"BentookmycaranditmadememadandIamveryupsetandheshouldnothavedonethatandwhyishesomeanmommy?[Pause, as mommy tries to decipher where the spaces were to make sense of it all] MOM-mmy. Ben (indecipherable nonsense)….MOM-mmmy, why are you not listening?" (Course, I am listening, but my ears don't work as fast as his mouth does!)
It certainly took some getting used to, that is for sure.
The thing is, for all of our laughter and nonsense together, I see an awful lot of myself in him. That tendancy to go and go and go and go without rest, the inability to slow down and absorb the moment, the impatience with everyone else that doesn't go 'my speed'….*sighs*. It has taken me years to understand this about myself.
It's also taken me years to understand that God made me 'a hundred miles a minute' for a reason, just as He made Isaiah like that. It has also taken me years to understand that I can't let my 'hundred miles a minute' personality rule me, but that I should, in fact, rule it and bring it under control. Instead of the horse pulling me, I have slowly learned to control the horse.
It is not with some seriousness that we have often joked that Z needs football regalia to get through his days. Just this morning, he was going at his normal pace through the kitchen, hit a tiny patch of spilled water, and made a spectacular flying leap into the air, landing resoundingly and firmly on his head with a loud thud. And oh, how he cried! This is a normal occurance for him (getting hurt), so he usually gets up, brushes himself off, and keeps right on going, full speed ahead. Not this time. He really had hit his head pretty hard- hard enough in fact, that I am watching him for signs of concussion. As he was curled up cuddling with me (another very rare occurance), I was telling him stories of my own childhood and why it's so important to watch where we're going. I was also thinking of how I could help him make 'crash pads' that help him slow down (emotionally and mentally) when he gets to going too fast.
I realized afterwards that as an adult and a mother, I've passed a serious milestone in my own life. I've finally figured out what my crash pads are! I have finally learned to slow down, hit the brakes, read the signs, and re-evaluate before continuing. Take this pregancy, for example. While pregnant with the other children, I used to go, go, go…literally…until I 'crashed and burned'…so exhausted and so sick that I could barely move, bringing the whole house to a screeching halt. I did not take care of myself. I did not make sure I was getting the rest I needed, or the food or nutrients a pregnant body needed, and it showed. And I certainly never, ever asked for help! Not this time. I have been much more careful to watch out and care for my needs, to rest when I can, to eat better. It shows. Like I mentioned a few days ago, I normally would be a soggy, emotional mess at this point, overwhelmed and tired and on the verge of tears if you looked at me funny…all the time…ask James. He could tell you the horror stories! With the exception of a few hormonal days here and there, this pregnancy has been vastly different. Not only do I 'get through' the days now, I get through them triumphantly, confidently. Oh, don't get me wrong, that bedtime hour can still burn me out faster than you can say "boo"…but neither do I lose it by eleven am either.
I finally learned to listen.
Listen to my body. Listen to my needs. This has changed in so many aspects of my life. Parenting. Money management. Being a wife. Being an artist. I've finally learned to turn off my overclocked engine so that the roar doesn't drown out the needs and words of those I love, the things I love, the roles I love. I am a bit astonished to say that, since January, we have stayed within our budget. Really and truly. We are slowly working on our debt reduction, but here's a caveat…it's pointless (and I can tell you from experience) to try to pay down debt if your money is still a raging torrent running free. Once your money management is brought under control, once you understand the ins and outs of what is actually needed and required, then debt reduction comes much easier! It's like a boat with a bunch of holes in it otherwise. You can pour buckets all day long, but it won't fix the problem. Patch the holes, and you can get the water out for good.
I am not saying that being 'a hundred miles a minute' is a bad thing. Like I said, God designed me (and Isaiah) this way for a reason. Somebody like me is a self-starter. I can see a project through to completion with the stamina it requires with very little outside direction. You don't have to 'hold my hand' through a task. Considering that I am a mom of (soon to be) five, it is definitely a blessing in many ways…if I wasn't 'me', having my kids would be pretty overwhelming on a daily basis…but in many ways, I don't mind the noise, and all the assorted tasks that come with all these kiddos…I'd almost say I revel in it. I like the challenge of getting from point A to point B each day with my kids. But I've definitely realized that to be the best mom I can be for these kids, I've got to slow down and listen and use those 'hundred mile a minute' skills the way God designed them to be used, not the bludgeoning, slip-sliding, concussion-inducing ways I used to misuse them.
How that translates into parenting Mr. Zoom-Zoom, I am not quite sure yet. But I am going to try to make my ears work faster!