image cc We Heart It
Life within the my tiny world stays steady. Christmas came and went, always too fast, in a blur of present and food and lovely warm wishes, laughs with family. Right up to December 24th the ground was green and the air was mild. After dinner and church, gag gifts, and music, we woke up on Christmas morning out of town and tapped a few golf balls down the green slope in Venosta before heading home. There were naps, late nights and a few sleepy late mornings too.
Being the parent of a small child around the holidays calls for a special kind of patience and an extra dose of sense. How many sweets and treats are suitable? How much travel do you try to cram in while maintaining mealtimes and enough nap or down time to prevent meltdowns? I don’t mind a few late nights if everyone is happy, but the more out of our routine we get, the more upset everyone becomes.
Every year I learn more and think about what worked and what didn’t, and how far out of my own mindset and comfort zone I’m able to go. Food bribes are one thing. I’ve never been a fan of rewarding our J’s not so good behavior by passing him a sugary snack to occupy him. Maybe he’s not old enough to figure this out, but maybe he’s getting there. It sucks for other people around us, I guess, but I’m sort of deaf to that while I’m trying to teach him appropriate behavior. Maybe I’m too set in my own ways. Maybe, it doesn’t really matter.
Another one is supervision. He’s getting old enough to play with a bit more free rein, but with the combination of excited, older kids and beds to jump on. I can’t help myself from supervising. You need to toughen up! is the well-meaning advice. Maybe so. But maybe next year. I was on hand to soothe away the tears when his head was inevitably bumped and I’m ok with that.
We got a flat tire just after Christmas and I walked to pick it up on my lunch break during our first real snow storm of the season. I walked through the piles of snow, watching the flakes catch on my scarf, smiling at snowblowing neighbors, my boots silently crunching.
We live happily in our little bubble sometimes, and it feels like a snow globe. But we also look outside and need to welcome in help and happy faces. We do what is right for us, but others matter too, and I hope that I will always still adapt and learn, growing as my child grows and figuring this all out together.