So the last post… yeah. It was kind of brutal to bare my soul about how much I think I suck at parenting, but so so so amazing to have so many people reach out to me to say that I wasn’t alone. Good to know we all have those days (*cough, months*), right?
The craziest thing is that while I’m in the deepest hole of my parenting life, I’m also seeing some light at the end of that tunnel. No, things have not changed in the 24 hours since I’ve written that post. The internet did not deem me a “pretty decent parent” and all of a sudden my world was perfect, my children were perfect and I was the perfect mother… The internet is powerful but not that powerful, methinks.
The remodel has been hard on us all. It’s been tough to change up their schedules, to essentially take away their home, their rooms, everything that they’ve known for the past 4years or 15 months. It’s been tough to put the four of us into two bedrooms, to share a space that is half the size of the house we’re used to, to take away our gigantic backyard and all of their playspace.
But I have noticed one amazing thing that has come of it…
When the Big Kid was just a baby I put him to bed the same way every night, books and songs. The same two songs. I would rock his chubby baby body in our glider and sing BlackBird and Smile. Eventually that chubby baby body changed, grew lankier with impending boyhood but still we rocked and sang and snuggled. He hummed along, learned the words and eventually started singing them back to me while we rocked together in the dark. It was our thing.
But then boyhood took over. He moved to his big boy room and his big boy bed and there was a new baby coming, a change in his life that was SO big and SO overwhelming to everyone. The nighttime routine became longer books and longer stories, but the songs were gone, relegated to the nursery where the new baby would soon take over. And in what seemed like an instant that connection, that moment that was ours was over.
I started singing those songs to the Peanut, rocking her while we snuggled, making the same memories that rocking chair had seen and heard before. And I thought that phase with the Big Kid had passed, that he didn’t need me, didn’t need my soothing words and music to send him to dreamland anymore.
A few weeks ago, right at the beginning of the remodel, in this little house that we’ve been living in, I noticed the door open in the dark while I sang the Peanut to sleep. I saw his shadow in the light of hallway, standing still, listening quietly at the door. My first reaction was to send him away so he didn’t wake her up, so he didn’t disturb her as I put her in her bed… until he quietly said, “Mama, will you sing to me tonight?”
And I realized with a lurch that deep down, he was still there. My baby still needed and wanted me and here he was, asking for me to come back and to sing him to sleep like I had for so many years before.
For weeks we have been doing this now, laying together in the quiet and dark of the room, no longer a rocking chair but snuggled, face to face while I sing the songs that’s he’s known for years. He throws his arms around me and snuggles closer, clings to me in the dark and asks me to sing again and again those songs from his babyhood. And while he drifts off to sleep, all of the craziness of the day disappears for a moment, all the harsh words and fights and anger are gone.
And he’s just my baby, reaching out for me in the dark and I know that things will be all right in the end.