Max has been going through some energy shifts. He has been more needy these past three days and I have had to come around and adjust to his behavior.
We were originally going to head out to my MIL’s today when I decided he needed a little one on one time with his mama. We spent the morning fighting, painting, laughing, snuggling, and I even managed to get an hour of “quite time” in from 1-2 pm. I’m not sure what developmental shift is going on, but he’s in the middle of something big.
I have noticed that he has been remembering everything we talk about. For example, we had a conversation about how cow’s milk aggravates his eczema and that I think he should drink less of it while at his grandma’s house. Two days later when we were at his grandma’s house, Nana offered him a glass of milk with his cookies and he explained to her how it causes him to “get worse eczema.” He then asked for soy milk. I still have to translate for him so was just beaming [inside] with pride when he asked for soymilk. The fact that he remembered our conversation… my gawd… he really is a person.
I feel like kids just keep getting better and better with age. At infancy, they are like a bucket for love. They take love any way it is given. It’s a one way relationship. However, as they get older, the relationship becomes two way. That is when it gets really exciting and feels the most rewarding. To me anyway.
As a mother, a wife, a friend, a woman, and someday an employee…
I am working on how I give information to others. Whether the information is proceeded by that sharp pang of anger or if it is moved by love – I want to give my thoughts to others in the most compassionate and non-judgmental way imaginable. The challenge – and thus the real “me work” – is in learning to respectfully deliver my perception when it is prompted by annoyance or anger. I don’t want the anger to be the only message to come across. I want the meaning behind my anger to be what is understood. I feel like I have already wasted so much of my life expressing anger – making certain that other’s “got” that I was pissed off at this, or that, or them. The anger, I now realize, is not what is most important. It is the deeper meaning behind the anger.
It is the hurt that I need to know how to express. It is the love behind the hurt.
**Okay. Those last two sentences sound like some hippy dippy bullshit. Here is an example of the kind of anger work I am focusing on:
My BIL tends to invite us to his kid’s birthday/important gatherings at the last minute – meaning the day of and a few hours before. This happened last Sunday with his daughter’s baptism. We were told of a party that was to start at 2pm by my MIL, at noon. We worked the party into our day only to be told (at the last minute and only because I asked) that the party was starting later and that there wouldn’t be any vegetarian fare for Max. We had to feed Max before we left, which wasn’t a problem, but rendered us late to the party. When we finally made it to BIL’s house we were swiftly informed that the party was “winding down” (whereas on the phone we could show up “anytime”). We stayed for about 20 minutes. Max had a meltdown on the way out and then again in the car.
After leaving the party, I called BIL while we were at the gas station as we were getting Max water so he’d calm down. I said something to the affect of, “I really feel bad that we showed up late. I would like to be on time to your parties but need more notice in order to make this happen.” This is all very well said but then came the knife that was fueled by my anger… “You know, this business of MIL calling me at noon to tell me we are invited to a party at 2 just doesn’t work for us.”
I know, you are probably thinking that what I said was actually pretty restrained. And I agree, it was. I also told him that I was going to talk to his girlfriend and get the birthdays of all her kids so we don’t miss any more gatherings because of last minute notices.
IF I had been speaking to someone who would validate my anger (a friend or my husband) what I said would be within sane reason. However, what I did was express my anger to someone who 1.) doesn’t care and 2.) doesn’t care. More importantly, though, I expressed agitation to someone who is always dismissive of feelings and thinks I’m a controlling bitch, anyway. Therefore… “expressing myself” didn’t make me feel better because I felt ignored. Furthermore, it did nothing for the family dynamic that I’d like to keep civil and genuine.
That example illustrates the depth of anger work I’m doing right now. I don’t want to ignore anger, pretend I don’t feel it, or oppress it. However, I also don’t want it to control me even in the slightest of instances. I’d like to get to a place where I can think to myself, “oh that was rude… what can I do/say to help the situation…” OR, “How can I get my point across without making the person I’m speaking to throw up a wall.”
I’m also not saying that I will ever let people walk all over me because nothing “gets to me.” I’d like to be able to let people know what I think without behaving overly emotional or passionate about an issue.
I think the entire spectrum of emotions (including being passionate about issues) is important… but I’m getting to a place in my life where I no longer want to be ruled by my spectrum of emotions. I want to *feel* but respond because I have *thought* about what I am feeling and why I am feeling it.**
Anyway, that’s all I’ve got, today.