Sliding Backwards

Today was a very exciting day in developments for my boy.  New things I noticed:

1)    He has started climbing stairs like an adult, on foot on each step;
2)    He is starting to take more risks (like going down the slide head first and backwards);
3)    He is really funny- Exemplified by him yelling, “Peace out!” to friends who were leaving our house;
4)    His language has exploded.  He has always been quite verbal.  Now, it seems he knows more words than his mouth can keep up with.  He used to be rather articulate for a toddler, now it just comes so fast I find myself often asking him to repeat what he just said.

All of these new developments and the rapid pace with which things change has me thinking a lot about the life we (as a family) lead.  S looked at me the other day and asked, “Is this all there is?” referencing our family.  I told her I think it is.  I think we are all that there needs to be.

When I went to graduate school to study clinical social work, I had a bit of a savior complex.  I thought that I needed to ‘save’ people in order to feel whole myself.  So I studied hard and excelled in the program and graduated with $40,000 in debt and a big empty hole in my gut.  After practicing for seven years, I felt like I was being slowly drained of my soul.  It wasn’t the work (which was alternately achingly difficult and satisfactory).  It wasn’t my relationship.  It wasn’t my friends or family.  I couldn’t put my finger on it.  I made decent money and we were able to travel and buy clothes and a condo and not have to really worry about money.

It wasn’t until S got pregnant that I realized what the empty space was.  It was the room in my soul for my boy.  I was able to work through all the crap that had me staying a job for the money and because I thought I had to.  So I quit and now I get to spend my days with my boy, creating our family life.  I still carve out time for me because it is good for me and good for us.  Today, there is no hole in my belly.  What was once empty is now full of going down slides backwards, getting the giggles with a silly 2 year old at nap time, spinning in circles together, walks in the rain, naming birds (‘Texas’ was the new one today), getting dirty, baking, painting toenails and so much more I couldn’t even begin to put a dent in the list.

As I write this, I can hear S down the hall (we are visiting her family in Atlanta) trying in vain to get M to sleep.  He is so excited to be here and to be with us and to see his extended family, his people.  This really is all there is.



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