we reflect on our behaviour

Last night I put Claire to bed.

“I wanted to look at the necklaces,” she said.

“You sure did.”

“The man was putting colours on the animal.”

“That’s right. We were in the Mayan art store on 24th Street. The man had a wooden rhinoceros, and he was covering it with tiny glass beads.”

“Very sharp.”

“That pointy thing he was using to pick up the beads? Yeah, that did look sharp.”

“I wanted a necklace.”

“You did, and I didn’t buy you one.”

“And I cried and cried and cried, ALL the way home.”

“Yep. You bothered everyone on the bus.”

“I went like this: uh-HUH, uh-HUH.”




We both collapsed in giggles.

Three-year-olds are challenging. Quite literally: it’s their job to make you nuts, because they’re experimenting with how far they can push people before people go nuts. I’ve had to be far more patient and creative with Claire these last few weeks than I ever have before. It’s mind-bending. I’ve taken good degrees at good universities, ridden half-broken Arabians across Turkey, apologized to people I’ve wronged: I am no stranger to the difficult. But raising that kid is the hardest thing I’ve ever done.

What makes it worth it is that moment (and it is rare) just after I get something right, after I don’t snap at her, after I think of something to distract her or charm her or make her laugh; that space that opens up between us, full of possibility. In my mind I call it glad grace, like the silence after a perfect cadence, when the voices of the choir seem to hang in the empty air.

Leave a Reply

Comments are closed.