The other day I was singing in the car, obviously, and little Charlie was trying to sing along with me. He would sustain his coos and fluctuate his mumbles and was clearly proud of himself. I was at a certain point in the song I was singing that required me to sing a really loud, really long, really high note. After I finished, proud of myself, too, Charlie proceeded to make the loudest, ugliest, pterodactyl-est sound I’ve ever heard. Then I realized he was trying to mimic me. I chuckled at the thought of Charlie’s interpretation of my singing. He was probably more accurate than I cared to admit to myself….
The next day I found myself in the car again, but this time with sleeping babes. Knowing they sleep through my singing and music all the time, I almost reached for the radio for company. But something inside me told me to pause and to think instead. That’s all, just to think. I realized I actually hadn’t taken time to just think for a while. I’m not great at meditating or being alone with my brain. I feel things very deeply and it can be exhausting. So I often drown out my thoughts with music or Netflix or Intagram. But that day I decided to listen to my thought to think.
When I do think I often gravitate to thoughts of my children and husband, and basically how I can stay worthy of them. Maybe “how to stay worthy of them” isn’t quite what I mean, but we’ll just use those words for now. In the car that day I thought about my parenting approach with James and wondered if I’ve been doing it wrong all along. I’ve struggled with balancing the idea of correcting his behavior so he’ll learn good behavior with just remembering that he’s still a little baby and will act like one and I shouldn’t hold that against him. I thought about how it is wrong to try to raise a perfect person, and it’s just not fair to James. I resolved to be more merciful with him. I thought about how scared I am to have more children but know I want to anyway. I think I’m really just scared of being tired all the time. But people do it every day, so I just need to have faith. I thought about my Charlie Boy and how sometimes I don’t know if my faulted, human heart can even produce the type of love that he deserves. He is such a precious gift from a precious place. I thought about John and how his gentleness and consideration for me is something I never want to take for granted, something I never want to get used to no matter what. I resolved to be kinder to him.
After a while of thinking thoughts along those lines, I started thinking about the people I’ve met in California so far and what I’ve already learned from them. Ashley has taught me to not let shame determine how I’m honest with myself. Maria has taught me to gently teach James minute by minute instead of dictating what he can and can’t do based off what’s convenient for me at the time. Sarah has taught me that motherhood and optimism are beautiful together. Stacey has taught me that true friends don’t even have to know each other very well. Anna has taught me, or more, just reminded me, that femininity is strength and kindness is free.
I thought many other things in the car that day. Definitely deeper thoughts than any song on the radio could’ve conjured up. I think I’m going to make a weekly date with my brain.