Lessons from my baby daughter #16.
Miss L can now open doors. Ok, she can’t reach the door knob and turn it but if a door is left open even a crack she will manage to wiggle her fingers in and open sesame. Her new favourite place to be is right in front a door. As a result, all doors in the house must now be opened and closed with great care, just in case there is a little person propped up against one.
A few days ago I was burrowing my way into a large hill of clean laundry only to hear a determined grunt and then an angry howl coming from the room across the hall. Sure enough, a quick peek found the tiny fingers of one hand wrapped around the side of the door and one foot sticking out the gap. I sat and watched. The grunting part came when she successfully pulled the door open and the howl followed the fact that her little foot got in the way and kicked it shut again. Open. Shut. Open. Shut. I laughed. I know I shouldn’t have and I know it made the whole saga much worse if the injured look on Miss L’s face was anything to go by but I couldn’t help it. Mumma to the rescue. I scooted her bottom backwards, the door swung open with ease and off she went on the next adventure.
It is that time of the year when it seems like a good idea to take a fresh, white page and neatly print a list of lofty resolutions. In past years I have promised myself I would exercise more, eat better, swim every day in the ocean, have candlelight dinners once a week, keep a journal, keep my nails polished, keep my bed made, keep this, that or the other. Whatever. None of these aspirations have ever lasted past January. Something has always gotten in the way, either my lack of willpower or simply the act of living.
This year is different. My resolution is to go back to work. It was never really part of The Plan, you know, the one that you make in your head when you find out you’re having a baby even while you’re telling people that you’ll just wait and see how things go. The Plan never got off the ground in my case and it has been a very good lesson in flexibility for someone who was once pretty set in her ways. I’ve let a lot of things go but the thought of returning to work, well that one is hard. You see, I’m afraid. I’m afraid that I won’t be able to have any more children with this heart condition, I’m afraid to miss even a second of Miss L’s early years, I’m afraid that getting back into the workforce will be too stressful for my unhealed heart, I’m afraid that it will keep me reliant on the meds I so desperately want to stop taking. Most of all, I’m afraid that Miss L will be the one to pay and I don’t want her to pay for any of this anymore than she already has.
It struck me, while watching my daughter battle with the door, that resolve is not enough on its own. Her head and her hand wanted one thing but her foot was in the way. No amount of determination or brute strength was going to get that door to stay open while ever her foot reflexively kicked it shut. She was her own door stopper. In order to succeed she needed to move herself out of the way.
My fears are my door stoppers right now. Last year was for resting and healing and licking my wounds. This year is for pulling open all those doors that slammed shut and getting rid of all the blocks sitting in the way. 2017 here I come!