Until next time,
One of my favorite things is to watch my child explore. She is now at the age where everything is new to her and must be touched and put into her mouth. Grass, shoes, you know- everything!
Last night, I was preparing her for bed. I put on our flame-less candle, some lullabies on my I-phone, and our adorable sleep sheep (which makes white noise). This concoction has been magic for her. I also brought in a silly little turtle that lights up the whole room with constellations when it is dark. She was SO sleepy, and eating. When I turned it on she immediately stopped nursing and was just captivated by the toy. I was a little annoyed at first, but after looking at her face I had to let her play with it for a little bit.
Her eyes were so bright and her smile so big. She made those squeals with delight I just love and turned the turtle over with wonder, almost make “aah” sounds. When I used it to make whirl-y star shapes all over the walls she just relaxed back into my arms and watched with delight. She was mesmerized by this silly little turtle and wanted to explore every bit of it. After watching her enjoy this turtle for about ten minutes we turned it back off.
This isn’t the only thing she has been in wonder with. My I-phone tops the list, and so do all the leaves covering the grass with the turn of fall. Lights, noise, texture- it all intrigues her.
I pictured myself in her shoes- new to this amazing, huge, interesting world. New sounds and colors everywhere. She is just taking it all in, wanting to experience it all, and learning at such a rapid pace. All she can do now is explore and observe this world she is moving into.
I love this age. It inspires me to do it all over again with her- to sit and look at flowers or trees blowing in the wind- or even a silly light up turtle. There is such joy in taking in the world and all it has to offer. I am happy I have a baby to slow things down with and watch the world.
The past 24 hours have been…rough. Do you ever have those days where you just cannot see eye to eye with someone? Well, my hubs and I have had this issue today.
Conflict is annoying. It is challenging, hard, and draining. If I explained to you what we were arguing over you might laugh. Well, let’s start. (P.S.- I cleared sharing this with him!). This morning I was super happy to go tell him it was time for breakfast. I ran downstairs like a crazed woman. I thought I would wake him up, but heard him in the bathroom. I scared the heck out of him as I bombarded into the room like a slap happy Labrador. Unfortunately, my once-in-a-lifetime scaring him “moment” startled him enough to trigger a full on back spasm. He locked up in pain and asked me to leave. I left, dejected, and mad. Did he think I actually meant to hurt him? Why did he treat me like that? Ugh! I sat in a self wallowing manner for about ten minutes before picking myself up and heading to breakfast.
We had a nice breakfast. I swallowed down my anger and thought better to just leave it be. Ha ha-yea right!
So then we went on a walk. Somehow the holidays came up. Where we would spend Christmas NEXT year. I don’t know what happened but WHAM! Stupid argument #2 in full swing. Generally speaking, arguing over hypothetical situations that might happen a year out is probably not a wise thing to do.
After lots of blaming and fake sorry’s we gave each other some distance in the walk. I prayed. Yea for once I prayed during conflict! In my reflection, I realized a couple things. First, I hate someone disagreeing with me. Second, I hate being misunderstood. Third, I am a control freak and have high expectations- and when they aren’t met it makes me mad!
After realizing these things I felt an answer: stop talking and go hold your husband’s hand. Ugh… why? Couldn’t I just keep wallowing? I wasn’t ready to give in!
No. I couldn’t. It was time to grow up.
My husband reciprocated immediately. I think he was waiting for me to stop being so stubborn. He opened up about his feelings (funny how when I finally shut up he talks!). He explained how while we might not always see eye to eye, we will make it. He reminded me that conflict is good for relationships- it makes us grow stronger. He shared with me that while we want to change each other, it is our differences that brought us together and make us a wonderful couple. He confirmed that he loves me and will always be by my side- and that a little or big conflict isn’t going to change that.
While I listened I saw his point about the breakfast scenario- he was half awake and in a dark place and I scared the bejeesus out of him. Of course his response was to tell me to bug off! (This is a learning lesson- don’t scare big, burly men while they are caught off guard. They might think you are a burglar attacking them!)
Why does it take me so long to see it from his side, and why do I expect so much?
Conflict is good, and moving through it is better. We learn the painful art of forgiveness and grace, and step out of ourselves and into the others’ shoes. It makes us tougher, more loving and way more dependent on God for help. And being way more dependent on God to help us learn how to forgive, love better, and sacrifice our needs for someone else is always a good thing.
Bonus- now in hindsight and after moving through this episode- we are able to laugh at the hilarity of our dumb arguments. This moment of dissension sparked some very sweet moments for our night, moments I am so grateful for.
I am sure we will have many more conflict to come… bring it on.