Thursday, December 10, 2015

Messy, Happy Home

I like getting older for so many reasons. I think probably one of my favorites is slowly but surely accepting myself just as I am. I accept that sometimes I am so on top of things that it is intimidating. Sometimes I am a flighty, sparkly butterfly. I accept that in many yoga poses my belly hangs down a bit and I don't even try to suck it in unless the pose calls for it. I also accept that my house will never be described as exceptionally well maintained or immaculately kept. If it is ever sold it will be more like as is and how the hell did this much glitter get so well ground into hardwood floors.

I grew up with the idea that an extremely clean home was the only option. My parents worked hard to maintain all they had. The house was always clean. The lawn was never too long. Any home repairs were taken care of immediately. You know what? That is great....for them. For me, not so much.

Our home is not foul. You will not be sickened by the smell of rotting food in the sink. It isn't going to be condemned any time soon. It is good enough and I am really pleased with that.

This home houses creative artists, people enthusiastically and passionately committed to learning and exploring one idea or another. There are piles of books here and there, at times toppling over. There are musically instruments littering the rooms. Art supplies, and yes that herpes of the craft world glitter, are never in short supply. Projects and intricate creations of blocks, Legos, and papier mache hold space on surfaces for days. And we like it like that.

There may be a bit of flour on the floor from working with lasers. I have a pack of rescue animals spreading hair, slobber, and simple love where ever they go. One old wreck of a dog was given a safe place to die about a year ago. He liked it so much he decided to rally and live on. He smells but we adore him.

Yes, my front porch began to crumble a little while back. Eventually, we will fix it...probably. But there have been books to read, ideas to pursue, gardens to design and plant, dances to be danced until we fall into fits of laughter. Bottom line, we have had things we deemed more important to do. Again, we like it that way.

In a way, I am grateful for my occasional bouts with anxiety. Why? Oh, because my anxiety is the one thing that spurs me on to deep clean. Anxiety is the only reason windows are wash or baseboards are scrubbed. So I am happy to know that everything has its place in my life including those not so fun circling dances with the specter of anxiety.

We love our home. It is ours. It is filled with things we treasure. Doubt anyone else would but honestly, we don't care. It is filled with laughter, intelligence, discussion, and a lot of love and joy.

If I invite you into my home, I don't care if I impress you. Nope, in fact I invite very few people into my home because it is so incredibly intimate and personal to me. If I invite you into my home then know I have invited you into a part of my soul. I don't open up easily to anyone. This is my way of sharing.

Now if you need to keep a perfect home, then great for you. You have to find your way and what works for you. Although, I will admit I am always thrilled when someone invites me to experience their not ready for company home. That invitation tells me they are sharing the truly authentic part of themselves with me. That experience simply fills me with happiness because I am not really interested in shallow. I want to know you, the real you. I want to talk of real things,important things. What ever they may be. When it is time. And when it is time, I will show the real me in all my messy, authentic, whimsical, sometimes a bit scary glory.

Friday, December 4, 2015

Being the Rock

“And Max, the king of all wild things, was lonely and wanted to be where someone loved him best of all.” 
― Maurice SendakWhere the Wild Things Are

My son came into this world with big emotions and a huge personality. He was the textbook high needs child. From the very beginning I realized that I had given birth to a wild child very much like myself. 

As he grows his larger than life traits show no sign of decrease and I hope they never do. He is wild. He is outrageous. He is loving and cares so very deeply. He is laughter and silly personified. Sometimes...he is rage. 

Just like his mother he takes all scary, negative emotions to an angry place. Why feel fear, sad, or insecurity when you can just rage like a charging bull??? An epic meltdown will be much more effective than talking and reasoning things out, right???? 

Let me tell you something right now, I am so glad I had THIS child AND all the challenges that comes with his own personal style of dealing with life. I have learned so much more about myself, mothering, and life through this experience. 

I remember raging out of control. I remember being screamed at to get myself under control, calm down, stop overreacting, and a multitude of  other word groupings meaning the same thing. I could never make anyone understand I was so out of control that I had no control within my grasp to get. If the adult in charge lost it, well then my world completely spun out of control in a horrific, emotion filled nightmare. When it finally stopped I was physically ill and emotionally destroyed. It was pretty much horrible. 

Over the years through a lot of self introspection and therapy, I have gained a great deal of control over myself. I am emotionally and mentally disciplined. I can now put a stop to the out of control roller coaster primed and ready to go screaming out if I would allow it. Little did I know that this precious boy would turn out to be my Master Class in the subject. 

I have learned that when he rages I MUST find a deeper calm. I must steady myself, ground physically to the earth, and connect to my inner source of harmony. I must dig deep and be ready to be the rock he needs to me. His rages are worse with me than anyone else because I am, ultimately, his safest space. I breathe deeply as I feel my own rage rise for I must not allow the beast to coil around me and lash out into our home. Two of us losing control can decimate our home to emotional rubble. Trust me, I know. 

It isn't just about getting through the rages but to teach him to cope and eventually eliminate them. Physically I stay with him. I will not allow him to him me or be disrespectful to me on a personal level. I don't count incoherent screaming to be disrespectful. It  is someone who has no idea how to deal with their feelings. I calmly speak to him when I think he can hear me. Trust me, the rage can cloud your ability to hear anyone. When it draws to an end I comfort him and quietly to talk to him about what happened and how we could possibly keep it from happening next time. He is often scared and so upset with himself and his behavior. He wraps those little arms around my neck and sobs into my neck, "I am so sorry, mommy."

 I have enough time in with this process I can see these episodes are happening further and further apart and rectifying themselves far more quickly than ever before. I have even seen my beautiful boy be able to redirect his own reaction BEFORE it becomes rage. The first time that happened made me weep with joy. The progress is evident on this long and arduous road.

I don't want my child to go through all the pain and self loathing I did. I don't want him to think he is bad, defective, or a monster. These are all things I once thought of myself. Raging through life is not acceptable and it must be dealt with and controlled. I am thrilled to be able to provide him a safe place to be able to do the foundational work. It is my privilege to mentor him through this process.

Working with these issues has shown me I am far stronger than I ever thought. Before you misunderstand I would like to point out I fail, oh yes I fail spectacularly at times. So this has also taught me how to forgive myself and have compassion for myself. It has helped the deep self love I have within to grow and flourish. All the work, all the frustration, it is all incredibly worth it. Sometimes it feels like the most important work of my life. 

For you see he is my Max, my wild child, and I love him best of all.