Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Just One Bite At A Time

Tonight for dinner we had hotdogs. Beef hotdogs encased in a toasted bun with a side of baked beans and roasted potatoes (yes, I realize this meal was sadly lacking in veggies. This was our cheat meal. The relish was green. Does that count?)
Eli quickly finished his food and instead of waiting for me to get him more, crawled with lightening speed onto the table to go steal food from one of his siblings. Addison nibbled at her toasted bun as if afraid to trust the bun AND hotdog in the same bite. Carter sat and stared at his hotdog with great consternation and then he started crying.
"I can't." he said, pointing to the middle of the hotdog.

"You can't, what?" I asked patiently.

"I can't eat the middle! How do I eat the middle? I can't get to it! I can't eat the middle!" He sobbed into that beautiful green relish.

I am quickly falling in love with this age. Exploring the world one hot dog middle at a time is exciting and terrifying and awesome.

"Sweetie, you don't have to eat the middle yet. You eat the ends of it first. All you have to eat is one bite at a time and pretty soon you will be eating the middle."

He blinked those blue eyes, wiped his tears away, and got to work on his hotdog, one bite at a time. And wouldn't you know it? Pretty soon he was eating the middle with no problems at all.
I sat there next to him at the table with my mind reeling. All day I had been stressing about several BIG things that were so OVERWHELMING and I couldn't EAT THE MIDDLE OF THE HOT DOG therefore I worried and worried about each of these things when I was only supposed to be taking one bite at a time.

Addison's kindergarten. This is approaching in the fall. We had originally talked about full day kindergarten but Addison is so small they are worried about her physically being able to handle the full day of school. Now we are talking some combo of morning K5 and afternoon K4 with her doing  two years of kindergarten. I have been fretting about this all week. What is the right decision? How will she do? How much can I protect her from and how much should I push her into? Will she like it? Will she like her new aide? How much will she need an aide? Will her classmates treat her kindly? Will she treat THEM kindly? Is this fall too soon for kindergarten? Am I holding her back because I'm just not ready? How will she do? And yet, Carter's hot dog question reminded me, today all I have to do is make the call to schedule her registration appointment. Today I only had to take the first bite. The rest will fall in line.
My next book. Yes, as much as I have tried NOT to, this book keeps writing itself in my head (moving on from the diagnosis stage and onto life with a 5 year old with Down syndrome.) For a month now I have been torturing myself. I can't write another book! It was soooo much work and took FOREVER to craft a novel on that level! I had crippling anxiety about putting myself out there like that (btw...I received so much positive support from all of you who read and enjoyed Motherhood Unexpected for my heart behind it. I can't tell you how much I am grateful to you. Seriously I think you saved my sanity.) What if the next book isn't as insightful/entertaining? What if I am just wasting my time? I can't write a WHOLE OTHER BOOK! I can't lose all of that sleep and torture myself that way again. I got so many emails thanking me for helping them through various things because of Motherhood Unexpected. I CAN'T DO THAT AGAIN! It was probably just a fluke the first time! SO MUCH PRESSURE! But today I was reminded...all I have to do is bite off one chunk at a time. (Like on Friends when Ross told Joey "All you have to do today is name the main character." "OK!" " And it can't be Joey." "It's not." "Or Joseph." "Oh.") Today I don't have to write a book. I just have to write a few words of the book. Just one bite at a time and pretty soon the middle of the hot dog is RIGHT THERE.
Making it through landscape season. My husband works so hard to provide for our family with his landscaping business, and I am so grateful to him. But once landscaping season hits, I am on my own for the kids most of the week. Solo dinners and bedtimes and errands out and evenings. This is so overwhelming to me every April. I CAN'T DO IT! It's so much! It's so long! And yet...all I have to do is take it one day at a time. One solo bedtime at a time.

This blog.  I can't keep up with the WHOLE BLOG. I can't put my thoughts out there! I can't find the time to blog EVERY SINGLE WEEK! I can't write ALL THE POSTS! And yet here I am, writing just one post today. Just one thing on my mind. Just one bite of that hotdog.
It's a freeing concept. And I'm not sure why I constantly am forgetting it. But I do know, it's nice to be reminded once again. Who knew that hotdogs could be so inspirational?

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