Today was ‘one of those days.’ Although, truth be told, most days actually run into the other and are seemingly ALL ‘One of those days’. The rare days are the ones free of fits, tantrums, battle of wills and pure exhaustion. And let’s face it, they just don’t come around very often – not when living with a 3.5 year old.
Suffice it to say – it was ‘one of those not so rare days‘ starting at the crack of dawn WITH (drum roll please) a complete and total break down. Tears, screaming, complete and total fit central.
My beloved wonderful son has been blessed with ALL my emotions, heightened sensitivity AND a three-year-old inability to cope and process those emotions.
So when his necklace gets wet in the shower, and he starts to sob hysterically, you know you’re in for a great day.
Parenting a child with such a sensitive heart has proven to be challenging. I want so desperately to nourish that sensitivity. I can see how beneficial it will be for his future. His compassion runs deep and this is not a bad thing. Simultaneously, as a parent I wish to shield him for those that will view this sensitive nature as a flaw. He’s a boy, why’s he crying over spilled milk…. and so on so forth. Or even worse the taunting of peers if he is unable to grasp control and master his emotions.
The challenge of allowing him to feel, to show his pain, frustration, happiness in all the fullness that he experiences them and yet to be able to express his emotions in a socially acceptable way, or at the very least being slightly less reactionary to every moment of the day.
All in all, from one moment to the next this day brought forth every strong reaction that Jude possesses. From hysterics over his cousin playing with ONE of his THOUSANDS of cars to being hyper over eating a hotdog, Jude felt the full range of his emotions right up to the very last moment of the day when mercifully he finally found his pillow and rested his precious head.
These days are simply exhausting for us as parents. Determining when to discipline, comfort and turn a blind eye to his warring emotional roller coaster reactions is a very difficult task. One with which I have yet to find a firm answer.
The one moment of this day that captured the very essence of why I struggle with curbing his sensitivity was at bedtime. I was snuggling Emma in her room while she drank her bottle (the one moment of the day she will permit snuggles) and Jude came in to say goodnight. He gently leaned down and kissed her forehead and then very softly began to sing. “Bless the Lord, Oh my soul. Oh my soul. Worship His Holy Name…” He looks up and says, “Mommy can you help me sing Bless the Lord to my sister?” I smile and with a heart full of thankfulness start to worship with my son. I look down and see that Emma is raising her hands, praising Jesus and humming along.
So I can stop and honestly say that while today WAS one of those ‘normal days’, I am eternally blessed to have these normal days.
And in the midst of the next crisis and fit of emotions, I will choose to remember that those blessed emotions are also the makings of a man whose heart is sweet and sensitive and in tune with his heavenly Father. Of a boy who will pause in his busyness to sing a sweet lullaby of praise to his baby sister.
Today was one of those days – and my heart is completely full.