Last year living in the messy, chaotic, yelling, nagging morning scene at our house, I didn’t see the end. I didn’t see the possibility.
When my daughter was in kindergarten last year, our day began with clothing drama. Even though my darling girl put out her clothes the night before, she’d change her mind in the morning. Usually ten minutes before we were walking out the door to school. The sock drama was the worst. After she’d settle on an outfit she’d start crying about her damn socks. The seam of the sock had to line up just so.
At swim lessons last year my daughter clung to the side of the pool – unsure, timid. We kept her in lessons. She enjoyed them she was just cautious. If I swam with her and she could no longer touch the bottom of the pool, she would wrap her legs around me and not let go.
In all the transitions of kindergarten, trying to keep drama and conflict to a minimum in our morning routine I wanted my daughter to make her bed before school. I nagged until I turned purple. We tried THE CHART and hung it on the refrigerator. She had three things to do, with me only reminding her once. And if she was successful that morning she got one point. She had to earn 25 points then I would buy her a goldfish. Nine months later she got a new fish. NINE MONTHS. That’s a lot longer than 25 days. But now a year later, a year past screaming about seamless socks and crying about her favorite shirt being in the wash, she wakes up and comes out of her room all dressed with her bed made. All proud of herself, announcing the news, “I made my bed already.”
Now at swimming, a whole year later, all proud of herself, she jumps off the high dive, swims in the 12 foot deep end, swims alongside me. She’s a dolphin bobbing up and down with confidence. A lot has changed in a year.
For any parent a year seems far off. For any parent a year seems like yesterday. The mornings of searching for seamless socks and clinging bodies in the pool was only a year ago but it feels like an eternity.
In the middle of the crying, the fears, the trauma and drama I need to remember to leave room for possibility.