Shaman Boy doesn’t care much for getting shoes on or clearing his plate. Or being ready to walk out the door. Or taking care of any one of the multiple, daily little jobs that being human requires.
He’d much rather hop around like a bunny or ask 2 million questions. Or swing like a monkey from his jungle gym.
I’d rather not ask him to get ready 16 times, while feeling an increasing internal pressure to make it out the door on time.
Pause. Deep breath.
Today I was reflecting on the lives of several elder family members who have passed on. The typical “Life is short and precious. How would I want to be remembered?” kind of thoughts all crept through my mind.
Then I realized as mom and head caregiver, a large majority of my interactions with Shaman Boy are over trivial everyday happenings like brushing teeth or getting dressed. While I may think it’s important to pick the right school for Shaman Boy or plan a perfect Family Fun Friday, his daily – and most frequent – interactions with me are often about shoes and clearing tables or buckling seat belts.
How do I want him to remember me? How do I want to be with him?
Always stressed and impatient? Always threatening a consequence if he doesn’t comply or hurry up now?
Or could I treat these interactions as the important ones? To find a way to make them more fun and loving? To find a few minutes to care for and nurture myself so I have more patience with both myself and my little guy?
The way that I view the everyday tasks that we all must take care of in life is being passed onto him. If I am loving and kind and happy while taking care of the dishes, then this transfers to him, his life, his children. If I treat him with gentleness and compassion, he can pass this on too.
This summer was a whirlwind of activity. Part of me craves the routine of school yet I am also longing for those summer days of my youth when I was turned loose in my backyard and had no schedule or activity to do.
So I’m taking this yearning as a reminder to myself to slow down. Sit still. Be present. Watch a sunset. Chase Shaman Boy until he giggles himself silly.
It’s a reminder to un-schedule some days and just hang out with Shaman Boy. To have days where putting shoes on quickly doesn’t matter. And to be just a little more patient on the days when they do.