I had an epiphany last night, thanks to my 19 month old toddlers insistence that we have a nursing sesh at some point during my sweetest sleeping hours. Twice, I attempted to turn my back to him, hoping that he would get the message that I was not currently available, and resign himself to sleeping, too. When it became apparent that I would have no satisfaction, I felt the vague persistence of compassion in my mind’s eye, prodding me to consider that perhaps he was extremely thirsty or maybe he was fighting off a virus. Just maybe there was a very valid reason for this, not just “he is a spoiled product of attachment parenting,” a thought that used to terrorize my mind as I tried to soften the toughened scars from traditional parenting and pushing towards something sweeter, try to “fake it til I make it.”
I tried to swallow with my own parched mouth and realized any nursing would be fruitless without hydration. I picked him up and we went to the kitchen to make juice. I fixed him a bottle of it, and drank a glass myself. As I began to perk, I realized how far I had come. I marveled at the healing I have experienced at the hand of unschooling and practicing trust, relinquishing the need for control. Trusting my children that they are not monsters I must tame, but people I must love. What a wonderful thought, because that’s why I wanted children. I wanted to love them. Then they get here and there are problems, they have needs when we need them to not have needs and things get hairy and people tell us we must dominate, teach them to be quiet, to respect us, to fear us, to stop doing whatever it is that annoys us or inconveniences us, to not make messes they can’t pick up and
we forget to love them
and we forget that love is patient and kind.
But I realized that I am going to keep failing. Where I come from, there was SO much anger. My mother still seethes with rage on a daily basis. But not incredibly more than many people I have met. The scary part was realizing the enormous amount of rage that I had held in my being for so many years. It would come out when I had been affronted, when I was tired, when I just need things to stop!
The difference is that whilst I am failing, compassion and understanding are my companions. Love is still the priority. Resentment is feeling more foreign.
I feel like when it comes to failure, I’m winning.