I recently returned from a long business trip overseas. While I figured my boys would forget I was gone within a minute, what I didn’t anticipate was the challenging weeks following my return.
My two-year-old could care less and is going about business as normal, but the nearly three-year-old is a different story. He is waking up my awareness to non-verbal communication in ways I’ve never thought of before. He’s scared, cries, clings, and then kicks and hits and hangs on my leg, my neck, my arm, well, there’s a lot of hugging going on. Let’s put it that way.
He’s not much of a talker. He and little brother team up against the adults to not speak to us, but then communicate with each other all day long. It’s their little game and they has established the rules without me. I’m still trying to figure them out, so prayers are appreciated on that front.
I think the Safe Haven law really gives moms a chance to establish some of their own rules too. It gives them the ultimate ability of non-verbal communication at a time, when like Knox, they are feeling scared, unsure and really wanting someone to make it all better, without having to explain why or how or when or what.
My kids are such miracles, but the blessing has been in all I’ve learned from them. Knox’s behavior really makes me think about how we all communicate non-verbally. I do often. I hang my head in embarrassment, walk away in frustration, fill my eyes with tears in sadness or worry, hug real tight in love and kiss for affection. It is the deepest relationship, the most personal form of communication.
Normally though, I am quick to speak and not always pay attention to how someone else is feeling by what they are showing in their face or actions. A three-year-old clinging to me has forced me to rethink that quite a bit since I have no choice but to respond immediately, and in a positive manner. I am very open with my feelings, but not always aware of others’ and I want to be. It’s so easy for me to show love to a child, but not an adult who may just be feeling the same way. And when I am scared, even I only want to be held and comforted just like Knox does today. Don’t we all?
Let’s just open our hearts to those moms who offer the most intimate love possible when they hand over a child and walk away. Let’s not ask why but respect this non-verbal communication. I know I don’t like being attacked when I am unsure and lower my face. No one wants to be kicked more when they are down.
These women are making the ultimate sacrifice for that tiny human, without saying a single word. Now I know not every exchange is completely silent, but the fact that they don’t HAVE to talk is special. It’s a gift.
I know Knox is really just finding his way and well, I’ll give him that gift. I’ll offer comfort and compassion, and pray the tantrums will pass soon. I’ll help him grow independence, but realize that independence does not mean insensitivity to his or others’ feelings. You know, many times the toughest people are the ones who are very authentic with themselves and their feelings, because they’ve given and lost much. His mom is one tough woman and she didn’t have to say a single word. She is brave and loving to the highest degree.
So, that’s today’s lesson from toddlers. No, it won’t be a new theme of my writing. (You can breathe a sigh of relief now.ha.) I’ve missed writing this blog. It’s been a crazy summer, and I thank whoever’s reading this for just being here. Have a blessed day. :)