Too early for this!
Early Sunday morning (at 4.30AM!), my daughter wakes me up as the “birds are awake Mommy!” The hadadas are making their usual extremely loud and distinctive “haa-haa-haa-de-dah”. My guess is that Mommy Hadada is calling to her Baby Hadada “GO BACK TO SLEEP!” Nevertheless, I drag myself out of bed to commence parenting duties. Mommy Hadada, we are in this early morning wake-up together!
I am the Mom that believes in limiting screen time but at 4.30 in the morning on a weekend, I am putting a kids’ movie on, climbing under a big blanket, and hoping I can have a little nap while the TV keeps her occupied. I tell myself: I will be a present and engaging Mom in approximately 90 minutes. Surrounded by the warmth of a big blanket and a little person’s body, I try really hard to nap. I should have known to put on a movie that I’ve watched 100 million times, like The Lion King or Madagascar, as these movies always put me to sleep. But no, this Sunday I put on Pete’s Dragon.
Meet Pete and his Dragon
I don’t know how many of you have watched Pete’s Dragon, but you all should. It is magical! There are some scary and sad parts so prepare to hold each other tight. There is no way I am sleeping through this.
WARNING: SPOILER ALERTS ahead…
When Pete and Elliot (his Dragon) say goodbye to each other so that Pete can join a human family and Elliot can find his Dragon family, I think about my family and all families. Family is always changing. Change comes with loss and gains. Pete loses his Mom and Dad, Elliot and living in the woods. But he gains a new family. Still Pete’s old family always remains part of him. As I hold my almost-three year old daughter and we chat about our favourite parts of Pete’s Dragon, I realise my family won’t always look like this. We won’t always be cuddling on the couch, her curled up on my lap and us sharing a dragon obsession!
Saying goodbye to my baby
My daughter is turning three tomorrow. Her birthday feels bitter-sweet for me. Three is so BIG! She is no longer a baby. I celebrate this! No more breast feeding, less waking up in the middle of the night, and goodbye nappies and potty training. Am I crazy to also feel sad about this? I know part of the sadness is about wanting another baby and growing our family, but some of the sadness is actually about saying goodbye to her as my baby. My Dad would joke that I didn’t actually turn a year older at every one of my birthdays. I get it now. It was the part of him that wanted me to stay just the same and our family to stay just the same. For that exact moment, we were perfect.
Change is coming…
Our family is going to change many times still. We will welcome new members and say goodbye to others. But I will hold onto the perfect moments where the we can be a family: where we can make a place where we can be our imperfect selves and be accepted and loved for who we are right now. A place where we can create spaces for growth and change… Always. Who knew that hadadas and Pete’s Dragon could help me process ALL this stuff on an early Sunday morning?