well, ok, semi-sequestered.
the first reason being it was freaking cold.
the second was some much-needed momma reality check time with my daughter.
our first week without dad was a rough one given that darla got sick and required an extreme extra amount of attention at the time when i was now getting used to handling it all by myself again. timing, you are a sneaky snake and i don’t like you’re dirty tricks!
but it turned out to be a good thing for us. it helped me to slow down and spend a lot of time with her. extra time that i’m sure she needed to readjust. i take darla for granted sometimes because she seems to be unfazed by so many things that i assume she will pick up on our life shifts and adapt. for the most part she does and when she doesn’t i tend to be hard on her. i know that i need to give her some room to be a child and adjust at her own pace. it can just be really hard for me to remember when i’m trying to juggle the single-parent thing. it’s one of the many areas of my parenting with which i’m struggling.
so darla’s sickness was a blessing in disguise. it slowed us down. it led to more games, books, movies, cuddles. we had more conversations than we’ve had in a while. it’s nice that she and i can gab back and forth now.
it also showed me that if i can learn to let my expectations go she can be so very good. sometimes it can be frustrating because she seems to be really good for me at home and then with an audience she acts out. i want her to be able to behave even when she has the excitement of others around. but that’s just how she is.
and last week i came to a realization: i don’t base my child’s value as a human being on how well-behaved or well-mannered she is. i need to stop worrying and caring if other people are going to base their evaluation of her on just that. there are many that do. sometimes it’s strangers and sometimes it is people closer but in my opinion they are the ones that just don’t get it.
darla is wildly imaginative, playful, happy, loving and engaging. she will march up and talk to anyone. most of the time it’s inappropriate things like telling every table in the french restaurant about her sores that turned into scabs and fell off. but she’s not afraid to put herself out there and i love that about her so much. i love that she’s not scared. i want to foster these qualities because i think the fear of being who you are is one of the worst afflictions to our society.
so i’m hoping to take more time for the remainder of this winter for quiet days in the house, just she and i. when we can. there’s a lot of growing that she and i have to do together.
and…then again…this might just be a big rationalization of why it was awesome to stay in my pajamas all day for 5 days straight…