Sometimes I wonder if I omit too much of the grit. When I sit down to write, my mind wanders to the beauty hiding inside the day, even when the day isn’t an easy one. Gratitude springs up, sturdy and determined, like the tomato plants out back.
But there is the dirt and muck and mess too. There is a toddler alternating between laughter and meltdowns. Her language bursts with new vocabulary and complex sentences. She knows entire songs by heart and demands Baby Beluga on repeat. She hops like a frog exclaiming, “ribbit!” She is keen and witty and charming. And lately, during transitions, she exerts her will, throwing her body backwards and soaring into hysterics, drawing out a high-pitched wail, sometimes just for the pleasure of being able to make the sound, release all that energy.
When she was a baby, I felt blindsided by these phases. Now I quickly identify them as developmental leaps. Knowing that they’re temporary helps. Sometimes I’m able to mitigate a tantrum with grace. Other times I lose it and let her know I can yell just as loudly.
It’s hard not to kick and scream through uncomfortable transitions. Adults have their own internalized versions, that undercurrent of anxiety, the lower-pitch of a grumpy mood. Perhaps our developmental leaps can’t be mapped as predictably as a child’s, but we too stretch and grow, acquire new skills, see the world in new ways, grow into the next version of ourselves.
(Post 162 of 365)