We are chugging along through this dreary winter season. I always think of winter as my time to hibernate and feed my introverted soul with cozy days in, low business pressure, and maximum rest. But this winter hasn't really been like that. Sure, there's a toddler now. So yeah, nuff said.
But more than that, I've just been pursuing so many other interests. There aren't enough hours in the day for me to learn all of the things I want to learn. Study all the things I find so interesting. Craft all the things I want to make. It's just impossible. So I've been doing my best to accept that I can't master everything, even though that is what my brain always itches for me to do.
I heard remarkable insight today from a podcast with Natalie Portman of all people, and she said something that stayed with me. She said some people have to throw themselves in to things 100% or not at all. Some people are okay with the in between of doing a little this and a little that. I know my instinct is to 100% things. As much as I'm drawn to learn and understand various things, I can't really rest until I've given that thing my all. She said this in reference to parenting in particular. That some people choose not to have kids at all. Some choose to drop their career and focus on their child entirely. And some people happily swim through the imperfection of that middle ground.
I do and I don't think of myself as a perfectionist. I hate failing, or doing something wrong, or not being good enough in any way. I want the things I do to be the best they can be. Yet, I've never really thought of myself as a perfectionist, because there are so many things that I let go of, thinking that it doesn't really matter anyway. But hey, maybe Natalie is right and I am an all or nothing-er. It certainly feels that way when I feel myself being pulled in so many directions and can't seem to choose one.
Sorry for the vagueness and self-centeredness (well it is a personal blog after all right?) of all this. I should add a warning to the begging of this post that the first half is just some personal processing and what I REALLY wanted to do was share a few photos of my crippled little warrior.
Willow broke her arm in January as you likely already know. A week before cast removal, her cast got wet and it had to be removed. So they gave us a soft cast instead for an additional THREE weeks. Ugh. But it honestly hasn't been that bad. Willow doesn't fight it. I think she knew it was more comfortable to NOT move her arm when it really hurt. And now, even though she's discovered that the soft cast easily comes off and likes to remove it sometimes just for kicks... she never fights me on putting it back on. I find that so remarkable. She'll fight me about wearing diapers or a purple shirt instead of her polar bear shirt, or tennis shoes instead of boots... but the cast, she has just accepted as part of her life now.
The greatest thing about this experience is that she's still not afraid of anything. She's still climbing everything in sight. She's still walking up and down the stairs by herself. I love seeing that no matter how many times this girl falls or bonks her head on something, she perseveres. I can't tell you how many times a toy has wound up under the kitchen table and Willow's crawled down to get it, knocking her head on every thing possible along the way. Crying, but continuing forward. I hope that spirit in her never dies.
It can be so difficult to parent a brave, curious, spirited, determined, emotional little girl. Like when she takes off running the second we arrive somewhere new, or when she is determined to read every single book she owns at bedtime and there just aren't enough hours for that (I feel you, kid), or when she thinks "screw the cast, I'm climbing that wall" and just goes. It can be hard to be the mom in that situation, but I'm still thankful because I know these are awesome traits that will serve her so well in life.