my best teachers

"But I wove him." Mateo whimpers in a sad voice as he watches me crush a cockroach with a shoe and sweep it away. He seems confused because just moments before we were running out the door to get Hannah to the bus when we noticed that a worm was going to get smushed in our path. Mateo wanted to save him and take him to dirt. I stopped, we saved and grins filled the tiny face. So I am sure he was guessing that I had made a turn for kindness towards insects and he felt we had bonded in our rescue efforts only to find yet another creature right near our breakfast table that I smashed without hesitation. As Mateo shared his dismay with me over killing apparently his "favorite one," I had a brief moment of empathy for the lack of control and understanding in a 3 year old body.

So very little that he gets to choose at this point and the rules of the world appear to be baffling to him. For example, yelling "NO!" back at your mother when she makes a request like "go potty" or "put your shoes on" is actually not an option. These requests are not questions and the timing of which they take place are nearly never at your discretion, they are to be done as fast as the words leave my mouth before I give up and you are walking barefoot and it hurts with all the pokey things on the ground. 

I too feel baffled by our days figuring out this world together. It often has me feeling quite unstable. At the dinner table tonight, Mateo invited me to play a game of the switching face expressions which actually had me belly laughing. He recently discovered the art of fake laughing, and he took it to a new level when he abruptly stopped laughing and made a serious face, then back to laughing, then back to serious, then back to laughing. Which I actually found so wildly entertaining watching him navigate with his grey toothed fake laugh. It brought deep laughter to my giggles which were supposed to only last 20 seconds before turning serious so I lost that game. In those moments I fall for him so deeply, he is so inviting and warm and it truly takes SO VERY little to have him feel joined and therefore delighted. Still those moments can be rare in days I can't stop. 

Last but not least of my three short Teo anecdotes of the day, is that he seems to have take after his sister a bit in his keen awareness of moods and lack of appreciation for bad tones. He has begun reading faces very quickly and you ask, "what matter mom?" (or anyone that you can tell seems off). It kind of stops me in my tracks when I realize he sees so well and that building emotional intelligence begins so very young and can be honored. He also seems aware when words are too harsh and the tone is heavy, and yesterday when I was speaking in that firm tone with not as encouraging words, he began a cry and said, "don't talk like that with those words at me." I was mad, you had been disobedient, and yet I also scared you. And you called me for my unkindness and high volume. And I think you were right, I shouldn't talk at that pitch with those words to you - thanks for calling me out - mr. 3 years old. 

So, all this to say, my stay-conscious stay-at-home battle continues, and yet, "I see you Mateo," you are bright and emotional and loving. These days are so dang complicated and while there are many I wish away, there are some, when I see crystal clear the sacredness of these moments I get to share with you over bugs, fake laughter, and loud tones. My mother always told me she learned so much from us kids and for a long time I thought she seemed wise enough and she was just being nice.  Now I am coming to realize that hands down the greatest teachers of my last six months are 3 and 9. Good Lord, may I keep up and open.