Thursday, April 25, 2013

put the oxygen mask on yourself first...

It is one of those exquisite California days, when the crisp blue sky kisses the mountain tops, newly minted from our recent rain. I am sitting in my office looking out at our lemon tree, which bursts with fruit the color of happiness. I watch the flight of a butterfly veering in a dizzy path, drunk on the sunshine. I take in all of it, hungry for the pauses in life in which I recognize and see these things around me...so often missing them in the flurry of necessity and responsibility.

I have missed this place where I can both soar and sink, depending on how far I'm willing to stretch myself. I need to let the words out, allowing them to be free. Why is it as women and mothers that we so often put our own needs last?

I am grateful today for friends who remind me that I need to put on the oxygen mask first, before helping others. What greater lesson can we give to our children than by modeling for them that it is OK to ask for help, that we can't do it all, and that it is unhealthy to try.

My son has ADHD. Parenting a child with ADHD is emotionally exhausting, never dull, and often an entry to ways of thinking and doing that I had never imagined.There are many gifts and many challenges. He went through a stage recently where he was waking up every night during the night, and then getting up at 5am. We were exhausted. All of us. Yet, I love that he still likes to plop into my lap. His 70lb body overtaking my lap, and his soft cheek tucking into my neck.

The other day my daughter put on a new pink dress, a beloved hand-me-down from her cousins. I watched her twirl... the skirt swirling out in circles. Her growing independence is both beautiful and bittersweet. I worry often that she gets overshadowed by her brother, when she deserves to be fully seen. This week, before school one morning, she took out a paint brush and painted "I HEART Mom" in wide green strokes -presenting it to me with a smile as big as the earth, the paint still wet and thick on the paper.

 These two children, so different from one another, and so treasured. Just as I care for them, I need to care for myself.  It is the only way to be fully present...











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3 comments:

Jen said...

So great to see you here, JCK! I was wondering how you were doing. Beautiful post, as always, and yes, we are no good to anyone if we don't take some time for ourselves once in a while.

Margaret said...

Look who is back! Oh brother. Do I get it. Sign. Do I ever get it.

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

I am glad the term self-care has come into vogue. We need it. Desperately.

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