Because life
never stops teaching.

Journaling for awareness. Growing for life.
What We Hold Onto

The thing about being the third child is that you have no choice but to go with the flow. Brennan is now two and a half years old and quite used to being schlepped about. I get him in the car several times a day, and he climbs in with no sense of time or direction or what is to happen next. Often I explain to him our plans or he’ll ask me, “Where we gonin’ Mama?” But he doesn’t seem to have a great interest in the answer. He looks out the window, he sings, he tells me what he sees as we drive, and once we’ve arrived to our destination, he busies himself with new details, always fiercely independent and relatively content. I wonder at what age the scales will shift. When will he start to complain that watching Adeline’s rehearsal is boring or protest at the grocery store? For now, Brennan welcomes the unknown with joy.

I’ve been thinking about this ability to embrace the unknown lately, unsure that I can fully get my own arms around it. There is much uncertainty circling, and while I want to be more like Brennan and throw myself into the moment without a care, I’m struggling to relax and just go for the ride. Some things are so important to me, like the wellbeing of family and reaching life goals, and it’s hard to just let go and trust everything will come together. Of course life rarely goes according to our own plans, and so we are challenged to welcome the mystery.

Last night, as I was tucking Brennan into bed, he asked me for his truck book — a recent favorite from our little home library. I looked in all the usual places, but I could not find it. He began to cry, “Mama, I need my trucks!” I tried offering him a different truck book, but it was thrown back at me – simply not the same. And despite my exhaustion in that moment, my wish that he would settle in for bed, I knew exactly how he was feeling. I realized that going with the flow doesn’t mean we stop passionately demanding things of life. Somehow we have to do both.

It took me twenty minutes, but I found his truck book. It was in a laundry basket sandwiched between stacks of clean clothes. When I gave Brennan his book he took a breath that said it all, but I asked him just the same, “Are you better, buddy?” His eyes were already closed but he muttered, “I’m ok; all’s ok,” then fell asleep clutching his trucks.

Perhaps we need something real to hold onto in order to know that we are okay. At Brennan’s age it may be something seemingly insignificant, like a book. But that desire to hold onto the tangible in the midst of the unknown seems a human quality that stays with us.

When I go to bed tonight, I’ll hold onto my husband, fix my eyes on the moonlight and be happy to hear the silence of a peaceful home. I’ll rest in that place of gratitude, while holding my desires in my heart. This may be a time of questions without answers, but there is so much right here to hold onto that tells me, all’s okay.

Filed Under: Children's Views, Goals

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