Forget about the parenting awards and offer yourself a toast with fine wine and chocolate

“Alright, it’s time to go.” Sam and I announced and starting saying good bye to my sister. We just saw the last bull ride we were going to see for this year’s county fair.

“What? Now? I’m not leaving.” Kennedy replies publicly.

Obviously she knew she was leaving with us, but her point was made clearly that she wasn’t ready. Sam and I began our walk to the truck while Kennedy trailed behind with a very high stomp in her pink, sparkly cowgirl boots. She stomped to her cadence, “I don’t want to go” in  a pitch loud enough for the bulls to hear back in the pin.

“Stop noring me.” (Noring = ignoring) Sam and I heard her request, but I was convinced that a public tantrum this size needed to be ignored.

Once we were in the privacy of our own truck, Sam says to Kennedy that if she ever has a fit like that again we are going to leave immediately without trying to talk about it.

“Seriously Daddy? If we are at an important meeting and I do that, we are going to leave. Seriously? I don’t think so” Kennedy has an extraordinarily gifted way of being reasonable and argumentative.

I squeezed his hand; he turned his head out the window to not show his amusement, and I said “REALLY!” I knew that Sam and I just sealed the deal for parents of the year in 2015. I imagined us accepting our parenting award and then going out to a fine dining restaurant for wine and chocolate.

My oh my, it takes a lot of love to be a parent.

On Tuesday of the next week, Kennedy comes home from school to teach Sam and I about the Concern Book and Peace Table that her class uses. Kennedy is going to teach us how to incorporate it into our family.

She set up a lime green metal table in our kitchen that will be our Peace Table. On the table, she placed her glittery pink journal that now has the words “Concern Book” written on the front in black sharpie. On the table, she also places a one minute timer, for the times when someone is feeling so upset that they just want to sit at the table and watch the sand go down for one minute. She places a small decorated horse on the table, a yellow toy sports car and a bottle of essential oil for our family to use when we need to regain some peace.

Is this the girl, who couldn’t control any part of herself last weekend at the fair? It is, and apparently she downloaded some behavioral management updates during the week. I celebrated the updated version of my daughter with some wine and chocolate.

I relate to the girl who vocalizes her rage. I relate to the girl who is ready to sit with her legs crossed next to the Dali Lama. I relate to the girl who delicately balances her fierce personality with her gentle spirit. 

On Thursday, last week I had a small procedure on my gums. My mother generously offered to take me to the appointment and drive me home. She had my prescription filled, made my follow up appointment and brought a whole pumpkin pie in her bag for when I felt good enough to eat. The periodontist's office handed her a care bag on our way out with instructions on how to care for my gums, tissues, chap stick, instant oatmeal and an instant breakfast mix. My mother left the instructions out on the table for me to read when I was eating my pumpkin pie. I skipped past the gross parts and honed in on the eating parts. The instructions read to not eat anything salty, spicy or acidic. Right then, I related to the girl who vocalizes her rage.

After making it through three long days on liquids and avocado, my family and I went out for chipolte enchiladas and jalapenos. On the ride to the restaurant, we heard the kids in the back seat trying to establish who was going to dominate the conversation. Sam and I kept looking at each other but not saying anything out loud. 

We sat outside on the patio to celebrate the temperature dropping below 90 degrees. It was breezy and shady and felt perfect to me. Eric was telling us about Friday night's football game, when Kennedy repeated herself four times "Bubba, can we talk about Halloween again?"

We agreed and heard about her thoughts on rock star costumes, Mary had a little lamb costumes, bobbing for apples and oh, the candy. We were patient through it all and shared some laughs together.

"Kennedy, I don't want to feel your shoe hit my leg again ok?" I told her rather sternly. As I looked up, a woman was coming over to tell us something. She said "I think the way you are with your kids is great. When I heard her say 'Bubba' my heard melted. They are so cute."

Sam and I thanked her, in awe. We exchanged another look that said "Isn't it ironic?"

"You're Welcome" Eric added. Kennedy looked just as stunned as Sam and I.

These are the stories I was thinking about on my way to a Sacred Parenting class this morning. My family changes things about me every day. They keep my will to survive strong and my emotions flexible. And right then, I related to the girl who meditates about peace.

My oh my; parenting is indeed sacred.

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Photo credit: http://immaeatthat.com/2014/11/24/red-wine-hot-chocolate/