Monday, January 13, 2014

Laurel's Lessons in Patience

Soon after Laurel's birth, I described her to one of my friends as a little enlightened being, so serene and present. Like most infants, she's fairly immediate when it comes to basic needs. However, once she's fed and comfortable, see seems to have an abundance of patience and calm. When Laurel first discovered her hands, she spent several days in a row trying to move them to her mouth. She would watch with such intensity as she slowly moved her hand closer, closer, and then into her eye or cheek. It was kind of hilarious to observe, but she never got agitated or upset. She would just deliberately extend her arm and try again. And again.

This patient perseverance has continued. She'll spend fifteen minutes just studying her feet or doggedly grab at the monkey on her floor gym until she is able to snatch him out of his loop. I have much to learn from my little Laurel!

I have a hard time being patient with some of my current reality. I'm tired of wearing the same yoga pants day after day and not being able to squeeze into more than one pair of 'real' pants. I wish my body was as strong and able as it was at this time last year. Yesterday, Laurel accompanied me to my first yoga class since giving birth. It was an up and down kind of experience. I'd feel great in one pose and then another would make me painfully aware of my larger girth. In one pose I'd feel so strong and then another would target my weaker muscles. Happily, Laurel was there smiling at me through the entire class. She was a constant reminder of the amazing things my body has done in recent history and how important it is to honor that and to be patient and compassionate towards myself.

Parenting a toddler is another facet of my life requiring patience, these days. As Cadence continues to grow and adapt to the changes in our family life, I've had to develop new tools to guide her and keep peace in the house. I've been working hard to practice new skills when it comes to handling our conflicts, but it isn't always pretty. All too often, I resort to old patterns of yelling or saying something hurtful. At those time I not only have to deal with the original conflict, but also have to repair the damage done to my relationship with Cadence. It makes it easy to get down on myself and my parenting abilities.

Here, too, I'm trying to be patient and compassionate with myself. Change comes slowly and new skills take a lot of practice before they become habit. Like Laurel, when I stick my fist in my eye, I should refrain from blame and just keep trying. Or something like that.

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  1. The very fact that you are trying to not repeat patterns and grow is reason to celebrate! I think you're a wonderful person and I'm glad you will be passing your awesome-saucieness to two lovely ladies! xo