Today was Thanksgiving Part 2!
We celebrated with my family today. It was a great day, complete with Grandma and Grandpa (pictured below), Auntie Karla and Uncle Dave, and of course, the cousins! Once again, I am reminded when I get to spend time with these awesome people, at how blessed we are to have such great family and friends surrounding and supporting us.
Today I was burdened by two simultaneously strong but competing emotions.
On the one hand, I was burdened with a sense of urgency. I was expressing my frustration over Jake’s lack of signs. I sign to Jake all the time…at least we are starting with the basic words, like “food”, “more”, “please”, “thank you”, “bottle”, “water”, and “all done”. I know that he knows what I’m saying. I know he understands. And I think there have been a couple of times where he has intentionally made the sign for “more”. But the other day I attempted to get him to sign “more” for almost 15 minutes. During that time, he reached for what he wanted (chocolate pudding!). He reached with both hands. He climbed over to me. He stood up on me to reach closer to the pudding. He communicated to me with his voice. He expressed his frustration at not being able to get the pudding. But…he would not sign. And I was frustrated because it makes me feel like I am failing at being his teacher. I was frustrated because I feel like he is old enough that he should be able to communicate to me this way, and I feel a sense of urgency for him to learn, learn, learn.
On the other hand, I was burdened with nostalgia. My son understands that when I point the camera at him, he should make a goofy poser face. I did not teach him that specific skill, but he comprehends enough of the world going on around him that he recognizes that is what people do when staring down the lens of a camera. And as I came to this realization, that my baby boy is growing up, I became nostalgic, and wished with all my might that there was a slow-motion button to life.
It seems so crazy, right? Two competing emotions, both vying for my attention, both willing me to pick their side. Nostalgia would have me re-living the days of Jake’s infancy, and wishing I could slow everything down and go back to the way things were. And urgency would have me watching Jake hit every milestone as soon as possible, at almost breakneck speed.
I have no resolution to these two competing emotions. I have no nice, neat package to wrap up my thoughts. I have no definitive answers of which emotion is the most valid, the most legitimate, or the most valuable. I guess I just have to live with the dichotomy, and cherish the present.