We're finding our new rhythm, our little tribe.
It's taken a while and it still has a long way to go, but the rhythm of life has shifted and I'm surprised how ill-prepared I feel.
I am learning that after school Jack needs a break from talking, people telling him what to do, when to do it and how much longer he has. He needs freedom to run and pretend and create.
(I am totally realizing this now as I type)
He isn't ready to cuddle and connect.
Oh, but I am.
By 3:30 I've wondered several times how he is doing and what he's learning and what sort of hilarious things he's said. I am longing to hear who he played with on the playground and if any arguments broke out and why didn't he finish his lunch? ha.
I'm learning that my need for connection can't come before his need to breathe. (healthy boundaries, I say)
Jack's learning how much he likes girls.
(wish I was kidding)
He's learning all the names of his favorite girls in his class (and they all seem to share the same hair color. Maybe there's a connection.)
Last night he told me as he drifted off to sleep, "When I close my eyes I see her on the playground and she's sad because I told her I didn't want to play that. I'm going to go and tell her I'm sorry and that I want to play with her."
Oh, young love.
Zoey is learning how to play solo and create her own little stories with her little animal friends. She has reunited with nap time and today we went in for a speech evaluation. She has so much to say and just needs a little coaching on how to get there. The therapist surprised me, however, and didn't see the need for the intervention and just encouraged repeating phrases back to her and practicing our speech skills. Lucky for Zoey, I'm a little bit of an expert when it comes to chatting. I'll teach her what I can, but I know interacting with kiddos her age is going to be the best therapy and we're planning to do lots of that.
Zoey is also learning how she doesn't like sharks, snakes, or any kind of scary animal that may attack and kill a smaller animal. Today, during the speech evaluation the therapist was showing her pictures and she got to a picture of an animal and Zoey just lit up. She loves so fully, so well. When asked to say a word three times rather than get frustrated that her words didn't come out the same as the therapist she broke into a fit of giggles and thought it was hilarious. She looked at her reflection in that little mirror and just laughed it off.
These two love to reunite at the end of the day, but my. How good it is to grow on our own. To find our own two feet and experience life just ours. (it's not always fun for us social beings) but it is so good and necessary.
I pray they know Jesus is with them as they experience challenges, victories and trials all their own. That when they look back they see how He made them brave, strong and able to laugh when things are challenging. I pray they see us standing behind them, looking on and watching them walk all on their own to the class or the car at the end of the day and they know we see how grown up they are becoming. And how proud of them we are.
For it's beginning to hit me, the need to let go bit by bit and encourage that independence and allow the natural consequences to occur. 'cause everything in me wants to keep consequences so far from them (unless I am the one giving them, let's be real.) I'm a mama-bear, but I know its just the beginning of the rest of life for them. and it's good. even if i'm not there to comfort them when the consequences are painful. they've got this and more importantly Jesus has them.