07 February 2016

An Unhurried Attachment

Today has been a really good day so far (it's noon here as I type). Yesterday was really tough because Mirah wasn't feeling well, and she was also really tired. And you know, tired toddlers are just hard. They don't know what they want, but they kind of want to sleep, but they don't want you to put them to bed.

But I don't know Mirah very well yet. Something would happen (sometimes I wouldn't even know what it was), and she would start crying, and then she'd scream if I tried to pick her up, hold her, put her in my lap, even touch her. I thought at first she was having some difficult emotions about leaving the foster home and being with me, which would be understandable, and it was really hard to not personalize the feeling of her rejecting me. I did pretty well by just focusing on her and not on me, but it was a difficult three hours.

Turns out, I think she just didn't want to go to sleep. She's been falling asleep on me a lot, so when I was trying to hold her, she was thinking I was going to put her to bed. And she was just really tired but wanting none of that. I felt so much better when she woke up, ate a good meal (pictured below), and started happy yelling again! In the afternoon, she took another nap, but she didn't fight it. And last night she hardly fussed about bedtime!

This first meal I cooked for them. No vegetables were eaten. But happy faces!
It was hard to not feel very excited about parenting her yesterday. I had to keep reminding myself that I would feel the same way if my sons were acting like that, because I don't enjoy the sound of crying or whining, and I don't really like it when someone asks me for something and then gets upset when I give it to them (the way of the tired toddler, amiright). Still, I was feeling really tender and a little scared, despite my rational thoughts.

While the girls play together, I've been (very slowly) reading An Unhurried Life by Alan Fadling, and God definitely used it to remind me that I don't need to rush our attachment. We have the time to let it grow and bloom. I have the Spirit to help me nurture and parent the girls, just as I do with the boys. Just because I don't currently feel as attached to my daughters as I do to my sons, doesn't mean it will be this way forever. But, when I'm not reminded, I think that's where my mind strays.

As I was holding Mirah just now for naptime, I was studying her face. She has been sometimes studying mine the past few days. And it's something I've loved to do with the boys, especially since bedtime is often a difficult couple of minutes with them as well. I think watching kids sleep is a great way to fall in love. She has such delicate little features. I cannot believe I have four beautiful children.

I mean, how could you not adore her?

1 comment:

  1. You are so right about attachment being an unhurried process. I love "unhurried" rather than "slow" because it seems to happen in its own time: some days you make lots of progress and others, feels like none. I think "fake it until you make it" applies here- we just keep parenting with love and grace and trust the feelings will follow. Love following your journey!