Little Body, Big Feelings and the Bathroom Floor
This weekend my son was arguably the cutest ring bearer that ever existed (and yes- I’m biased.) I got giddy when I saw him stand up in his fancy vest, tie and dress shoes. I was so proud when he carried his sign down the aisle (and then back again, and then down the aisle once more) during the ceremony. I watched up close and from afar as he interacted with family and friends and explored a new place and new event. Obviously I was so proud to share pictures of just how handsome he was.
The Hidden Moments
There’s a memorable moment from the wedding, though, that didn’t get documented on the camera. This was the couple of minutes we spent locked in the bathroom while I slouched myself on the floor against the door and practiced intentional breathing. It was the moments when he was yelling and could probably be heard down the hall. It was the moments that both of us had emotions bigger than we could express “properly” and a step away was necessary.
Feelings are so big. They are big for all of us. Some of us display them, some of us suppress them… but we all have them. Now, imagine you’re 2 and you have all of these feelings and yet you haven’t learned all the coping mechanisms to work your way through. You REALLY want to play inside, but everyone is telling you that you must stay inside. You REALLY want the pumpkins to stay in the arrangement you made, and yet other kids are moving them and messing up what you had in mind. You REALLY want to run around and explore a new place, and yet everyone is trying to hold you in one place and get you to sit down and settle. You’re being awwed over, hugged, smushed and yet you really just want to be free.
Little Body, Big Feeling
When I start to get frustrated with my son, I try to think about what he might be feeling and why he is expressing himself in such a way. That night, it was continually trying to run outside and I scooped him up as he kicked and screamed (sorry to those he may have kicked as we moved through the room). That night it was realizing that both he and I needed some time to setting down and breath. It was realizing that we may both be frustrated and that’s okay… but we had to find a way to go about it.
In the moment that I slouched on the floor to rest and breath (and to keep him from running back out of the door), I was both frustrated and yet thankful. Frustrated to be in such an overwhelming state but thankful that we have the opportunity to navigate this together. Frustrated to be in a dirty bathroom to catch a “breath of fresh air” and thankful that motherhood has given me the chance to evaluate my own emotions and responses to big feelings. I didn’t catch the picture on my phone, but I did catch a snapshot in my mind. That snapshot represents the chaos, the pain, and the strange joy that is parenting a toddler… and being able to revisit the world by trying to see it through his eyes- tantrums and all.