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Blog.

LOVE, LOVE ME DO.

Kaylee Page

You guys, I did it. I did that weird fingery-pointy thing you do when you’re trying to establish that you’re the boss. I did it with Bella and I had this weird sort of out of body experience looking at the me with my finger all pointing - and I LOOKED SO DUMB!

Thing is, I had just spent 35.7 minutes asking Bella to take a nap. I KNOW that she is almost five. But she still naps at daycare. And well, some days we nap, some days we don’t. She had been up late the night before AND to be all kinds of frank, I needed a little reset mommy time. So I started her out in her bed, read a couple books and went downstairs to catch up on work emails.

But 30 minutes later she was still up. And she asked if she could sleep on the floor and I thought I’d be a cool mom and together we’d have a floor nap, like a little adventure or something. Because well anything that is not in the norm is an adventure in my books! So we set out for our Adventure Nap! [said with my arms flaying like I’m some salesman selling you the adventure of a life-time]

But y’all, SHE KEPT TALKING.

And she KEPT WIGGLING.

And I was in the zone. The nap adventure zone. It was perfect. The rain hit the roof in perfect rhythm, soothing my soul. The lullaby CD perfectly played, guiding ME TO SLEEP. My head so perfectly settled into my pillow. Why didn’t she see it? Why wasn’t she on this glorious adventure with me?

SHE JUST KEPT MOVING! AND TALKING. TALKING. AND MOVING.

I gave her so many Bella, sweets, we need to have quiet time.”

I gave hera couple shots at Hey, love, if we don’t settle down, Momma is gonna have to put you back up in your bed and the floor adventure is done.

Eventually I realized that I had set about seven hundred and fifty different boundaries, of which I wasn’t holding up my end of the rules I was laying out. Bella, 1. 2. If I get to 3. Bella, it’s… Bella Oooooooone! Twwwwwwwooooooo……and-a-half!

It dawned on me. That whole thing about that, to love is to discipline. To love is to teach consequences not teach Bella to push, push, push it. So the floor adventure came to an abrupt end as I picked her up and sat her on the bed (yes, this is where it happened) with MY FINGER POINTING! … and mumbled out something about “I love you. I just don’t love your choices.” (love n’ logic, you haunt me daily!)

I walked into the other room. You really nailed that, Kaylee. Killed it in there. The voice played in my head, with a sarcasm of its own.

You guys, over and over I do not know who is right. Can I just say that out loud? So many times in parenting I actually have NO FLIPPING idea who is right. She’s crazy. I’m crazy. And together, we can be a helluva-a-lot of cray-cray sometimes. One minute I’m justifying discipline and consequences, reminding myself that this wasn’t the first time I asked her to put on her pajames, or the fourth, it’s the umpteenth-millionth. And I didn’t ask her to get her undies on a hot second ago – NO, I asked her 25 minutes ago, before she started unpacking her entire backpack all over the living room floor.

But sometimes I am just WRONG. And I know it. And I don’t know what would have been right, all I know is that I was wrong. My tone. My impatience. The waaaaay I did it. It’s not cool. It’s not honoring her humanity. Gawd, I hate those moments.

I had no idea how to fix it. 

So I walked into her room. I put my hands on her head and put my body in some sort of fortress-like hug over her tiny little body wrapped and bundled all up in her sheets (need I mention the tear-stained pillow to add to my guilt). And I whispered into her tiny little earever. so. slowly:

Bella. I don’t always know how to DO-Love.

{then I paused a little pause}

But I will always, always always love you.

That’s it.

That’s all I can do.

For that moment.

Admit it. Confess it. Call it what it is. A bad-do at love!

I’m learning that a bad moment doesn’t make a bad day. That an icky here or icky there doesn’t make a whole day icky. My friend shared with me this fall. She said it so much beautifullier than that; that's my best attempt to paraphrase it. 

But it was just this idea that moments come and moments go. They don't define a whole day, a whole week or our whole selves. They just come. And they go. 

I can’t always Do-Love well. But I wanna keep trying. I mean, as the Beatles put it: love, love-me do!

God never expected me to love-me-do perfectly!

He just gave me a whole lot of new mercies. Lots of resets. And a shit ton of re-dos.

I’m learning, ever so slowly, to embrace all of it. All of me. To do love as best I can; and let the light shine in on the cracks.

And when I mess up... confess. That's all I can do. For that moment. To own it. To uncover that which should never be tucked "under a rug" (or in my case, what I found tucked under a nap time blanket!) To cover the moment with truth. It always sets us free, dammit, truth always sets us free. And truth was I didn't DO love very well. But I will always, always, always keep choosing love.