Today it occurred to me that my children, like everything else, are turning and stretching out in to this world in stages. They stretch, learn, explore. Look over their shoulder at me, and return to me, exhausted with the journey of learning.
It's my job to be a soft and consistent place to return to. Like a safe harbour for pirates that have explored great depths, found treasure, and then found themselves looking for a warm meal and a lie down.
Today I realised, to my amazement, that this exploration, this learning, comes in fits and starts, of each of them leaving me, either physically or mentally, to go off and learn these new things. These are sometimes things I know, but mostly stuff I forgot (like how to walk along a stone wall while singing Johnny has one hammer) and that's why they go off to do it. They return to me, knowing no matter where they've explored, who they may have met or what they found, I am in the same place, waiting with warm heart and ready arms to rest in.
I am thankful for the ability to do this for my children. The start to life that they've had has shown them where my arms and heart are, how to find me in confusing and tiring times. To have them aware of my all-encompassing love is so important to me, because I want them to know I'm never going to leave them alone.
I'm so glad they know that. I'm glad that when they fall down, they look up for me to help them stand again. I'm glad that in me picking them up, time and again, they never fail to try new things and have new adventures.
This all comes to me because today was the end of term get together for school. We went to the park, and the kids just all hung out, played, got filthy dirty and played some more. Alice is an adventurous girl, but a paralell player, unlike her brother, who could never just sit or explore on his own. She wanders off, speaks to people, 'borrows' snacks from our friends and wanders a happy little way. I've seen her entertain herself for an hour or more at a time, even here at home, with books, puzzles, and babies that seriously needed 'ni-nighs' many times over. And today, she was a happy wanderer around all the school parents, one of which has a puppy. The puppy was fine, until it saw another dog and accidentally knocked her over. To which she just got scared, and a little hurt. Immediately I saw her raise her head her eyes locked to mine, saying "I need you to come here, make me better", and I was over to her in a flash.
Now I'm not the kind of mama that removes a child from their fears. Don't get me wrong, I'm not throwing them on a rollercoaster when they're scared of heights or sudden drops, but I knew the dog had scared the bejeezuz out of her, and I didn't want this to ruin her usual unshake-ability of animals in the big wide world. So we sat, next to the owner, immediately. She was still teary, but the dog settled down and then eventually we got to speaking to the puppy again. I realised that it was me, I had taken her there, she had the confidence to explore and then became hurt. It could have ended badly, but she trusted me enough that when the time came, she found herself loving the puppy again and saying her words of conversation to it. It was a bit moment for me, to learn this about myself!
Because I have stages too, I guess....