This entire weekend has been spent celebrating my daughter's birthday. We had surprise after surprise for her, which was really fun. The best surprise was having her cousins over for a sleepover. They spent most of Friday and Saturday with her, celebrating in various ways.
I was conscious during many of the moments over the course of the weekend. I said yes to pretty much every food choice, even though I would normally say no (cheesecake for breakfast!). My heart melted at various moments when my daughter showed thoughtfulness and love toward her cousins. I was firm, but loving (and only yelled once...okay, twice) when I got frustrated or angry. (I really did practice patience, I swear!)
Quite possibly, my most conscious moment was a conversation with my family in which we shared our parenting struggles. No parent is perfect. And while none of our kids is exactly the same, there are many challenges that are shared. Our responses and internal dialogue is similar, if not exactly the same when it comes to certain behaviors our kids exhibit.
I firmly believe parenting is NOT to simply raise little people; rather, it's primarily a means to grow ourselves. In speaking with clients, friends, and family, the commonality is our little loves trigger us in ways only they can. And typically those triggers are related to a past hurt or a deeply held belief. That's why it's so damn challenging for many of us. Not only are we parenting, we're also growing.
Many thanks to my family for carving out time to spend with us this weekend to help my daughter ring in her 8th birthday! I'm most grateful for our conversation and sharing our war stories. The struggle is real, but worth it.
Be open to what comes.