dear Anja,

there are SO many things i want to remember about these amazing days and moments you/we are having.

i am SO graced by every moment with you.

some notes from just the past few days:

– out of the blue, this past weekend: “i am grateful for wheat that makes cheddar bunnies. i am grateful for cows, that make milk, that make cheese, for cheddar bunnies.” ūüôā first time you used that word, which you probably heard for the first time¬†at Weaving Earth (WE) those first days 9/4 & 5.

– in the car, yesterday morning, en route to WE, suddenly, out of the blue, to dad and my amusement:¬† “QUIET! i’m trying to meditate.” you¬†close¬†your eyes, put on a meditation countenance. i am¬†grinning ear to ear, trying to catch dad’s eyes in the rearview mirror. he closes his eyes to join you. it lasts maybe¬†a minute.

Рyou are often totally engaged on pickup (like here, transferring water by hair from a pond to a hole), clearly happy, filled. you regale us with stories that make me wish i were there, here and there, to share some of these experiences with you in person. i am grateful you share with us. i hope through time we maintain the sort of connection where you come to dad & me to share your life. it is the greatest pleasure. it is among what makes life worth living.

– with incredible excitement, in the car en route home yesterday, you share how you all went on a¬†“real live adventure!” you describe the route. you go¬†to¬†a cow pasture. there’s a fence.¬†you¬†climb thru a¬†space in the¬†fence. some other kids climb over. Melodie holds¬†the electric fence up with 2 sticks and you¬†crawl under. you¬†all find¬†a pond.¬†it is beautiful, the only really green place all around.¬†it has those¬†tall grasses that grow in water. it is about the size of our front yard and M&L’s.

– you come home daily with feathers, rocks, stuff in your backpack. yesterday, you came home with a tooth! you put it in your closed hands and¬†unveil it to me: it is¬†incredible¬†– a¬†huge¬†animal tooth that was¬†by a¬†skull¬†that was laying on the ground.¬†“feel how sharp it is.”¬†you put my finger on it.¬†you have no idea what animal it is from, but¬†describe the skull, shaping an oblong with your arms.

– you also came home yesterday with the homemade elderberry syrup you¬†all worked on last week.¬†(THAT had been a great delight: elbow deep in berries, squishing, squishing!). you borrow a spoon and try¬†some right away. “i want to have pancakes with elderberry syrup!” you say as you enter the car. dad¬†runs into Whole Foods en route home to get pancake mix¬†so you can have that for dinner.¬†you also¬†have¬†elderberry soda, mixing the syrup with bubbly water; and make an experiment, combining that with lemon juice.

– last week, en route home, you proclaimed:¬†“I decided I like sunblock.” You describe¬†how¬†you¬†hit rocks, made rock powder, added a bit of water¬†to make paint,¬†painted each others faces. “That is the sort of sunblock I like.” ūüôā

It’s not all rainbows. Or, actually,¬†it is:

I also had one of those¬†“I did not¬†receive the parenting manual” moments this week¬†when you and L both wanted a¬†long grass to play with the kitty with and he¬†ended up with it.

You are¬†UPSET,¬†screaming, crying, hissing at him. “You ruined all the fun!” you shout.¬†Then, you¬†lunge at him¬†and I auto-race in: “Anja. Stop.¬†Bodies are not for hurting.” I try¬†to verbally have you come indoors to do your emoting. You refuse. I try¬†to physically move you in. You struggle. I’m not going to momhandle you.¬†I feel like all the neighbors are watching or keeping their eyes averted, judging our household, judging my parenting, thinking they would never stand for this from their child.¬† I manage to¬†get you in the house and close the door. We fall to the floor. ‘Why is L out there having fun and your fun is ruined and now I am ruining it even more?!’ You are hitting at me. The second I move away from the door you unlock it and race out, but¬†by then everyone is gone.

You are fierce. Your emotions are fierce. I love that you have that direct connection¬†between emotion and expression. I value your having space to emote, and, boy, am I¬†uncomfortable in those moments when you, at 5 3/4, understandably don’t always do that full force emoting in an “appropriate”, “private” space.

I’m OK with being with¬†this wave of¬† total, frozen discomfort within myself. I’m aware these moments are from¬†unresolved stuff¬†from my own¬†background. I am an ‘imperfect’ parent¬†as¬†there is no such thing as a ‘perfect’ parent.¬†Or, rather, I am a ‘perfect’ parent in that a¬†‘perfect’ one is perfectly imperfect.¬†I am a human¬†parent, consciously growing, and that is beautiful.¬†I love myself. I love you.



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