The other day I was walking with a friend. We were going on and on about all the marvelous things happening around us and all the marvelous places we had been that week and all the marvelous people we had met. And it dawned on me, that that feeling I was having of being so completely blown away by the pure beauty of all these things, was exactly the parenting tool I needed to put in my toolbox.
I needed to marvel at my children.
Not in the bragging way that the title of this blog post suggests. Not in the oh wow they’ve won an honors award or created a prosthetic hand for science fair or even passed all their classes. But in the way of just simply marveling. In the true sense of the word based on the definition I found…
1. to wonder at (usually followed by a clause as object): I marvel that you were able to succeed against such odds.
2. to wonder or be curious about (usually followed by a clause as object): A child marvels that the stars can be.
Everyday I wonder about these amazing beings of mine. All four them. So unique and yet so much the same. Their own selves since the moment they were born and yet so much a part of me and each other.
Everyday I am curious about their existence. Wow. I made you in my body and now, here you are, learning to read, drive, do a handstand, write a paper, swim for miles, photoshop, even text, and ollie the 8 stair at the skatepark after a thousand attempts that I could not bear to watch.
Even the traits of theirs that make me blow a fuse, like when they argue their point incessantly, or choose to stay up until 3 am because they were watching a movie they love or talking into the wee hours with friends, even those things are to be marveled at, when I can step away for a moment, and stop raging and really ponder what it is they’re doing. They’re defending their position, fighting for their desire, fulfilling a passion and creating deep, passionate connection. And though the immediate result might be a fight, or a tired, cranky day, and though I might want to flip off said child in the moment
, like Kelly Corrigan so astutely noted in her memoir
, in the big picture it’s all marvelous. Truly. A trait, a person, an act to marvel.
So today, and everyday, and maybe especially when I’m pissed, I’m going to try to remember to marvel at my children.