Yesterday as I was doing the dishes I was struck by the realization that, not only was I washing dishes, but had done a load of laundry, swept the floor and put away some items, all in a continuous span of time. This was profound because this wouldn’t have been possible a year ago, even 6 months ago. Time, without a child needing something from me, just didn’t exist.
I’m Actually Checking off the To Do List?
I have noticed that this new-found “free” time has also coincided with their emerging imagination. They have really started to pretend and it is most exciting to watch, especially learning how they each handle this new skill.
Kellan is bold and slightly outlandish in what he comes up with. He loves to catch parrots, growl like a dinosaur, or give us random names, “Hello Mommy Alex!” It is so crazy because it is so off the cuff. We don’t know anyone named Alex and he has never heard a dinosaur growl. In his head, a dinosaur growls in a whisper and waves one arm in a circle. And catching parrots??? I am beyond obsessed by what comes out of his quirky little brain.He is also the ring leader in creating the scene. He becomes a police motorcycle or walks like a penguin and within seconds Atlas follows suit.
Bird of a different feather
On his own, Atlas is more quiet about imagining with his toys, almost to the point of being shy. I often see him holding two toys and have them have a conversation but he whispers the dialogue. Today one of his paw patrol dogs was laying on the ground while the other was standing over him, I asked if Skye was saving Rubble and he got so shy with me, but had a big smile on his face, as if pleased I figured it out. I just told him how cool that was and then gave him his space.
I want to encourage him, but also don’t want him to feel self-conscious. Remembering that trait within myself of insecurity over trying to be creative, I don’t want Atlas to feel that. I want him to know he lives in a home where running around with a bucket on your head is fully welcomed. That he can make a giraffe sound however he wants and I will love it.
Watching in Wonderment
It is immensely fascinating watching this crucial aspect of life begin to develop within them. I want them to have no limits in their creativity and hope I can nurture this according to each child’s personality. I have been waiting for this time because it is really when the fun begins, but also feel a bit sad because in a sense it slightly pulls them away from me. Don’t get me wrong 95% of my day is mom, mama, MOMMY!, but there are becoming moments here and there when they are having more fun on their own and I have to not intervene. It is another step in the direction facing opposite me and it is bittersweet.
I am holding on and letting go at the same time.
A Balancing Act
It is a tricky rope to balance on so I keep trying to recall my own needs of space and freedom growing up. I don’t want to forget that, even when they are walking toward a life that leads them further and further away from me. It feels slightly dramatic to talk about that now, but it has become quite apparent how fast this is going to go by and this window of time to get things done around the house, made that fact only more evident.
I am trying to appreciate that my house might be slightly cleaner than it was a year ago, and my kids are pretty clever and funny. Remembering to take moments to watch them from afar become the creative genius’s that I know they will be and hold on to these memories tight, tight, tight.