Maybe there’s a way out of the cage where you live
Maybe one of these days you can let the light in
How big your brave is
–Sara Bareilles, “Brave”
I moved on Thursday last week and it’s been hitting me all weekend at random intervals: I did it. I got out. It’s done.
Then, this morning, I got in the car to go to work, the above quoted song came on, and I started to cry. There was a way out. I did let the light in.
I showed him how big my brave is. I showed myself how big my brave is.
It turns out that my brave is pretty goddamn big.
This is the hardest thing I have ever done in my whole life – and I’ve gone through some pretty shitty times – but it has taught me more about who I really am and what I’m really capable of than anything else I’ve been through. Divorce is terrible and awful and demoralizing and ghastly.
Divorce is also empowering.
I never knew I had it in me. But, GODDAMN, look at the size of my brave.
Jamie is officially a non-napping kid. Which means that we are officially a non-napping household. This is bittersweet. The bitter: no more quiet time for Mommy mid-day. The sweet: no longer being held hostage to a nap schedule.
I’ve been held to a nap schedule for almost 8 years now between Liam and Jamie. Liam gave up his nap a little earlier than Jamie and with more fuss and argument about it. Worse, he did it while I was early pregnant with Jamie and it about killed me. I couldn’t get him to accept quiet time in his room and if I did get him to nap, he’d wake up 30 min later screaming and it would take me another 30 min to calm him down. It just wasn’t worth it. So I gave up trying and let him stay up.
Jamie gave me less trouble – perhaps because he gave me SO MUCH TROUBLE when he was an infant. Even if he didn’t want to sleep he’d read books or chat to himself in his room for an hour or more when I put him in there. So I still got quiet time out of him. More of then than not, he would then fall asleep for an hour or so.
But he started having trouble going to sleep at night. He never caused a real problem, per se, he would just chat to himself and play in bed for however long it was he had napped that day and THEN fall asleep. The days when he got no nap? He went to sleep pronto.
So, I finally steeled myself for the inevitable and last week I just stopped asking him to nap or have quiet time. We’ve had some difficult evenings with him but it has now been 8 days with no nap and he’s in the groove.
It’s one more step out of the baby/toddler days and into being a big kid.
Liam is nearly 6.5 years old and doesn’t know how to tie his own shoes. There are two reasons for this. The first is that I’m lazy and haven’t sat down to teach him. The second is that I’m lazy and I don’t buy him shoes with laces. So, everything is velcro and he can get them on without my help.
But, I have a very clear memory of myself in kindergarten. I remember that there were construction paper cut outs of shoes hanging on the wall in the classroom with various class members names on them. I approached the teacher and asked her why my name wasn’t up there. She told me that those were the kids that could tie their own shoes. My response was classic. “Oh that? I’ve been able to do that for ages!” Then I proceeded to demonstrate for her so she could put my name on one of those construction paper shoes.
Here Liam is, just 6 weeks away from starting first grade and he doesn’t have that knowledge. Yesterday I sat down with him and a pair of my cross trainers to coax him through this young rite of passage.
I figured it would take more than one teaching session and quite a bit more practice but in about 15 minutes flat he picked up. He started to get frustrated a couple of times but I tried to keep it fun and he worked with me until he was doing it all by himself without me talking him through it.
The next thing I knew he was clomping around like this:
Next up: buying him tie shoes of his very own.