In volume one of this series sharing pictures of stuff I’m doing in pursuit of my one word for this year, I gave you an update on the things we’d been doing and places I’ve explored just for the joy of it. This one is different. This is the Connor edition.
When I introduced my word I mentioned that it wasn’t just about going places, though certainly that’s part of why I chose the word “explore.” It was also about exploring other things, and one of those things is my relationship with Connor.
I’ve mentioned before that I struggle with him a bit, and I think it’s because in some ways we’re so alike while in others we’re so different. He pushes my buttons. Sometimes it’s because of who he is – he’s high energy, and he’s four. Frustration comes easily to me when I’m tired, which I am most of the time these days. And I tip into sensory overload really fast, and he seems to like to exploit that.
But a lot of the time it’s because he doesn’t get what he needs from me. So I’m trying to fix that.
I went to his preschool last week when he was special helper, and got to see him doing all the special-helper jobs and doing show-and-share with his class. He was so cute sitting in the special helper chair showing his LEGO dinosaur and answering his classmates’ questions, and in that space and time I was a mom with a preschooler talking about something he loves. It was a good reminder.
Connor still loves his baby brother. He loves to play with him and hold him and talk to him. His generous nature prevents him from lashing out because the baby gets more of my attention than he does these days. I’ve been encouraging him to help with Ethan and getting down on the floor with them and trying to remember that Connor was my baby at one time too.
I’ve been trying hard to join him when he plays LEGO, though it’s not my strong suit. But what I am really good at is appreciating the stuff he builds (because, seriously, he does amazing stuff) and taking pictures of him with his creations (even when he has a dopey smile and needs his hair cut).
And we’ve been doing things. Going to the library and then reading the books.
Today I was starting to do a Jillian Michaels’ yoga meltdown workout while he was supposed to be in quiet time. He quietly opened the door and came in with his LEGO, his drink and his snack, and said he was lonely in quiet time. Normally I would have shooed him out, but instead I thought, “Why not?” I asked him if he wanted to do yoga with me and he gamely joined in, standing in a small spot next to me. So I opened up my space and my heart and moved over to give him his own yoga mat right next to me. As I moved I saw him watching me and then copying my moves.
Like mother, like son.
It’s been good.
I’ve got a new post at Huffington Post that shares a little bit more about our move last year. Would love it if you would come and read!