Even before Ayva was born, she was a master teacher. I learned so much about myself, what I would stand for, how strong I could be, while I was pregnant with her. After she got here, her lessons continued, and I was continually amazed at the things that she taught me. For example, one could indeed make a dollar out of fifteen cents, and functioning without sleep was absolutely possible. Also, there was more about strength. Lots and lots of lessons about strength.
Now that she’s older and able to articulate herself, the things that Ayva is able to “instruct” me on are less abstract and more literal. “Kids have to kiss their moms”, “Everybody has to brush their teeth”, “Big girls pee in the potty”. All the stuff that I couldn’t possibly know. In between these little tidbits of toddler wisdom, however, comes a lesson so humbling that I am left marveling at the miracle that is a 2 and 1/2 year old.
Last night, feeling super tense and a overwhelmed, I was snapping and barking orders left and right. “Get in the bathroom!” “Put that away!” “Lay in the bed!”. The whole time that I’m witching, a voice in my head is telling me to stop, chill out, stop spazzing out on Ayva because she is not the reason that I was feeling like I was feeling. Finally, the voice won, I took a deep breath, and was able to relax. I hugged Ayva up and apologized for yelling. And then, trying to find an excuse for my bad behavior, I said, “Sometimes you make me crazy. And I know I make you crazy, too, right?”. She shook her head no. I said, “I don’t? How do I make you feel?”. She said, “You make me feel better.”
I just…I just…
She was right. I don’t make her crazy, I make her feel better when she’s feeling crazy. And she makes me feel better all of the time, too. When I’m having a bad day at work, sometimes, I walk down to her class to peep in her window to see her smile. She doesn’t make me crazy…I’m choosing to be crazy by not taking care of myself and allowing myself to get burnt out.
Hmm. Maybe I’m the crazy one.
So, Professor Ayva, with her sweet little braids and flower pajamas, in one sentence, was able to teach me the power of words, and the importance of taking care of me in order to take care of her. No more crazy talk. No more yelling. I’m dropping that course and taking a class in respect and awareness.
It’s a lesson that I’m not going to forget.