James, who was in the next room, had just fallen back asleep after waking too early from his nap (even by his standards). My first inclination was to shush Owen, "Owen! James just got back to sleep! Shhhh!!!", and that's usually what I would do. Today, though, I smiled, bent down, hugged him, and told him that I love him. Then James woke back up for good.
I tell you this story, not to make myself out as some sort of saintly mother with copious amounts of patience, but because I feel this reflects something that has been on my mind often, as of late.
As I think on the kind of mother I want to be for my children, and evaluate where I am in relation to that ideal, I am woefully far from my goal. I do things on an almost daily basis that hurt Owen's feelings, that extinguish the exuberance with which he views the world at this point in his life. I (figuratively) kick myself when I see this happen, and try to remind myself that he won't always be this way, and that I just need to love and encourage and build-up and enjoy him during this beautiful period of childhood. Unfortunately, I am often unsuccessful in remembering these things when it really counts, but, sometimes, sometimes there are moments like today's, where I am able to be the kind of mother that Owen needs. Moments that are beautiful and that just feel right. My hope is that there are enough of these moments to balance out the other ones. I want my children to think back on our home and remember feeling loved and happy and peaceful in it. I'm convinced that I will never look back and think, "I'm so bugged that Owen woke James up that day" or "I wish Owen had left me alone so that I could have cleaned the kitchen", but I will wish I could go back and be a little kinder, show more compassion, share in my children's happiness more sincerely, and race a few more toy cars.
So here's to exuberance.
And please pardon the wordy and introspective post on this blog that is usually short stories, pictures of my children, and DIY projects. I was waxing philosophic last night. I can't promise it won't happen again. :)