How to be gentle

Time has flown by like a blink of an eye. Andrew Jr. is now 1.5 years old and Arthur is approaching 6 months. The days are short and the months even shorter as we figure out how to protect these two from the accumulation of bad decisions and natural disaster that have resulted in the most perfect beings I have ever met. I am unbelievably lucky.

Recently, AJ started to display some aggressive behaviors. Maybe at 1.5 years old, he’s starting to realize his own strength. On the one hand, he’s started to learn helpful skills and activities like putting away laundry, throwing away dirty diapers, pouring his own Cheerios and sharing mommy time with his little brother. On the other hand, he’s figuring out that he can not go to bed by crying and running around in the late hours of the night. He also knows which toys mommy likes and will choose to either hand them to me when he wants something or throw them when he wants to make me upset.

Enter in this mysterious Star Wars craft we received as a gift during AJ’s first birthday. Gifted to us by the same special people that gave us an awesome lumberjack outfit. It was humbling to watch AJ play with the craft today after watching his daddy meticulously and expertly put it together. I was impressed as well: both by the clarity of the LEGO instructions and dads ability to so quickly interpret them. I somehow have some form of dyslexia that has always made following LEGO instructions a mild challenge.

Watching AJ play with this Star Wars craft, however, made me feel proud, happy and uplifted to say the least. Never Never Never underestimate what the dedicated efforts of a small number of well-meaning people can do. Even if things are far from perfect, watching AJ handle this toy meant for 7 year-olds like it was a baby made my heart sing. AJ was fascinated for hours looking at all the details of the construction and while he couldn’t quite figure out how to snap the tiny pieces together, the press fit nature of the pieces were just strong enough to withstand his well-meaning hands. Every time he accidentally ripped off LEGO mans hair, he’d patiently ask me to put it back on. And, every time he would flip open and detach the “glass” hatch, he’d carefully hand me all the pieces to ask me to put back together. I could seriously just die right there after these moments.

There’s a lot to unpack obviously behind such perfect gifts. I know who chose to give and deliver them to me. But to follow all that and see dad decide to take it out of the box (early), put it together and AJ handling the finished toy made me appreciate the willpower and spirit of pursuing the highest roads.

Obviously, as a kid, I only ever received the basic sets and I used my LEGO set to accomplish all sorts of practical challenges growing up. So, this was actually the first complete set that I ever received. Again, incredibly humbling. Practically speaking, it was just super to see AJ naturally treat something with so much care. Maybe it was from watching dad put it together, he’s been incredibly intelligent with learning new tasks. I almost feel he’s ready to start making daddy’s pizza with mummy.

I think my immediate next task with this LEGO creation is to actually figure out how to repack it so that AJ and Arthur can have their own chance at assembling it. That will actually be quite the challenge as there are many many small parts. I’m looking forward to a factory reset though perhaps after my cleaning regimen some time this week.

We are not perfect but in these moments... we are going to get by with faith, hope and a rekindling of the purest of motivations.

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Documenting makes the mundane seem interesting. Interesting matters seem to demand attention on their own.