(Turn and face the strain)
Don't tell them to grow up and out of it
I have been noticing some shifts in these boys o' mine.
Jack has developed a strong need to express himself, especially when he's been angered. He's even *ahem* violent about it. If you know Jack, you know this is very opposite to his nature. Sure, sure, he can pitch a fit about something but he never expresses that anger toward the individual, even if it's me. It's hard to discourage (though we try) because his "hits" are about as forceful as a falling leaf. The positive spin on this, is that it is providing more opportunity to discuss feelings! It's a window into the mind of Jack, and that is powerful. As he explains to me what I (or someone else) did that upset him so much, I get a new sense of how he interprets others' feelings and how those feelings affect his own.
Last night, Jack's preschool put on a Christmas pageant. It was an evening of adorableness all around, and Jack did well through the excitement and crowd. Toward the very end, as things were wrapping up and people were beginning to leave, Jack came up to me with tears in his eyes saying that someone had yelled at him. I held him for a bit and then we made our way to the car. As we were leaving, Mrs. M asked him if he had a good time and he shouted "NO" (sorry Mrs. M!) and I knew he hadn't let the incident go. We got home and he was STILL fuming. We got jammied, we put Harvey to bed, we snuggled - he was STILL angry. We talked, he told me he was looking and looking for me at the party and couldn't find me. So it wasn't just that someone hurt his feelings, he was also angry that I wasn't right there to help him. We sat quietly for a while and Jack snuggled in to me and said "I'm sorry I yelled at you mama". All was well again. I'm confident we'll strike a balance, this surge of expression will calm a bit as he masters his new found ability. Miasm work? Maturity? I dunno.....steps in the right direction either way.
Harvey is quite the opposite. He is a force to be reckoned with. Some days he wins, some days I win. Last night was evidence to what we already knew - this kids WANTS preschool. He loves the atmosphere, the other children, and he ferociously absorbs the energy. All of a sudden (and hopefully for good), he has stopped crying for me in the night......he simply makes his way into our room when he needs me. He's still waking me often but it's much more peaceful. Waking to crying is nerve wracking! He is self weaning and asks for Justin at times for comfort! He also just finished cutting his final two-year molar which could be cause for the night time shifts. I'll take it!!
I love the hindsight of parenting. I'm learning (always learning) to really accept these stages of development. It's like anything else in life, you can't always see the purpose in something as it's happening. It's only when you stop digging for the purpose that you can step back and take in the beauty of God's work unfolding. We all grow and change in mysterious ways, I'm finding less need to pick and fuss and fix, and just let it be. Because what it IS, is good.