I’m not sure why ‘control’ is such a big deal for me… Objectively, I know that I am but one tiny part of a massive world and the appearance of control is often more of an illusion…. But still I fall for it, over and over.
Having kids really challenges that perception of control. Hudson came down with something in the last few days and was absolutely miserable. Breathing rapidly, super lethargic, moaning in his sleep, waking frequently. We are still not even sure what he had but he seems to be mostly back to normal now.
Not knowing what was going on with him was hard. At the same time, Eli had a wound in his foot and around 10 splinters to be removed, and he was not amenable to me even talking about them, let alone touching them! His hysteria at the perceived pain was tough to handle, and I am not very creative at dealing with opposition. Let’s just say my approach starts off with reasoning, then, if that doesn’t work- anger. Yes, not a great solution, I know.
While we got there in the end, the unsettled feeling of not being in control really unnerved me. In the midst of this, Dave had a meeting with a Campus Principal of another school to discuss potential partnerships and job opportunities. Even though it was actually a couple of hours, it felt like forever. Hudson was sleeping very fitfully and Eli not coping well with me having to go and continually resettle him. I ended up snapping at Eli and ordering him to bed. I relented a little and said he could read in his room, but ten mins later, to my surprise, he had tucked every toy he owned into bed and was curled up next to them fast asleep. I hope that picture of him will stay with me forever.
I read a challenging article about how we are over-protecting our kids. Eli went for a sleep over at his best friend’s house on Sunday night and I really struggled letting him go. When I told him that I would miss him, he looked at me gravely and said “I’ll be really quick, Mum. I’ll eat my breakfast quickly and be back soon.” It is so damn hard to let go even for things that seem innocuous and non-threatening, how crazy hard is it going to be when you know they are heading into real danger? I agree in principle about not wrapping kids in cotton wool, but finding it very hard in reality, particularly in light of my tendency towards control.
Parenthood continually and gradually challenges every perception you have of yourself. I really couldn’t imagine life without Eli and Hudson. They both drive me crazy at times, but overwhelmingly make life so worth living. Time is already going so quickly, it is good to be reminded of that perspective…even if it feels like your heart is continually being pulled out of your chest when you face up to how much they mean to you.