A miscellany on December 26

A selection of the gifts from my parents to Beren - play food for his kitchen set.
I smiled with some pride when Beren referred to the orange juice as "olive oil" and the Balogna as "salve". 

The holiday blast will continue. It started on Thanksgiving with Thanksgiving and Hanukah. Then Beren's birthday, then his birthday party, then Christmas, then Christmas part two with my aunts, uncles, and cousins, then Christmas with my brother and his girlfriend.

By the end of our gift exchange with my parents on Christmas Day, Beren was vibrating with a wild energy. We went to the playground to unwind on the swings.

It's not easy being three, if I am able to put myself in my child's shoes. Not much is in a three year old's control. To a certain extent, wake up time, some amount of food intake, and some aspects of dressing are among categories that a young child might "control". 

A typical conversation might go like this, "What will you eat next? Broccoli, chicken, or wild rice? We also have salad with dipping sauce," I say, gesturing to the food Jared has arranged on Beren's plate. I try to keep Beren's attention, but climbing is more alluring. I could replace any number of clothing items with the above. "Would you like to wear this shirt or that one?" And lately, the answer has been neither, but with the winter solstice heat wave behind us, the tall people in the house 'win' (eventually) on the clothing disagreements.

Really, none of us are "in control". Occasionally, one of reels with emotion while the remaining two family members are stoic or calm. As a mother, I feel as though I am steering a ship of moods. Excited, bored, upset, sad, angry, gleeful, bashful, thoughtful, spiteful, pensive, hesitant, afraid, courageous, curious. I'm not just talking about my son's disposition either, but all of ours.

Jared and I have watched Beren become his emotional self in recent months. His reactions and feelings have become more subtle and varied. It's stunning to watch, as have most of the events of the past three years.

We recently visited friends who have a newborn. The stillness, the quietness, the dimness, and warmth of their home reminded me of Beren's newborn days. It was womblike. 

In our daily discussion of events regarding our child, Jared and reminsced about how difficult the early days could be. How quiet they were, how slow. It's so different now, but then again, is it?