For posterity’s sake, I continue the battle of the bulge. I’ve plateaued between 212 and 214, but I’m working on breaking that with more exercise and leaner-not to say less–eating. Snacking remains the enemy and Easter with a 10-year old in the house means candy. If it doesn’t, you’re robbing your child of a quintessential experience–but it means more willpower for me.
Today, though, is beyond weight loss. Today was revelation. It’s taken me 10 years to learn what I finally got through my thick skull today and I cannot tell you what it means to me. Words will no doubt fail me as I’m still rather tender on this issue and I know that there is still more to learn, but here it is in a nutshell:
My daughter’s behavior, in large part, depends upon what’s happening around her. This is true, I suppose for all kids. But I’ve also learned that her behavior is dependent upon me and her mom, too. That is, if my body language is expressing tension, doubt, upset, whatever–Peanut picks up on that in ways that I never thought possible. But she resonates fear if I’m afraid and she resonates anger if I’m mad. In fact, if she is upset on her own and I simply diffuse–and then defuse my own emotions, she calms down and gets a grip. As I write this, I know I am not doing it justice.
Suffice to say that yelling at her, threatening her with punishments or any of those things are damn-near ineffective as opposed to calmness and response. If behavior is bad, there has to be response–but it doesn’t have to be bitter. In essence, I think what I’ve found is that my selfish need for things to be “OK” are actually sabotaged by my own unreasonable responses to her behavior. And that was a huge revelation for me. It may not work for you and your family, I don’t know. Can’t say. I know that here, it is the essence of harmony.
Simon has injured his foot–may have done so on our walk this afternoon. The rear pad on his right paw seems a little raw, maybe a little swollen and he’s limping, favoring it. He’s young, he’ll bounce back–but not sure what happened and spent some time looking for foreign matter in there this evening. I didn’t find anything, though I thought I noticed a bit of blood down there, I can’t be sure.
He’s settled into the family so well and he’s such a great addition to our home. I’ve grown to love him so much, though differently than Scoop. I miss Scoop a great deal and felt a keen sense of his loss today as I was in our room near where he used to sleep. He would often be lying there and give out a big sigh when I came in of an afternoon. He’d wag his tail once or twice, wagging not having been his favorite activity, just to let me know he was happy to see me. Toward the end of his life, he was up there quite frequently and I’d see him there. When I came in, he’d get up and want to walk, though I found him growing tired after only a short jaunt around the block.
Simon is definitely fitting in. He has some of the old man’s behaviors, too-but he’s certainly unique. For one thing, he’s a heck of a lot more affectionate than Scoop ever was. For the first year of his life, Scoop did like being petted more, but he never did like to “cuddle” very much and he nearly always slept apart from us and didn’t try to jump on the bed to be near us. Simon would just as soon be under the covers snuggled up next to either Sue or me.
That’s the other difference, Simon is taken with Sue. Scoop was always “my” dog, but Simon is the family dog. He loves Sue and Peanut and looks to them as often for attention as from me. He is particularly fond of the Mrs. and follows her around the house in her errands and walks with her most mornings.
Things are bad-the economy, gas prices, a feckless and incompetent President, wars brewing all over–but somehow, I’ve managed to be optimistic. Perhaps because love is so present here and because with love comes the tight knit weaving of family. That more than anything compels me just now…