The last few weeks at work have been hard. I wonder if they’ve FELT harder than they actually have been, though, since I tend to project anxiety and fear and frustration onto events and then focus on them intently. It’s like a meditation, an object of focus, and that tends to be the fear/anxiety/frustration spot that my mind rests on, rather than on the wide open space between all of the crises that arise. I think that’s the largest challenge in my line of work…navigating the space between the fires I have to put out.
So, this week I’ve been trying to focus on the large gaps of amazing time I get to spend with Potamus, as this summer IS slower than the busy season. I am also trying to focus on setting an intention for the future, but not trying to propel my anxious self too far ahead. It’s like that biblical verse about only fretting about today because tomorrow will take care of itself. I tend to try and project my current, very anxious preoccupied self, into the future, and into the busy season and think “oh my god, I can’t handle this. I can’t handle workin 16 hour days and shuffling my baby around between places.” But truthfully, that ISN’T happening (yet), as I am currently at home watching The Olympics with Potamus snoozing peacefully in our bed. It’s his 2nd nap of the day and it’s not even 1pm. Not stressfull. No crisis here, and with only 1 client on my caseload (and they are currently in the inpatient unit) I don’t have a whole lot to do.
So I’ve tried to open my heart, set an intention toward abundance and structure in the job department..or in the life department actually. The last time I did this, when I was in a session with Courtney, I ended up having the craziest experience afterward: I got a new job, found out I was pregnant and bought a new house…all within a few months. I was at a place where I was open to change, to abundance, to newness and fullness, but lately I’ve felt small and constricted, like the Grinch who’s heart was too small. My heart feels like a raisin that’s additionally dried out and shrivelly because it was kicked under the couch and has been relaxing next to lint for the past 7 weeks.
I’ve noticed a subtle shift inside me because of this new focus. I’ve actually found several jobs online that I think I would love AND fit my criteria of part-time or structure. Hmm, perhaps my whole world doesn’t hinge on one perfect position. Perhaps, as Anne Lamott says, I can just hop from stepping stone spotlight to the next. Even simply seeing different options for work gives me hope.
My best friend got married this week, and I had the honor of being her matron of honor. During this road-trip, Potamus turned 7 months old! He was such a great traveller!
Sigh. My sweet little baby is growing up so fast, and while I am nostalgic about it, I am also happy that I have been sticking to my beliefs about all things sleep related. Since Potamus was born we have done a modified bed-share/co-sleep arrangement, based on all of our needs and wishes at night. During the day, Potamus was held or carried in a sling or ergo pack while napping. My goal was to have him learn and really believe that sleep was a safe experience to enter and exit, that Mama and Daddy would be there when he drifted off and would be there when he woke up. I’ve ignored the somewhat flak I recieved about ‘spoiling’ my baby and that if he gets used to being held for naps that he would ALWAYS have to be held for naps. I mostly ignored these well-meaning advices, as I was certain inside my gut that Potamus would not be going to college still napping in my arms (as he’s projected to be 6’5, that might be challenging even if he WANTED to be held. Ha!)
The past week or so, Potamus has been spending most of the night in his co-sleeper, but yesterday I thought I would try putting him down for a nap in our bed. There he was, tired,, nursing himself to sleep and I gave him his snuggly blanket and once he was asleep, I crept away. 2 plus hours later he woke up quietly and was smiley when I went to check on him. I relished the sweet time he was sleeping by himself (i was hosting some ladies over for afternoon treats and makeovers), but it struck me how quickly he has gone from needing to be re-assured to sleep and how he is now slowly becoming Mr. Independent. The safety we have fostered is, in my belief, part of the reason why.
So I tried this morning, a new experiment, where he was allowed to “play” quietly in the co-sleeper at 4:30 this morning since he was awake and I didn’t really want to get up (and Boof certainly wasn’t wanting to hang out, either)…and then around 5:15 I hear him quiet down, and I open my eyes and there he is…he rolled onto his side, facing away from us, holding his lovey and was out like a light. He put himself back to sleep. No crying it out traumatized battle for us. Just sweet peaceful sleep.
This morning Potamus and I woke up in remarkably good moods, inspite of the fact that it’s on-call day which always makes me nervous. We had thirty glorious minutes of sweet snuggling before he wanted to JUMP JUMP JUMP. He has been exercising his little legs lately and I am thankful for that jumparoo grammy bought him. And then he tuckered himself out and we took a nap. Well, he took a nap. I watched him sleep. I held his hand and listened to his still-stuffy nose quietly make snoring noises, and patted his back when he whimpered a little. It was an hour of magic. I almost teared up when I thought about these moments getting fewer and farther between as he grows up. Sure I’ve got a few good years left of mama-snuggles from my sweet boy, but not like this…not this still-dependant-sweet-baby stage won’t last forever. Every day it is slipping through my fingers, like sand in an hour-glass. And even though I am enjoying all the newness (a bed to myself for a few hours a night, as he sleeps in the co-sleeper for awhile now, and the ability to set him in the jumperoo to fold laundry for 30 minutes rather than having to hold him), but I get these little whiffs of nostalgia already…
One thing that I think about on Independence Day, is the freedom I have to define my family in a way that I choose. So today, Boof, Potamus and I headed on down to my first-dad’s place for some barbecued hotdogs/hamburgers. We always have a relaxed and great time together, and the older I get, the less fear I feel about letting people know that my son has a “Grandpa Jim” who is my bio-dad and that it doesn’t take away from the awesome fact that Potamus has two more grandpas (my father-in-law and my adoptive dad). Because, there’s enough love to go around.