I’m thinking about this woman I met on the playground the other day. Well, I guess I didn’t meet her, I mostly just observed her. Her daughter who looked to be about 6/7 years old hopped on the swing and started going. The mother started chanting a weird mantra, “Pay attention, you know you get hurt when you don’t pay attention. You’re tired, make sure you’re holding on. Pay attention…”

Why did she need to talk to her kid like that? She was totally capable. The nagging mom just continued pushing her with tiny pushes and discouraging words while I had Jane on the next swing swinging, “Big up high” as Jane puts it.

It was weird. I don’t get why she felt the need to continuously micromanage her kid. I see this sort of thing all of the time. That, or a parent just talking on the phone the whole time while the kid does whatever.

I can’t help but think that this mother was knocking her little girl down with out even knowing it. It makes me think of how people just fall into certain words and phrases with kids. I see it in myself sometimes. I’m working on getting myself into other habits. Habits of telling Jane that she’s a good person, that she is honest, that she is capable.

Jane on the swings

-Jane at 12 months old on the swings.-

Earlier today I was telling Jane about Becca and I said, “Your Mom is a good person.” She repeated it and said, “I call mommy, say, good person?” I loved that. I think Jane is starting to understand that encouragement is meant to be shared.

I really love being at the park with Jane. She’s at the point where she can just jump in and play with other kids. She’s not in the corner anymore, she’s in the mix. I hope to remember at every stage to keep encouraging her, to select my words carefully and to lift her up at the right times.

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We’ve been in Germany for 1 year and 2 months now. I can’t believe how different my life is. The biggest change is that we have a kid. She’s called Jane and she is amazing. Image

This has made life different but not unmanageable. Becca went to the states last week to see her dying grandmother and she of course took Jane. It was in some ways nice to have some alone time but after a week without my wife and daughter I felt a bit empty. I can’t really think of a better word. I had tons of free time but I didn’t get very much done. I did some work on my bike and tried to clean the house. The house ended up being worse after I got done with it. I have this strange habit of organizing tool boxes and cabinets but not actually cleaning the house. It’s a weakness that I’m working through. 

Another big change that I didn’t even see coming is our new relationship with bikes. We use bikes to get everywhere. When we go somewhere with Jane we put her in the baby bike trailer and drag her along with us. We got through the coldest months of the winter with some common sense and some scarves and mittens. I am so grateful that we live in an area where biking is not only possible but easy. Image

Becca even started commuting to work by bike. She saves over 60 Euros a month by doing this. It also gives her a time to exercise, mentally prepare for the day, and a time to unwind. 

That’s all for now. Things are great and I feel like they’re just getting better. 

 

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