focus on the things I value about my children, not the things that drive me nuts.
I will choose to extend the same grace, love and forgiveness to myself that I try to lavish on my husband and children each day.

Jackson has spent the past few days going through what I think is an another intense round of detox: Waking up sweating, not wanting to eat, drinking tons of water, asking to nurse a lot, and feeling sad for no apparent reason. Obviously this means my usually independent boy who has been known to entertain himself with empty vinegar and yogurt containers for hours is needing much more of my attention. 

My default reaction is to overlook the big picture and resist this; to expect from him what I know he's capable of on other days. I try setting up activities and moving on to my own things, only to find him at my side moments later needing me. I try putting off the things he says he needs, "We'll do that as soon as I finish this." Finally he realizes that his thick-headed mom isn't getting it, so he gives it to me in simpler terms: "Mommy, I need you to help me with my big feelings. I feel sad and I need affection."

 The bills can wait, the work can wait, the cleaning can wait. My opportunity to be this important to him and to be capable of meeting his needs so simply, with just my presence, is fleeting. Soon, he won't need my help with his big feelings. Not long from now the solution will be much more complicated and I may not be able to make those sad feelings go away at all. Someday he might not even share his big feelings with me; there will be someone else who has taken my place. 

I want to cherish these moments of dependence, not resist them. If I don't, I'll be the one with sad feelings looking back on how I squandered opportunities to love him exactly as he needed to be loved. I'm thankful for his body's incredible ability to self-heal, even if sad feelings are part of the process. I'm thankful that he communicates his feelings so openly and insistently that I don't get to let them go unnoticed. I'm thankful that what he needs more than anything in the world is me, because "me" is the only thing I can really give him. Sad feelings will come and go, but how I respond to them will shape our relationship forever.

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