Flexible.

Every summer I like to have a project. Something to tackle that isn’t as easy to get done during the school year. This summer, I had several projects in mind including organizing all of the kids’ clothes and sorting out all of their clothes I’ve packed away over the years. Check. Got that done. Another item on the list, try some new recipes that will be manageable during the school year. This one is still a work in progress…If you have any suggestions, feel free to leave inspiration in the comments.

The really major project on the summer bucket list was doing a better job of being Adi’s parent. This is a doozy. All the extra time spent home in the last year and a half has yielded some really big feelings. Adi’s ability to cope with these big feelings often leaves our entire house in a whirlwind-everyone having really BIG feelings. I’m not always proud of my own responses. So, this summer, I vowed to slow down and try to work on my response and strategies for coping. So far, I’ve read a bunch. I purchased and watched a webinar from a psychologist a parent from school recommended. That was super helpful. Her advice was practical and it seemed to really hit the nail on the head for what I have been noticing with Adi. She recommended working on my own responses, finding ways to give her extra positive one on one time, and lots of strategies for in the moment language. We’ve spent a lot of time talking about being flexible and not over reacting when things don’t go exactly as we planned or hoped. Some days, it feels like maybe things are working. Other days, we’re back to the whirlwind of emotions.

Just the other day, we were in the car after a trip to the dentist where Adi had her first cavity filled. Let me just say, thank goodness for nitrous oxide. After the dentist, we took a trip to the store for a special treat. Adi chose a large box, one just like her older sister Wren’s-a place to keep her treasures. Before we had a chance to transport the day’s car mess into the house, we found ourselves running an unexpected errand with my grandma. As I worked to clear the front seat, I said to Adi, “Can I just put all this stuff in you box for now…to make room for Grandma?” I held my breath waiting for her to snap at me. But she said sure.

“Thanks for being so helpful,” I said.

“Mom, I’m not being helpful,” she replied. “I’m being flexible.”

I smiled, glad that some things are sinking in. This project may extend beyond summer. But for now, I’ll take this small win.

Flexible Adi.

7 thoughts on “Flexible.

  1. Some projects are items you can check off a list, like organizing and sorting clothes. While others are “over time” projects — like a relationship! I love how you framed it “being a better parent for Adi”. Parenting ain’t for the faint of heart — but you, with all your heart, continue to strive to be the best you can for her. That wise little one is blessed to have you!

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  2. I love your description of how one little person’s big feelings can lead to a whole household of big feelings! Flexibility is such a useful concept, for kids and all of us. You show flexibility as you sincerely work on your parenting, including asking for help and learning, and practicing the responses you want to make… this all adds up to a beautiful reflection all good parents will relate to.

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  3. That smile! I’m glad you are tackling projects (some straightforward and some quite complex) and feeling a sense of accomplishment. Parenting is a lifetime of work, some of it very hard, but all of it worthwhile. Hang in there. You are doing your very best. That’s something to be proud of.

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  4. What can be more important than this project?! Kudos to you for your reflection and determination to devote time and energy to your relationship with Adi and to help her develop important life skills. Also, what a fabulous smile!

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