Do you ever feel like your emotions are on high alert and frequency? Like you can really, truly feel and see everything for exactly what it is, and what it was intended to be? Well, that’s how I feel right now. And it’s not a bad highly emotional state where everything makes me sad and whiny, it’s a beautiful collection of things happening in my life, and I feel like I am incredibly present in them.
We watched a movie last night, as we do most Saturday nights after Raff has entered the imaginary land of nod … yep, we’re absolute party animals here … homemade pizzas, the couch and my husband is all I need for a highly anticipated Saturday evening. As has become our custom, we try and watch all the movies nominated for the Best Picture Oscar… so last night it was ‘Lion.’ Cried my bloody eyes out. They were pooled with tears throughout much of the movie. Such a beautifully sad story (spoiler alert), that looks at the tale of a lost Indian boy who eventually gets adopted out to Australia… but can’t make peace with his life until he finds his Mother. Lost children. Yearning for his home and family. Heartstrings well and truly pulled.
Yesterday my little man also figured out how to jump. You heard me… JUMP! With two feet off the floor at the same time. He has been working on this for ages, and as a kid who walked quite late, it’s been something that a lot of his little mates could do a while ago. So we’ve been practicing together. And it paid off. He was down the bottom of the stairs, turned and looked at me, bent his knees and bounced up and down… and moment of air time was achieved … and he landed with a little thud back on his two feet. He was so proud of himself. ‘You did it!’ he exclaimed. My heart melted! I was so thrilled to see him achieve something he really wanted. I was so thrilled to see him practice for weeks on end. And, I was so thrilled to see him push himself to figure it out … problem solving skills set into motion!
He then proceeded to jump an run around all day. We even created a special jumping mat for him to practice on (old crocheted blanket with a square in the centre), and he thought that was brilliant.
The other emotion that has been on high frequency for me these past few weeks has been a sense of competence and capability. I didn’t really know how I’d feel going back to work. I knew I’d miss Raff, and feel those pangs of ‘Mum guilt’ that I’m pretty sure all working mother’s feel at some point, but a feeling of competence, value and confidence in my own abilities as a teacher, have arrived sooner than I expected. After 3 weeks back in the teaching saddle I can say it is just like riding a bike… you never forget how to do it. Figuring how to use all the new technological platforms that have been introduced in the past 2 years is another story, I’m getting there! But, in terms of feeling like a teacher again… I do. And it feels quite great. Fantastic in fact. It’s a really wonderful emotion; feeling like you are good at something. It’s one thing I’ve always endeavoured for my students to experience… that feeling of success. And now I remember why. Feeling like you have succeeded gives you confidence, joy and the motivation to keep trying to improve or achieve more. For me, a great lesson with my students, an in-depth discussion with peers, or simply being able to help one kid understand one concept, has made me feel successful in my role.
It’s not always easy to feel successful as a parent. There are days when it pours down on you… like witnessing Raff jump for the first time, or watching him roll a date ball in his hands then dip it in coconut like a pro chef!
But much of the time, it can feel like we are in a series of battles with our child… a battle to get them dressed in weather appropriate clothing, eating what has been lovingly cooked and planned with high nutrition in mind, for them, cleaning their teeth (our big night time battle at the moment… but I am not giving up!), or even just using the right language and teaching them not to shout… it can feel combative, and very un-fun at times. I have to remind myself at times that Raff is only 2.5… that these things are not always natural or easy for him to understand… and that he isn’t doing things to specially annoy/upset/or anger me… although sometimes he does … simply because he is 2.5 and toddlers like to test our limits!
So, to have such strong feelings of success at work and experience joyful emotions in the realms of my profession, has been overwhelmingly positive. And I think the reason I am feeling all the feels, in all aspects of my life, is because I am so much better at living in the present now… embracing what is happening in the moment… not dwelling on the past, or waiting for something to happen in the future to make everything feel worth it, or for it to finally make sense. I am here, now. And I’ll continue to cry my eyes out in movies and grin from ear to ear when Daniel puts Raff on the phone to talk to me… ‘Hello Mummy, we’re playing in the tunnel just like Raffy does with Mummy’… and bask in every wonderful milestone my joyous boy experiences… a firm grasp on the concept of gravity next? … maybe we will tackle star jumps first!