I feel like all I can manage to muster up these days is talking about that teetering balance of parenting...and child(ren). How the highs are so darn high, and sometimes the lows can feel so low. But that I know that somehow, some way, God has that all planned out on purpose. To teach you something. To appreciate those moments so much more. And to learn how to continue to show love to your little one despite the trying times that is Toddlerhood.
I could have never imagined myself writing about stuff like this when all I had was a precious little newborn who just nursed, slept, cried a little, and snuggled. The reason isn't because I was naive, per-say, but because I just hadn't lived it yet. It's very hard to understand, empathize, truly, without having a real understanding. That's just how life is. Once you've walked it, you can pat your friend on the back who's going through the same thing, give that nod of 'I so get it' and that other person feels understood. Like, I'm not alone...I got this...others walked this before me.
Yesterday afternoon, after Emeline's nap, I decided since it was a nice day we'd go and kill a short amount of time at the pond. It's about a 10 minute drive away, but it's peaceful and serene, and we love the outdoors. So we packed up a few things quickly, and went about our way.
When I got there, I did the familiar juggling act, of grabbing everything you think you need from the passenger seat, stringing bags around my shoulder strategically, grabbing blankets, etc. I had both the passenger door & Eme's door open, so I clicked the lock button on my car, so it was one less thing to do when I finally shut the doors to head down the hill to the pond. After I got her out, I decided last second, but wait! I don't really need my purse. So I put it back in the car before slamming the door. Then I heard it. *beep beep*
And that second I knew. I knew I had locked myself out of the car, because I'd put my keys back in my purse...where I always keep them.
We still had about an hour and a half until Declan got off work, who would have to be the one to come save us with spare keys, anyway. So I nonchalantly called him, no rush or tone in my voice, just calmly and casually told him about the locking-keys-in-the-car thing and that on his way home from work, if he could detour by the park to let us back in, we'd appreciate it. Easy as that.
During our pond-stay we had a blast. We laid on blankets. We found tadpoles. We saw a turtle! Many doggies and their owners walked by. We picked clovers from the grass. She picked me dandelions. We did the buttercup test on our chins. We threw rocks into the pond. We searched for bugs. She rolled down the big hill. We let the sun shine on our faces.
And I'll admit that a little bit I thought, yep, I'm doing this. Making the best out of being locked out of the car. Staying longer than I had planned. We're going with the flow and having the!best!time!ever! We're making this a learning experience. Seeing & touching tadpoles. Finding a turtle. Talking about rocks, and flowers, and trees.
It was all good. The whole time was fun. There was no whining, no testing limits--it was two hours of pure, genuine goodness with her. A high, indeed.
And then I envisioned that I'd write about how amazing it was. That my plans got altered a little, but we made the best of it, and our day was perfection, THE END.
But only, it wasn't the end. And the truth is, that although there was this little slice of perfection found in the middle of my day yesterday, formed out of an unexpected situation, it didn't quite end like that.
We had our lows. Very, very trying 'toddler' times, I'll just say. Apparently going from two hours in the sun, to the vet with her pup, to the grocery store, then home to eat dinner just wasn't her idea of a good time. What I'd envisioned as a peaceful deck dinner on a gorgeous day turned into a battlefield. One thing after another. And by bedtime? Declan and I were both so done. So very exhausted at the battle of the wills that had just occurred.
In those moments, though--I force myself to remember that there were good times in that day. SUCH good times, actually. I have to cling to them.
And then I'm grateful for friends who know. Who get it. Who will text with me, or fb chat me, and give an, I'm so with you, friend agreement. Who, in an instant make you feel normal and sane again.
I thank God for knowing what he's doing...and the people he places in my life. Because, for real. :)