Sunday, May 2, 2010

the river, it flows by itself

Ever since Anna attended one of my birth workshops with her hubbie and full-belly in tow, we have enjoyed a constant conversation over email. Last week I sent her a quick reply and two of the four sentences went like this:

"I have had the most challenging morning with my determined toddler.
Will write a longer email soon."
Anna wrote me this morning and said she thought that because I never write about toddler craziness and antics she presumed they never happen in my house. And then she reminded me of this post I wrote. A post that I needed to read again.
While I reflect on the growth, joy and love in this space please don't ever think that it's all bliss and incense in my life. It's not and I don't ever expect it to be. The last few weeks have been particularly challenging because of the change recently mentioned. I've been a little nervous and stressed and I think it's infiltrated into our family life. At the same time Ché is gaining such wonderful independence and it was only today when I looked at the picture I took of him that it all made sense. Like I have been struggling with my role as muma, partner, yoga teacher, professional writer he is contemplating much bigger things. I'm sure, sub-consciously he is wondering whether he is a baby or a big boy. I can see it in this photo.
He is regularly explaining to me that he is a big boy and yet he's spending more time in our bed at night than he has in months. He wants to do everything himself and yet there are times when he wants nothing more than to be snuggled, cuddled and kissed.

It is human nature to always look forward; to plan, prepare, think about tomorrow. And yet the essence of yoga is to be in the present - right here, in the now. Yesterday in my pre-natal class there was one girl so close to birthing her baby and I could tell how challenged she was by time. "I'm counting down the days," she said. But she is only 38 weeks and perhaps, if her baby decides, she could be pregnant for another month. I reminded her of how precious it is to be one with her baby because once the cord is cut, the oness and wholeness is gone. I reminded her to find peace in her body, breath and baby. To find joy in the present. In today.

I have been getting quite stressed and upset by Ché's tantrums and determination and yet I think it's him just being overwhelmed by his world. I have noticed whenever we walk somewhere that I am thinking about the destination and he is consumed by the cracks in the pavement, the trail of ants in his wake, the pebbles under the tree. His world is the minutiae even though he calls himself a 'big boy'. I have to remember that.

I love this quote:

"Don't push the river, it flows by itself."
Thanks for all your well-wishes re. my new job. Result? It was exciting, inspiring and wonderful. I feel like I've fallen on my feet.


  1. Sounds to me like a muma is also thinking about her role and place in the world.
    Change will happen. It's OK.

  2. Oh Jod's so many big changes and i was so hoping to see you on thursday to catch up on all of your news. Hope you are well. Clever girl as always you land on your feet and those beautiful boys help to steady that fall.
    Good luck with the job and we have to catch

  3. Hi, Jodie, what a lovely post, and with so many beautiful reminders. My daughter, Luna, is only eight months old, and I remind myself now and then to enjoy this phase because it's going so quickly. The other day when she crawled for the first time, I cried. Perhaps it sounds silly, but her crawling is symbolic in that she is mobile now. I'm sure all mama bloggers go through hectic moments, and whether they choose to focus on it or not is up to them (though it is reassuring when they admit, "yes, I have a hard time sometimes too!). Your blog is beautiful, and I always enjoy reading it.

    Please come over to sometime if you like.

    Thanks for sharing, and lovely photograph of your son. I'm sure the tantrums will subside. I've been reading this amazing book on parenting, _Unconditional Parenting_ ... that emphasizes how necessary it is to be with your child and to look past the behavior to the child and try to determine what's going on in his little mind and world (which he probably can't express very well). There's usually a reason for what he's doing, even though he might not understand it himself. It sounds as though you already have an intuitive sense of this, too, and that's wonderful.

  4. Oh Jodi this post touched me daughter has just started at Montessori pre school, the Mr is starting a new business and I am working on a few things - it sounds like we are following a similar path at the girl is finding it challenging to work out her position in the world as I am.....thank you ...I know now when I sit cuddling her after a 'meltdown' I am not alone x

  5. totally know how you feel....peace, jamie

  6. I had a realisation while talking to Poppy's pshycologist (long story, needed after the bridge taking incident) and she was explaining to me that children 2-3 feel the need to do things for themsleves and want independence, but once they decide that they can are worried that they don't need you or that you aren't giving them the same amount of time (as you can get a few things done while they exert their independence) and they panic and revert back to some of the 'baby' activity, like snuggling in bed or tantruming to get your attention. I find that Poppy will be naughty with me after I have left her with someone else to make sure I understand her disapproval once I get home, even though she has been fine and happy where she was. I know that the best thing to do is ignore the 'attention tantrum' that can be easier said then done. I have come torealise though that the calmer I am the calmer they are and more open to listening.
    Not that I really know anything, I don't want to sound like adivce.
    I am sure you and your beautiful boy have many more fantastic journeys ahead.

  7. What a wonderful quote - I need that at the moment...

  8. I am always telling myself to sit look, listen and remember this time b/c they are growing and its going too fast.

  9. Another beautiful post Jodi. Thanks so much for sharing this. It is another one I will bookmark and read often.

    Anna xx

    PS. I'm still waiting on that email ;)

  10. i identify so much with this post, jodi! how beautifully you articulate the growing pains of both mother and child :) Thank you for the reminder that the most important thing is to be in the moment.

  11. Wonderful words Jodi.

    People who visit my blog often comment on how idyllic our life seems. . . I feel like have to put a disclaimer on it reassuring them that the challenging stuff does exist too!

    Change is always a bit unsettling (for everyone). . . but exciting too!


  12. Hi Jodie

    I have been following you for a while, but this is the first time that I have commented.

    I love the river quote, it's something I try to live by. There is no point in trying to swim up stream, because our life will just take us where it's meant to go anyway. So we should just enjoy the ride.

    Children are so good at reminding us to live in the present moment. They don't care about a deadline or next week's big event.

    Unfortunately, we are the ones who teach them that the next moment is more important than the present. It's the problem with trying to raise children in our modern life.

    Good luck with the new job, it looks like the river took you there with no effort :).

    Beautiful blog, btw.

  13. I've never commented before but I thought I would today! I love this post. It's so refreshing to hear about someone in the midst of change and thriving on it. I don't have a child but your advice is wonderful and so apt for me at the moment. My life is also in flux. Thank you! Oh, and best of luck with your new job!

  14. Lucky Che has such a wise mama who totally "gets it". Change is in the air and little ones can sense it. He is also in transition it sounds and I am sure you're working through it as gracefully as you can together as a family. Hope the new job is working the way you hoped. xo m.