As I was putting Landon down for bed tonight, we did our usual routine. He brushed his teeth, we read 4 different stories, played with each others faces and cuddled for a bit. And every night as I start to get up from his bed, he’ll always ask me to ‘get his stuff’. ‘His stuff’ consisted of the 2 little stuffed rabbits that he sleeps with and his small orange blanket with tags on it. This little orange blanket goes everywhere with him and he has not spent a single night without curling up with it.
I looked all over the house for his little orange blanket. It was nowhere to be found. Only then did I realize that he might have left it at the park we went to hours earlier. A part of me didn’t want to go back upstairs to deliver the news to my toddler that something so precious to him could possibly be gone.
I slowly walked back into his room, sat on his bed next to him and told him that mommy couldn’t find it. Then, the devastating question left my lips, “Did you leave it at the park?” He quickly replied, “Maybe I did.” As he answered me, I could see the sense of loss taking over his big glossy eyes. His lips started to quiver and the tears came streaming down his cheeks as he begged me to go look for it. It was the first time I heard him use the word “please” so desperately.
For a split second, I almost told him that we’d go look in the morning because it was too late. Two things stopped me from telling my little boy that he would have wait (and probably be completely stressed) until the morning. First, I said the dialogue in my head, “It’s too late.” Too late for what? I don’t work. I wasn’t going to bed anytime soon. And, I had absolutely nothing to do after I tucked him in. Second, I could feel how crushed he was to think that something that he loved so much could be gone and even worse, have his mommy dismiss it until the next day. I put myself in his shoes. If it had been something precious of mine, I would have been out the front door and searching for it without hesitation. I would also expect someone who claimed to love me to understand and help me look for it. And I know that if Landon was capable of driving, he would have left already too.
So, I looked into his teary eyes and said, “Of course baby. I’ll go look right now.” He calmed down quite a bit after I told him that I’d go. But I could still see disappointment and worry in his eyes and could feel it from his heart. So, I thought I’d take the opportunity to turn it into a mission for the both of us to go and look for it together. He was more than happy when I invited him to come along.
I got him dressed and into the car with our flashlights. On the drive there, I was explaining to him that if we don’t find it, at least we know that we did our best to look and can always get another one. He seemed to be okay with that. Even though we hadn’t reached the park yet, I could feel that he felt loved and understood by me because it was something so important to him and I was treating it as so. It wasn’t ‘just a blanket’ to him.
We got to the park and out of the car. Both with flashlights in hand, we began our blanket hunt. After only about 45 seconds of looking around, I heard Landon gasp.He found his blanket! 😀 He gave it a big hug, just as someone would hug a long lost friend. He was SO happy and seeing that, in turn, made me incredibly happy. Our little 11:30pm adventure was worth every moment!
When we got back home, he told me, “I’m going to bed now.” I just smiled and said, “Okay.” And he fell asleep peacefully. 🙂
Tonight was such a beautiful bonding experience with Landon. I realized that he gives me these kinds of opportunities all the time. I’m just too distracted to notice. My impatience gets in the way. The sooner I catch myself (like I did tonight when I was about to have him wait until the morning) the sooner we can effortlessly be in a constant state of ease, happiness and love. So often, I feel like these little demands are such a burden. And I treat them as such. Although my actions may be satisfying his needs/wants, my energy does not lie. And if anyone can sense energy, it’s children!
So, even though I had to get my 3 year old dressed and run out to the park at 11:30 at night. There was absolutely nothing about tonight that felt burdensome to me. Instead of having my actions come from a state of feeling inconvenienced, everything I did tonight came from a state of love and compassion. I could feel it, Landon could feel it and for that half an hour that we went searching for his blanket, I was completely present in the moment and happy.
Sometimes, my best spiritual teacher is my son. <3