Friday, September 30, 2011

assign positive intent

as i watched noah and our neighbor boy play i felt such warm fuzzies i felt compelled to share this...
so cute, right? they were using trash to entertain themselves, and as always, creating a competition. i love boys.

no sooner had i hit "post" on facebook then i heard a crash and the sound that can only be shattering glass.
i instinctively yelled "what happened?!" and just as instinctively my son said "i didn't do it!".
at that moment i was poised and ready to attack. there was going to be some yelling and probably a bit of berating thrown in for good measure? had i not preached we don't throw balls in the house? shouldn't he know better? but, the moment he said "i didn't do it" i realized the deadly throw that brought my beautiful ceramic bird to it's demise must have come from the hands of our neighbor boy. that changed everything. i knew he didn't intend to break my knick knack. he probably didn't even know what a knick knack was. he was just playing. just being, as i love, a boy. all desire to yell...all plans to berate went out the window. i just picked up my broom and smiled.
what hit me as i was sweeping up the pieces was how i was so prepared to unleash on my son. why is it that becuase it was someone else's kid, i could have grace. i could see there really was no harm intended. had it been my child, there would have only been anger.
it reminded me of something i've been working on since i "heard" a friend talk about it on facebook. she mentioned "assigning positive intent". i asked what that meant and she explained it was assuming a person's intent was positive, even if their actions appeared differently. this goes for other drivers on the road (ouch), people in front of you in the grocery store, and even your husband. now, of course, sometimes people are just jerks. but, often when they are inconveniencing me, or putting me out in some way, there really is no malicious intent.
when i began thinking about this i immediately came to my children (deep ouch). how often do i see their behavior, or the results of it, and assume the worst. immediately go into "reprimand" or "correction" without considering the intention, or the situation, or the fact that they could just be havin a bad day. maybe they need my understanding rather than my judgement. maybe they aren't out soley to make my life more difficult.
or that maybe...they're just a little boy.

Monday, September 26, 2011

something through the window

because it just wouldn't be fair to keep this footage to myself...

yes, he was watching him through the window. this had been going on for a full 5-6 minutes before i finally fumbled around looking for my iphone to film it. no one was tickling him. no one was near him. he was just bubbling over in delight over what he saw through that playland window.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

should i?

i got a call last night. one of those calls where you answer and without any words being spoken you know something is wrong. very very wrong. after some terrible silence there was sobbing. heart wrenching pain being hurled at me through the phone line. i had an instinct to get in the car. to go. but should i?
i listened to the weeping. i made out a few muffled sentences and pieced together an idea of what had happened. i asked "should i come over?" the answer was no. but, should i anyways?
i listened some more. offered to do what i could, but i knew my friend was far from a place where she could tell me what she needed.
the baby was sleeping. sonny was gone. i felt a tug to go. should i?
i got off the phone and called a mutual friend. we debated. should we go? did she need us, or would we just be in the way? we talked, we sighed, we prayed. our friend beeped in on her other line so i said goodbye. i just didn't know what we should do.
then i called my sister. she would pray. she would listen. and she did one better. she said "you should go." as if on cue, judah woke up and i announced it was time to put on shoes and load 'em up. we were gonna go.
after picking up a few 44 oz diet cokes (a must in any crisis) we merged onto the freeway. my phone rang and it was an update. my friend's mom was almost to her house to take the kids and my friend was going to get out of the house. i started to doubt myself. should i still go? it was a 20 minute drive. did she really want me there? what would i say?
i kept on driving and told myself, well, at least i can drop off the pop and give her a hug. we pulled up to her house and i left the van idling, kids still buckled. i knocked on the door with a bit of nervousness. what would i find? what would i say? would it be the wrong thing?
the door opened and there stood my friend. visibly shaken. but still every bit my friend. there were lots of decisions to be made, things to discuss, changes in her future, but what did she need that night? me. she just needed me.
we started talking. sometimes about "it" and sometimes not. eventually the kids trickled in and the talking continued. our mutual friend called and said she was craving chinese. we loaded up and headed to the local panda express. we ate. we talked. we even laughed.
after several hours and a few too many fortune cookies we parted ways. as i drove back toward home i reflected on how nothing was decided. no insightful advice was given, no lifechanging wisdom imparted. yet what transpired that night was so very profound. i chose to walk through my fears and enter into someone else's pain. i didn't have to have any special words or qualifications. i just needed to be present. to say "i'm sorry." "this is so rough". "i'm not going anywhere." all i did was sit. sit in the pain. and not run screaming.
and because i didn't just say "should i?" and i actually "did"...i got to tread on holy ground.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

eight months

EIGHT months? eight months. sounds soooo much older than seven. eight is pushing nine. nine is pushing a year. and well, you know how it goes.

judah has officially gone mobile. the baby gate is up, the choking hazards are up high, and watch your step...he's probably underfoot.

interestingly, the things that cause him to move the quickest, groan the loudest, and crawl with most intensity are the things ari and noah find most important. i don't know how he knows already. but, he knows.

is that a star wars light saber, you say?
yes. yes it is.

is that an adorable little baby, you ask?
no. there you would be wrong. this is a young jedi knight. ready for battle.
when you use the force, you have no need for walking.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

hooked on the brothers

we were invited to a puppet themed birthday party today. you could make a puppet to be entered in the puppet parade and contest. the boys chose to do the mario brothers.
i don't do things like this with them often, because all i can see is the mess. each moment there is a new item out of place, needing to be put away, potentially going to spill.
when i see those things my blood pressure goes up, my patience goes down and i can no longer see my children. my anxiety takes over and i start becoming a mouth barking orders. not a mother.
i start seeing my children as only mess makers. as only reluctant cleaner-uppers. i lose all humanity in those moments.
mine. and theirs.
i've started a secret challenge to myself. i want to look my children in the eyes. it's sad to realize how many minutes and hours i can go without actually doing that. i can feed, clothe, bathe, instruct, and read to them without ever making real eye contact. the moment that i pause and do just that, humanity floods in. they are again people. my people. my babies. i don't bark at my babies. i relate to them. i SEE them. not the mess. not the work it will cause me. just them.

p.s. my babies won in the "funniest puppet" category. a memory that will last much longer than the glue that is now stuck in my carpet.