Jump Rope and Terracotta

This kid can break my heart in a good way. She can make it leap for joy as well.

When we went to the playground, she was hoping to see her friend whom we did not plan to have a playdate with. She was hoping that her friend think the same as her that day – to be at the  playground. I guess she just missed her, and she do not know any kids to play with at that moment.

To brighten her day a little bit, I took her to the library. She had fun. She was excited to start reading a new series of book she borrowed.

We had a great day together.

When we got home, we went outside right away. She wanted us to do more things together, but I planned to workout. Jump rope.

She did not insist, instead she went to her swing.

She swung by herself. Slow. Head down. She seemed okay. I kept looking at her. I could hear the squeaky noise from her swing.

I got sad that she is alone. My heart aches.

She came to me while I was working out. She watched. She tried to get involved by cheering on, “Whip it, Mama!”

My jump rope got stuck. I got distracted. She cheered again, “Whip it, Mama”. I got stuck again. I felt guilty that I am so desperate to have my me time. I felt so selfish and just wanna be alone and get it done.

She seemed desperate for my attention…. or

Maybe I misinterpreted her happy gestures. She was cheering, probably to encourage me. I was passive. No words came out from me. I kept going. Unhappy. Cranky.

After getting stuck many times, she noticed my frustration. She decided to leave me alone and went to her favorite spot in the yard – a big pile of square stone that she uses as a table.

I sat next to her as soon as I got done with my workout.

She was smashing these small rocks of different colors until it changed its form to powder. She would mix them up. Terracotta is her favorite color.

When I tried to get up, she asked me to stay beside her.

While watching her, I asked if she would like a baby brother or a baby sister. She answered “No!”. I was just wondering what she thinks. She said, “I want someone equal to my age.”

It is difficult and sad when she wants a playmate. I know she is happy when we spend time together, but some days she likes to have friends around who are “equal” to her age.

It is more harder that it is summertime. Two of her school friends move out-of-state. Her other friends are on vacation.

That night, she tried to call a friend. It was not successful. I think she was fine when she did not get hold of her friend. She grabbed a book to read and stayed in her room.

Today, I asked for her friend’s mom’s number. I made the call. Left a message. The phone rang. It was her friend. Her face lit up. They/we are planning for a play-date soon. Success!

It only took a minute to help her meet her needs – attention, connection and something great to look forward to.

Time is precious.

I regret that I failed to see the simplest desire of her heart, instead I jumped into conclusion that she is too desperate for my attention. Cheering me on while I was doing the Jump Rope was probably her way of trying to connect with me. I could have stop, be flexible, and get her involve by asking her to count how many jump or tricks I can do, or hold/watch the stop watch. I could have let her pretend as my coach. She would have loved it.

Parenting can be tough even on little things like this. All I want is for her to be happy and content.

I understand, I have accepted and it is proven that life is not perfect. It will never be. She understand that too. But I will continue to do the best that I can to be responsive to her needs – attention, connection, something to be thankful for, and something great to look forward to.

I am learning that distraction is okay. It is okay to  Stop. Be Gentle. Listen. Acknowledge. Learn. Keep Loving. Keep Living.

jumprope and terracotta

 

 With all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love,… Ephesians 4:2

 

 

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