Tosh tells her children, “You are responsible for who you are. You’re responsible for how you show up in the world.”
Before she ever spoke those helpful words, she commented on my favorite black shawl . . . that one article of clothing I want to have in order to write better. It’s that piece of clothing that I had to run back into my house and get because I just wouldn’t feel comfortable writing without it. It’s that piece of clothing that made me five minutes late (and I hate to be late), but I WANTED my shawl.
And my favorite, black, very worn shawl proved to be completely worth every late minute as it was the conversation starter for the incredible life lesson I was ready to learn while sipping a hot coffee.
Here Comes the Double Ugh! Ugh!
After we connected over my black shawl and I explained how I write much better with it, we discovered (of course) that we both have “high-need” children (all kids have needs, some just have more).
We talked about how I have to let go of some protective behaviors that I’ve grown accustomed to over the years. We talked about how she’s working to help her children become their own people in this big, wide world. We talked about so many wonderful things.
I took notes while she was talking. I love how she fully believes that if a person’s behaviors cause strain for others, then they have the responsibility to change their behaviors to improve that relationship.
Double Ugh. Ugh. In fact!
Double Ugh. Ugh. Because one day I won’t be here to help Michael and Mason regulate their behaviors. I won’t be here to help teach what I believe is important to living this life. I won’t be here to provide solid and unconditional love for my children, regardless of their behaviors.
You see, Michael has his own special way of being. He has difficulty working with others who are not familiar with his communication style.
Not all of the time, but some of the time, he struggles with listening fully to others, with fluid two-way conversations, with working with others, with understanding different inflections and tones, etc., etc.
The thing I am taking note of (that’s pushing me out of my safety bubble) is that the whole rest of the world will not be as kind or accepting as I am of Michael at times. And I really, really, really want my children to learn how to get along in this world.
It’s what I work so hard for day in and day out in fact. I have always felt like I’m working for my children’s future spouses. J They are welcome in advance!
Do You Have Your Coat of Arms?
After I listened to Tosh’s sage advice, which I was clearly ready for, she then shared the coat of arms she practices in their home:
In this house, we love each other.
In this family, we protect each other.
In this house, we are kind to each other.
In this family, we’re honest with each other, even when it’s hard.
I modified it a bit from my memory, but that is the gist. Those are beautiful words to live by and I will print these out to hang up and remember.
I’m More Ready Than I Was
Now I will go forth with more confidence when doing the work I believe will help my children go forth in the world with the kindness, confidence, respect, compassion, and self-worth I am working hard to teach them.
I am again willing, able, and strong enough to do the hard work that I have hesitated to do (because seriously, who wants the screaming and the push-back?!?!). Sometimes I’m ready, sometimes I’m not.
I will do it with kindness for sure, and I know there are times I will have to push through. You’re allowed to postpone the hard work for a time. You have permission to not want to gently nudge your child in a new, healthy direction. You’ll be ready soon, and maybe a nice cup of coffee and a kind lady named Tosh will be there to help.
Huge love to all of us on this journey,
I’d love to hang out with you on Facebook! See you there I hope!
Also, always go to Waterbean Coffee if you’re in Huntersville, NC, USA. It’s lovely!