Being intense, and/or raising intense kids

I’m pretty sure I’ve been a piece of work since birth. I’m stubborn, have a temper, and I’m just smart enough to argue with everything you say, aka not smart enough to be quiet. Sigh. Sometimes I think it would be so nice to be a lower key, wallflower person who doesn’t offend everyone around her and has so many fewer opinions – or is at least smart enough to keep them to herself.

At the same time, these experiences are what make me a better parent for those of our kids who are pretty headstrong and also get frustrated with themselves. One of our kids tells us often that they are fighting with their brain that keeps giving them bad directions. I can relate. We talk about resisting what we know are bad urges, and ways to calm down when we are steaming. I feel so comfortable reminding them that I am working on this every day too and I’m a grown-up. After all, if perfection is unattainable even for parents, we all have to celebrate small victories along the way. I should probably take my own advice on that front!

Tess, Remy and Lilou have grown up so much this year, and so has Griff. Even Sylvie is sprouting like a weed, in a hurry to catch up to her big siblings. In the darkest days of February, or this year September, I yearn for sunshine, outdoor concerts and picnics, splashing outside and road trips. We never have enough time for everything we want to do, every moment we want to enjoy.

I want time to slow down so we can savor every minute of it. If only time was like music, and you could “steal time”, leaning on the note you want to emphasize and going more quickly a second later to make up for it. There was an ad on TV a few years ago where they slowed down a kiss, that spousal peck on the lips before running to the office. It always struck me as a moment to remember not to rush every day. But I assure you, the Oplinger goodbye kiss is not the slowed down version from the ad once we’ve gotten kids on the bus and escaped Leroy’s jumping affections. Life never slows down. so all we can do is take a deep breath and try to focus hard when things are going great, and not hang on too long to the moments where things go awry.

As for differing levels of intensity, it would be a boring world if we were all made the same way. We will be sweet with each other, short with each other, patient with each other and angry with each other. That’s the way the world turns. And my hard head will hopefully continue to mellow, so by the time I go gray I actually earn some wisdom. After all, no one says being stubborn is the opposite of being wise.

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