"... but before we resort to controlling interventions, before we make a child unhappy, and certainly before we do anything that could be construed as placing conditions on our love, we should make absolutely sure it's worth the possible strain on the relationship."
this one's a creeper – for me anyways – as in, it seems simple enough but then when i think about it a little more, it starts sinking in a little deeper. creepin' in a little further.
and i know as bonzo gets a bit older, the meaning of those words will morph and grow.
but today, bonzo is 19 months old so it means this to me:
what could be more important than bonzo's relationship with me – and mine with him?
nothing, that's what.
a 19 month old can push a button or two. oh how they can push a button or two.
and bonzo has seen me frustrated and not at my most patient, which is fine by me because i think it's important that he sees that the full spectrum of feelings and emotions – happy, sad, mad – are a part of life and are all okay. i don't want him to see me mask how i feel so he's seeing cheerful but sensing tension – i want him to see a positive example of me feeling the feelings.
i really want him to know that when i'm not at my finest that it's not his fault.
and i want to continue to recognize my feelings and take a deep breath before proceeding or reacting. because it is in that breath that i put our relationship first.
i don't want to react to a situation in a way that would make him feel like i'm capable of becoming feared or untrustworthy.
so when i'm being pushed to the brink (hello, the last 36 hours) and i want to shout "AREYOUFUCKINGSERIOUS?!" from the hilltops, i remember a couple things:
1. bonzo's needs are immediate and they're urgent – to him. they just are. period. the end.
the sooner i can remember that he doesn't mean to be rude+demanding+irritating+exasperating the better we'll both be! he's just sayin' what's on his mind, man. the filter will come later. right?
2. he's learning how to handle life by watching how i handle life. if that's not enough to check myself i don't know what is. and i don't have any hope or expectation that i will be a perfect model, either and i think that's a big, huge, important piece of the puzzle: everyone stumbles along the way. mommy does, daddy does and bonzo will be better off for seeing that modeled for him, too. it's all a part of the process: showing him that we can loose our way but find our way back.
3. what's got me at my max one day will not have me there forever – and the trust, love and respect we have for each other will always eclipse the maxed-out moments... especially if i continue to put our relationship first.
and like i said, as time marches on, the notion of "conditions" and "strain" on our relationship will change shape a bit. but either way, staying true to what our relationship has been, is now, and what i want it to become always seems to right the ship – and i figure the more practice i get at it now the better. that way, i'm more and more equipped to handle what comes my way when things really get fun.