My son is a bundle of energy and always has been. It’s hard for him to sit and watch a full length movie, because he’d rather be up playing and doing something. So last weekend when he decided to get out of the pool and go inside to watch TV I knew he was not feeling well. I scheduled an appointment to see the doctor first thing Monday morning. We walked into the doctor’s office and he sat down, too big to play with the toys that used to occupy him when he was a toddler. He sat beside me quietly while I filled out the paper work. When I was done, I reached over and combed my fingers through his hair. In that moment I realized that even though he was feeling terrible, he was too big to sit on my lap. I flashed back to all the times we had sat in this exact waiting room with him cuddled close to me, feeling terrible but finding comfort on my lap. Now, he’s not only physically too big, but he’s too independent.
It’s one of the great ironies of being a parent – we strive for our child to grow up and then when they do, we wistfully look back on the days they were younger. It’s ok to look back and be a little sad, like I did this week, but it’s important that we don’t allow ourselves to get stuck there. It’s easy to let the memories of the past influence your mood and perspective. If you find yourself wrapped up in a spiral of memories, find an outlet. It could be looking at pictures and sharing stories with the family or calling a friend to reminisce about “that time when….”. Or it could be writing it all down, getting all those unfiltered thoughts out of your head. The important thing is to allow yourself to have the moments of remembering, appreciate it and then come back to the way things are today.
One of my favorite authors, Gabrielle Bernstein says “Choose to see things a different way.” Instead of being sad that he is too big, I can be happy he has the words to describe exactly what hurts and where. I can appreciate that he is aware enough to make decisions that will help his body to heal. I can feel the growing strength behind his hugs. I can also find comfort knowing that he will never be too big to say “I love you Mom”.
This week I’m offering all readers of my blog a free 30-minute Parent Coaching Session. Message me or send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a phone call at a time that works best for you.
I started writing this blog because I wanted to have deeper conversations beyond "How are you?", "Busy", with other parents. Over the years I've shared personal stories, articles, authors and topics to facilitate conversations with parents about the joys and the challenges of parenting.