This summer is flying by quickly. Even my oldest is beginning to relate to the phrase "time flies when you're having fun!" She was so ambivalent to leave her friends at school, but now so unwilling to give up the freedom of the relaxed schedule she's resumed. Yes, it's going by quickly, but I'm glad for the short break we've been given to spend as a family.
This summer began with a lot of skepticism. After all, the first day Kyra came home from school, my car battery died that very day. I was stuck in the McDonald's parking lot for nearly 2 hours trying to stalk people down for jumper cables. I was determined not to cry, but got pretty close when it started to down pour rain, and Andrew was crying because it was beyond his nap time. Fortunately a man in a beater of a truck lent me a hand and got me back on the road. Then the very next day, Andrew learned how to take all of his clothes off during his nap, and proceeded to leave a rather "stinky surprise" smeared all over the crib. Needless to say we were not off to a great start.
But the largest obstacle at hand has been overcoming Andrew's temper tantrums. Now maybe I have forgotten quite a bit over the years, but I don't remember the girls going through nearly this difficult a stage. Andrew still does not speak a whole lot, which might account for some of his frustration in trying to verbalize his needs, but he is down right irritable. He screams, he throws, he whines, and is obsessive in doing things his own way. He makes my blood pressure rise. So we have spent a good part of our summer learning how to discipline him, learning how to control our own temper when dealing with him, and learning how to take joy in the little moments. And I think that right there is the key. There is hardly a day that goes by that Andrew does not have a tantrum, and for the most part I would focus on them to try and nip them in the bud! But then I would be all tense at the end of the day, feeling like I have not been able to enjoy my summer with the girls, or my whole family. I kept focusing on how frustrating life is, instead of stepping back and looking at what little accomplishments he made that day, or something cute he did. And believe you me, he certainly does make us smile. I have just been forgetting to focus on those little moments to get me through some of the more difficult days.
So this evening, when he wouldn't stop crying after I put him to bed (he used to go right to sleep, but cries almost every night and naptime...only usually for less than a minute), I picked him up and rocked him. He layed into my shoulder, until his lower lip stopped quivering, and he slowly patted my back as I sang him a song. I smiled as I watched his tiny fingers tap my back, and thought about how fortunate I am to be given this gift. He is a great cuddler, and I will cherish that little moment we had together. For even if he is back to his normal tricks tomorrow, I know he can be the sweetest boy in the world. And I'm sure with all the grief and frustration I have given God for not obeying, fleeing, or having my own tantrum, he looks forward to those little moments with me too.