He was a little happier today which was definitely a welcome relief.
Everything is so magnified for him right now; when he's tired he'll lie in my arms, chewing his hand and allow me to baby him. When he's hungry he'll act like he's starving and hasn't had a meal in a week. When he's upset he goes all out; screaming, throwing himself down on the floor and if I'm nearby he might grab my hair or claw my face. And when he's happy? He's really over the top happy; big giggles, big smiles and full of cuddles.
This time, this toddler-hood, is really tough sometimes. He needs me like a newborn needs the breast and a warm set of arms nearby. He needs me like a new baby needs to be swaddled close. He needs me in the way that he needed me when he was this screeching prehistoric sounding little creature that I didn't know how to soothe or settle. When we have these moments where he needs so much of me - and so much for himself - I now better understand why people say that parenthood is for life.
I watched a documentary today and the undertone topic on top of the main topic was motherhood and how others interpret their versions of motherhood. The interviewer questioned the mother about one of her very strange choices in mothering her children. When the mother replied that she'd cut them off if they didn't act according to the way she wanted them to live their lives the interviewer simply said the following;
"Motherhood is one of the strongest human instincts possible. How will you shut that off?"
Her reply doesn't matter because when the interviewer said this my mind raced. I had to pause the documentary for a second and think about the heaviness of such a statement; first of all, is that true? Or is it simply not about truth, evidence based truth, and simply about our preconceptions when we think of motherhood. I don't know but I think it's 'true' in my situation. This week has given me much food for thought; a lot of time to reflect better over these past two and a bit years I've had as a mother, I haven't thought this much about my role as a mother and parent ever. I've thought about running away, giving up, shouting, screaming, crying while crumpled into a ball in a corner and everything in between throughout this week because it's been one of the hardest of my life. But I'm here; I'm present and I'm trying so hard to be gentle because the biggest thing I've learned this week is that being kind, being gentle and being the change I want to see in the world (baldy quoting Gandhi, I know) is the only place I know where to start from.
Running away won't solve anything, so I have to face this head-on. I'm this boy's mother. And sometimes? It sucks when it's so challenging. But, with all that said; this is where I want to be. I want to spend my twenties and thirties nurturing this little man. I want to spend my forties, fifties, sixties (and hopefully beyond) seeing how he grows and the path life takes him down. I want these moments pictured above and I'm willing to take the challenges if that's what it takes.