I’m in the middle of writing a different post, but the Boy wailing for half an hour about the last popsicle that I gave him having a little plastic fork stuck in it instead of a “real” popsicle holder, because we’ve misplaced one, interrupted me. He eventually told me as he wailed and alternately clung to me and flopped his way around the living room and on top of the Girl that if I wouldn’t give him a Popsicle with a real holder, he refused to eat any more snacks.
So I eventually decided I needed to attend to this behavior and sat him down to explain that very few people get exactly what they want in life, we often can’t choose our circumstances but we can choose how to respond to them. He could choose to be happy with his popsicle and the other snack I gave him, or he could choose to stay in his room and whine about it. I told him that mommy and daddy don’t get what we want most of the time, but we can choose to cry and whine about it, or we can choose to make the best of it and count our blessings.
He decided to eat the popsicle, and then the girl collapsed on me because she had already eaten hers and thought she should get another one. She has been throwing massive two-year-old temper tantrums, erupting into screams and fits at every obstacle to her two year old will. In her defense I discovered when I put her down for a nap, with another round of tantrums, that she is growing three molars at once and her teeth hurt. That explains the requests for nursing after a month of being completely weaned also.
It got me thinking though. You see, our lease is up and I have been frantically searching for a new place to live. I have grown-up reasons for needing to relocate; the moldy bedroom carpet that hasn’t gone away thought they’ve been in to deal with it repeatedly, the dumpster outside the bedroom window, and the lovely noise of garbage trucks in the early am that accompanies them, as well as the late night dumping of trash and the occasional homeless person sifting for bottles, the fact that we face the parking area and my kids are constantly running ahead of me out the gate near all of the cars, and the baby coming and I can’t imagine having my homebirth here in this little apartment with so much human traffic passing by, the air quality is poor, and we are far from any parks or outdoor places that I miss so badly. But the real reason I am desperate is because if we stay we have to sign a minimum 9 month lease and the thought of being trapped here that long makes me want to scream and run away. I have spent a miserable pregnant summer here pining for my old home, country, friends, family, cooler climate, etc. I have felt lonely, I miss my husband even though I see him every day, and I want to run away from everything that isn’t the way I want it to be.
So while I try to find a new place of residence, without a car I might add, that makes things tricky, I keep hearing this voice in my head, one that has guided me truly all of my life, that tells me that the real problem will not be fixed by moving this month. I may feel better for a while, and for a while longer be distracted from the real problem that plagues me, I am not going to be happier anywhere unless I deal with the real problem.
In a way I have been like my son, whining about what cannot be changed, and demanding the impossible. As I heard my lecture to him today about choosing to count our blessings, I realized that it was for me also. Perhaps instead of trying to manipulate my circumstances to meet my needs and give me what I am seeking, I should stop and truly choose thankfulness for the blessings I do have, and they are many.
I don’t know right now if I am able to do that. Every time I think about letting go and being thankful I feel as though I am grieving for something as yet unnamed, and I feel anything but strong.