My middle son is wild–150% boy. He is bold and loud. He asks for forgiveness, not permission. When he was a toddler, he didn’t speak. Not until he was 2 years old. Until then, his main language was whining and high pitch screaming (think Mariah Carey whistle tone).
He would never just sit, or simply get up off the couch. No, he had to plunge himself into the couch like he was winding up, bounce himself off the cushions and finish by jumping off and rolling onto the carpet. When he was four, he decided to use his older brother (then 6 years old) as an imaginary obstacle course. You all can tell that was not a good idea and it didn’t end well. Okay, I need a glass of wine now remembering the detail of that incident. I love my kids. I really love my kids.
Anyhow, this boy crashed and destroyed almost every single thing his older brother had built with blocks, just for fun. He loved the crashing sound and the “feeling.” He spent more than half of his life in the corner before starting kindergarten. He is a 4th grader now, and his teachers have been telling me that he is such an angel at school. I raise my eyebrows, but I am so glad he finally has some sort of impulse control.
One day, my super physical boy found one of his favorite toys. Tangrams! It was such a shock for me to observe him just sitting down and quietly, I mean quietly playing for at least an hour. It was so soothing to watch him playing with tangrams. He was laser focused and gently moving around pieces to make shapes.
I cherish those moments because I was able to enjoy my son instead of yelling at him for the accidents he caused. I loved his soft and squishy cheeks, his silky curly hair and his chubby fingers. I rememeber grabbing a cup of coffee and watched him play. He was focusing on his tangrams and I was focusing on him. Such a peaceful and beautiful moment. This was our thing, just the two of us. I never wanted it to end… When I was having a crazy day, I used to ask him if he would play Tangrams for me so that I could relax. He said, “Sure, mommy.”
He is nine now and has different interests. He hasn’t played Tangrams for a while. Having a rough day, I asked him if he would dust off his Tangrams for me. He said, “Sure, mommy. I will bring it to your room.” Yes, he did it for me. I just sat with my camera and watched him playing in silence. His baby sister came up and watched with me.
His fingers are much longer than I remembered and his squishy cheeks are gone. He has grown so much and matured over the years. I feel like I am holding onto his little boyhood and having a hard time letting him grow big.
Oh, Tangrams. Thanks for existing. By the way, this was my husband’s favorite childhood toy as well. He said his elementary school teacher had them in the classroom and he would play it for hours when he had the chance. He knew my son would love them too, and bought it for him.
Quietly Waiting on 2019
Waiting on the New Year
“I’ve learned that fear limits you and your vision. It serves as blinders to what may be just a few steps down the road for you. The journey is valuable, but believing in your talents, your abilities, and your self-worth can empower you to walk down an even brighter path. Transforming fear into freedom – how great is that?”
and remember what peace there may be in silence.
As far as possible without surrender
be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly;
and listen to others,
even the dull and the ignorant;
they too have their story.
Avoid loud and aggressive persons,
they are vexations to the spirit.
If you compare yourself with others,
you may become vain and bitter;
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.
Keep interested in your own career, however humble;
it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
Exercise caution in your business affairs;
for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;
many persons strive for high ideals;
and everywhere life is full of heroism.
Especially, do not feign affection.
Neither be cynical about love;
for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment
it is as perennial as the grass.
Take kindly the counsel of the years,
gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.
Beyond a wholesome discipline,
be gentle with yourself.
You are a child of the universe,
no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.
Therefore be at peace with God,
whatever you conceive Him to be,
and whatever your labors and aspirations,
in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.
With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.
Strive to be happy.
— Max Ehrmann, 1927