Today's blog is a bit of an anecdote about an interaction I had last week with Maverick and the resulting feelings I had of him helping me choose socks. I'm really quite proud of how it turned out. It's written from my heart and I really like the way it came together. It's been fun to dig a little deeper and write so honestly, like when I wrote Behind the Smiles. I hope you enjoy this one.
February 15, 2020
I wasn’t likely to remember today as the day my youngest son choose socks for me for the first time. Not until I made the choice to encapsulate the memory with my craft, forever written with my words.
We stood together in my bedroom. Maverick was on the same side of the bed as my sock drawer. I was barefoot, opposite him on the other side of our king-sized captain’s bed. Two floor-height drawers on each side, two each for me and Brad, our closets host to most of our clothing. We were getting ready for the day and I realized that I needed socks, so I asked Maverick to open the drawer in front of him and grab me a pair. Part of me was worried that he would pick the fuzzy warm socks I have tucked in the front of the drawer, but he actually chose a regular pair of Puma sport socks that were folded neatly into a ball, the purple logo visible from the inside out. I was proud of him, he’s taking directions quite well and is talking more than ever. When he’s not throwing fits, chucking (and breaking) dishes or hitting or threatening to hit his brother, that is. It may seem odd to be proud of a human for being able to choose socks, but if you’re a parent, I’m sure you’ll understand.
When I was getting ready to take off my socks before crawling into bed that night, I reached to pull off my first sock and thought to myself that I was not likely to remember that day as the day Maverick picked my socks for me. To note the brief moment where he had listened and even did something kind for me stood out in the chaos that has been ruling our lives of late, that unpredictable life with a kindergartner and a spirited toddler, where getting ready for the day deserves an Olympic medal every time things go smoothly. Naturally, as I removed my second sock in the wake of this realization that such a mundane moment could remain just that, I felt the pull to write about it. I had bonded with my son over socks, without this littlest human having any clue that I felt so much towards him for this small gesture. I wanted to remember my feelings in the surrounding moments forever.
First, I wanted to note the pride I felt in myself for acknowledging a quiet moment and appreciating the little things. Life moves too fast, clipping along from one meltdown to the next at times, between yelling and anger, hugs and more tears that come as if from nowhere to an adult like me, but mean the world to someone that doesn’t know how to deal with their emotions, happy or sad. I wanted to make an effort to remember Maverick on this day, as a strong-willed two-year-old. When he happily brought me a pair of socks, hand-delivering them instead of completely ignoring me or throwing them in the opposite direction along with the rest of the contents of my drawer, or the night-stand next to it.
I love them so.
I can’t wait for our lives to have more of these moments. Not where I’m thankful that such a small task goes the right way, but where I am grateful for my son's actions and he for mine. The little things I do for the kids seem to go unnoticed along with the breaths I take to calm down instead of yelling, to prepare for the next battle and ask whether or not something is worth a fight. Breathe in, breathe out. Decide in a heartbeat whether to trade the blue plate for the pink one or to stand strong with my resolve that the bagel will taste the same, regardless of the colour of the plate on which it sits.
As a parent, I wonder whether they’re learning from the kindness I show them, or taking in the times I yell or don’t have time to drop everything and play. Then they turn around and give me a hug for no reason. Or sit in my lap, knowing that I’m available for a cuddle, and I know that I’m doing something right. Helping them help me choose socks, learning how to navigate life, feelings and emotions, and having some fun wherever possible.
Do yourself a favour and choose one random thing to be grateful for today. Something that you would normally pass by without a second look. Sit with it for a moment, and think about how it feels. It will be worth it, I promise.