01 July 2011

Gentleness

Today was yet another in a series of days that began too early, and today was the earliest of all. A few minutes before five o'clock, Lily woke calling for me. And she wouldn't go back to sleep. At six we finally got up. She was overtired and I was overtired and, by the time Adam returned from work at 7:45, I had already had my fill.

My first impulse when tired is to be sharp, impatient, and rude. This doesn't work with a toddler. It doesn't work with other people either, but other people are able to back off and leave me alone. My daughter can't, and she shouldn't have to. I snapped at her once and realized I had to hold it together. I clung to a word I think of often when mothering: gentleness. Being gentle with Lily is always easier, for her and me. That I should be gentle with everyone, not only my child, is something I'm having to learn, long after I should have learned it and long after I knew that it is always the better way. "Let your gentleness be evident to all" reverberates in my mind. 

We ended up spending the afternoon feeding the ducks and walking along the canal. We walked to cafe, ordered a coffee and chocolate milk, and waited for a train to pass so Lily could tell me, "I love choo choos." On the way back, I pushed her stroller and she walked. She waved and said hi to everyone we met. She petted dogs and counted bicycles, and I reminded myself to smile and simply enjoy this. I may be tired as all get out, but it shouldn't overshadow this beautiful life. This little girl, who also was tired, was making the best of it, living in the moment like only a small child can. 

2 comments:

Christine said...

Such important lessons we learn from our children...

A. Jarrett said...

I have felt this way all too often - thanks for your words, it is so right to remember "gentleness".

Isn't it wonderful how our children teach us lessons about life instead of the other way around?