Saturday, July 07, 2012

Reconnecting -- with patience and each other

I have always loved how Silas and Eden play together -- creatively, like a little team, for hours (granted there are often hose-rivers in the yard and lots of mud, or sharpees that have bled through paper, but it's almost always well worth it).  The transition from school to summer, however, has been riddled with a new phase of bickering.  It probably doesn't help that they've had an utterly distracted mother who is exhausted and whose well of patience is puddle-deep, but is that really cause to turn into an incessant provoker and a stubborn demanding screamer?

I feel most out of control when I slip into days of parenting from reaction rather than intention.  I play my worst cards and constantly feel like I'm failing all of us.  Silas in particular needs me to think -- he needs to be seen, needs space cleared, questions purposefully answered without distraction, needs to be touched, held.  I am learning this.  Without that, we simply feed off of each other -- my need for space and his need for me.  Eden needs my pointed focus less but needs me to usher her into down times and creative spaces, time to draw and write and play alone with her imagination.

I swung through most of this week on the very end of a rope, hardly holding on at all.  For days I swam through swampy, defeated thoughts -- constantly commentating about how cold, distant, unengaged I was, how I had lost my kids already, how the fall would only be worse (rescue me from my head!!)  My prayers for patience and a gentle tone of voice rose incessantly.  And yet every day I seemed to plunge back into my own fatigued responses.  Ugh.

And then on Wednesday, the power came on -- let there be light! -- and the mid-week holiday cracked our routine.  Thursday the three of us baked together (because we could use the oven!) and swam together and worked at the house.  Slowly, I could feel God's gentle breath ease us through the day (finally!) and steady me.  As I finished sanding the kitchen floor and began to prime it, in the house still brimming with chaos, I realized Silas and Eden were playing together -- playing NICELY!  I couldn't hear any words, but could hear them inventing with their voices, their footsteps racing down the hallway, and then, intermittently, one of them would appear in the kitchen doorway in a home depot apron, ninja costume, goggles, bandanna, just to show it all, and then disappear again.

Just before we left, I found them like this:  Eden is perched on a bathroom vanity that's not yet installed; the yellow on the left is a couch without cushions; and Silas sits on an unpacked box:

Last night with library books and flashlights:

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