Yesterday was one of those days that it all comes back at you with a heavy force and you are sort of whiplashed into oblivion.
Setting the scene: I was standing there, right behind our daughter Ivy, holding onto Leo, and witnessing our two year old prance up the stairs with no hands… and I lost it. Now, I chuckle, rereading that sentence, but it was her first time doing this, being a big girl, NO HANDS MAMA, NO HANDS! YIPPEE!!!! Still, not a big deal. But sometimes, things just come at ya and remind you of something sensitive, and that’s why I lost it.
While celebrating and screaming and cheering that she did it (HOORAY!!!), I was almost too quickly saddened and jolted backwards. This scene reminded me of our first few days with Leo and transitioning him into our home. I used to sometimes carry Ivy up and down the stairs, I don’t know why, because she was good at stairs, but it was just faster, I guess, and a chance to carry her a little bit and give her a smooch or two. However, when Leo came into our home, that was one of the things that I struggled with letting go of and making her do it on her own. I remember the first time walking down the stairs with Leo in my hands, and Ivy standing at the top of the stairs desperately looking at me, like, “Mama??” And I couldn’t, I didn’t have another hand, and I just cried and said, “Ivy you can do it, you walk down the stairs.” And she cried a little bit too, but she did it, and she did it every time after that. But it really got me upset the first few times. Holding on to a new baby, trying to figure it all out, while still fitting Ivy in to all the right spots. It was a real struggle. And Ivy struggled too. She was figuring it out with me, figuring out the things she had to do on her own now, learning independence and patience. It was hard to swallow for both of us.
That’s part of having a second child. I had to let go of some of the things I did for Ivy. Thinking back to that moment yesterday had me all up in a hussy. Realizing how my baby Leo is hardly a little baby anymore (hello 19 pounder and almost 5 months!!) and how Miss Ivy has grown up so much into her own little spunky self. Time just kind of SMACKS you right in the face once in awhile. Well, time, YOU SUCK. I just wanted to be stuck in that moment for one minute and remember how things were just four quick months ago. How I treated Ivy like my little baby still and how all of a sudden I actually HAD a little baby who needed my help and hands. And really, Ivy didn’t need my help, she could probably do all of those things by herself all along. I was maybe a bit of a helicopter mom (shriek), too scared she would get hurt, or maybe too much in a hurry to actually get her to do it herself. Now here’s our girl, walking up the stairs with no hands, putting on her own shoes, brushing her own teeth… all these dumb little things that I did for her because I could do them better, or faster, and now she’s mastered them herself.
It has me questioning myself, why did I ever stand in her way in the first place?
I guess that’s the lesson in all of this. Slow down Kaylee… slow down. Take that extra minute to allow them to struggle, allow them to figure it out on their own, allow them to do it on their own. I see my husband doing this much more than I do, and it’s a good lesson each time I see him being patient and letting her do it herself even if it is something too hard or too dangerous and I know she needs help. But she always does it, she figures it out, and then I’m stuck there, like well shit. I would have helped her, and here she just did it herself… tough to stomach that.
And here Ivy is, teaching ME the lesson on life. Damn girl. You’re a good one…