his passions now (art and music and sports)

Remy age four, twice (portrait and painting hand). Apple grove and guitar of now.

I'm starting to be able to see those early mothering days with a clearer head.

(The #archivelexseries helps. Puts the photos from then into the context of now for me.)

At the time, I was so overwhelmed, so damn tired; it was hard to believe that anything was going right sometimes. It was so damn hard (and yet, there was always so much joy; yes, both).

But now when I look at the photos, I remember:

we did so much art together.
he played outside all the time.
we went on so many adventures together.
I was as calm as I could be, given the extreme fatigue.
(And I cultivated patience, one hard moment at a time.)

And what's helped, most of all: seeing him clearly right now, such a creative, connected kid. This morning, he played guitar, piano and did a series of storytelling drawings, all before I'd had my first cup of coffee. (M had to go in early, so I was up way before usual - I'm still not a morning person, but someone has to walk a third grader to school and today that someone was me.)

This is a kid who is really passionate about what he loves. Who isn't afraid to do what he wants to do, who isn't afraid of loving what he loves. Of working hard to learn new skills.

And ok, sometimes it takes a little coaxing/coaching, especially when the practice is difficult*.

We had a few weeks of frustration with guitar practicing last month because sight reading what his guitar teacher wanted him to read was very difficult. But we dealt with it together, one practice at a time. And now? He's playing all that difficult music on guitar. And starting to pick it out on piano, with a little help from his dad. (Because the new music is too difficult for his dad to accompany him on guitar, he's been playing the piano more, and then Remy decided to learn that as well, just because his dad was doing it.)

He'll be into what he's into. He is his own person and always has been. He has his own passion. And this is what I want to preserve for him, the ability to follow his passion and keep practicing, even when something is difficult.

And I'm happy to pause right now, in the midst of this parenting journey, and remind myself that that's happening. I am the mother for him that I want to be.

One moment at a time.


* And sometimes it isn't worth it, to keep practicing when you don't want to anymore. Learning the difference is an important life-skill, too.

Remy ended up quitting horseback riding lessons this summer, because learning to canter (going faster) was giving him a lot of anxiety. And an anxious rider makes the horse anxious - that's not safe for either one. In this case, I had to do quite a bit of digging to see if Remy wanted to keep going or if he was really done. He was really done, done. The idea of being a cowboy and riding on a horse had been a fun idea, but the reality of riding lessons didn't match his fantasy.

And quitting horseback riding gave us room in our lives to get him on a soccer team, which he has been really loving this fall.