My daughter glowers at me from underneath furrowed brows. 'NO, Mama, it's not_______, it's ______!!!' We've had this exact same discussion every hour or so for the last week. It's exhausting.
Her new breakthrough issue is Being Right. She is Right every minute of the day, and she will tell you so - loudly. 'It's NOT a bow, it's a FLOWER' in response to a compliment on her hairdo. 'YOU need to go over there, then I will swim to you. GO' (when we get into the pool). 'You forgot to get me my agua. Get me a cup'... aaalllll day. I spend our time together correcting and redirecting her behavior. I end each day frustrated, irritated and longing for a break.
I want to take my fingers and soothe the scowl from her tiny face. I want to tickle her until she's giddy. I want to love and cherish our time together... but she pushes me away and insists that she's Right and I'm doing it wrong. I know that it's just a phase. I know that it's an important developmental breakthrough. I know that my job is to lovingly show her how to speak to other people, and to teach her to treat others with respect. I know all of those things. What I would really like is for someone else to be in charge today... and maybe tomorrow, too.
Our little fish has taken up residence in the pool. Her day is spent planning her next excursion into the water. She leaps fearlessly into the rippling aqua depths. Surfacing for only enough time to take another breath and plunge back in. Her tiny body is so light that she bobs near the surface like a cork despite her best efforts to the contrary. She constantly asks for help getting to the bottom so she can walk, retrieve toys, or 'touch with two hands'.
She stands on the lowest step and yells 'I can do something - watch me do something!' As soon as she's sure that she has our full attention, she says 'when I slap the water, then I can go.' Her hands splash down, there's a big inhale, and she steps off. Her jump takes her buns-first toward to bottom for a few seconds, then she swirls like a mermaid and floats to the top. Her fingers reach lightly for the step, and she stays underwater; swaying and kicking until her air runs out. Her head pops up. her eyes light up and she says 'now we go underwater to-gev-her. Is that a good plan?' Well of course it is. Let's go, my love.
Well, here I am - a Garden Person. I spend part of every day in the garden. Most days it's just a few quick minutes to check on everything and pick beans (and more beans, and more beans...) But some days require actual work. You know what? I don't mind. Even the days that are hot or mosquito filled are good days to be out there. Getting down near the plants. Looking closely at their foliage and stems for pests. Picking tiny weeds and prodding the earth to check moisture levels. These are all very good things. Very calming and centering things - and honestly, I could use a few more moments like that these days as my thoughts fly off the handle with the merest provocation and my anxieties about family and money and work (or the lack thereof) crowd my brain and make sleep a hard won commodity. The garden is there for me. Growing beautiful lettuce, sweet, juicy corn and beeeeeeeeans (and more beans). Reminding me that growth and change are good, but they still require work, patience and love.
I have a new crafting obsession. You're not surprised - I can tell. This time, it's bracelets. Specifically, macrame bracelets. I wove strips of old T-shirts into boxed braids until my fingers were tired. Now I'm making tiny knots on slender threads. Hemp cord, embroidery thread, polished stones and beads. Alternating square knots and 17-stranded French sennits make it hard for me to think about other stuff. My mind is filled with candy and jewel tones side-by-side with rough natural fibers. Welcome to my newest coping technique - what can I make for you?