There are moments where I have an overwhelming need to sleep or just relax during the day.
It is at these times when my single toddler’s need for company threatens to trigger the old fight or flight impulses, I hover between panic that I’m a bad mom for not having managed to make my almost-4-year old more independent, frustration because I just want to relax and despair because I am not able to be a satisfactory replacement for another 4-year old mind and body. My son’s single child status will most likely be my Achilles heal in raising him.
In times like these I find that time and again it works to just overcome the need to relax, take his little hand and go on an adventure with him.
And no, it is not me giving into his whims. It is me relishing in the joy of the little human in my life that I chose to give life. It is an act of appreciation for the life that he is unwittingly forcing me to embrace. In moments like those I am outside, feeling the wind, the sun, the soft raindrops, rather than languishing under a duvet in a room. In times like those I hear life; people, birds, the sea, rather than my own blood rushing through my veins. I live, I discover, I act, I explore, rather than sitting on the coach watching others live, discover, act and explore.
We are ready to start our carefully planned day with our toddler. Plans A, B and C have all been discussed, mulled over and polished.
Then he discovered the tennis-ball! A ‘new’ game was born. Toddler and dad chased each other around the holiday flat, trying to either ‘burn’ the other with the ball or avoid being burned.
I checked myself just in time. I was about to announce that we needed to leave, but I realised that the spontaneous play and connection between father and son was worth so much more than our carefully manicured plans for the day. Besides, we had other days for some of the plans.
The laughter and happy sounds continued for another 45 minutes leading in a joyous day with and an impromptu plan D.