the #reverb10 prompt for December 24th was: Everything’s OK. What was the best moment that could serve as proof that everything is going to be alright? And how will you incorporate that discovery into the year ahead? (Author: Kate Inglis)
The moment in 2010 that served at proof that everything is going to be ok occurred in June while my wife was away on a 10 day trip overseas. I was taking care of our then almost two year old son. I’ve blogged about it before, so I won’t go over the excruciating detail in this post, but I’ll give the highlights.
I was feeding my son breakfast, he said he was done and I wanted him to eat more because he hadn’t eaten much. It turned in to a battle of wills, with both of us firm in our positions and not moving. Suddenly, I realized that my desire for him to eat more had changed from a healthy parental thought to an, “I want him to eat more because I’m the parent and I said so” thought. Realizing this, I backed down from the fight and comforted my son. At the time, I didn’t look at this moment as an “Everything’s OK” moment, I looked at it as an “I’m a messed up father” moment. However, as time has passed, I’ve realized that it was the moment in 2010 when I grew the most and proved to myself that everything IS OK.
After I realized what was happening and backed down, I started beating myself up for being a bad father. I had engaged in a war of wills with an almost two year old for mo good reason. I wanted him to eat and he didn’t want to and I had to win because I am the parent. That’s not how parents should act. Parents are there to help protect and nurture their kids, but fight them for the sake of fighting. How could I have done such a thing?
With the benefit of time, I now look back and see not the war of wills, but my willingness to drop my arms and do the right thing. I backed down because I realized that I was in the battle for the wrong reasons. I stopped the war because I wanted to be the nurturing parent, not the irrational one. I ended the fight because I knew better and I was willing to admit that. Putting my child’s needs in front of mine is being a good parent. It’s helping nurture my son and teach him to grow into a caring person.
When I realized that the backing down from the fight was the important thing, I knew that everything is OK. I knew that I had made the right decision for me as a person and for me as a parent. I knew that I had a decent head on my shoulders and was, in all honesty, proud of myself for realizing this fact!