body challenges, child’s preference for others

My neck feels like someone’s stuck iron rods up either side of it. I think the combination of getting sick, having a couple of migraines in a row, and all the practicing have challenged me physically. I am going to see if I can get a massage tomorrow. I have tons of work on my plate, and need to stay somewhat flexible and limber for it.

—–

Those periods of time in which your child shows a preference for someone else, whether it’s your partner, or other caregiver, are emotionally tough. Joanna used to happily snuggle into me at almost any opportunity, but these days she’s reaching out for Ted and our nanny, and deliberately leaning away from me. I know intellectually that I must not take it personally, that it is not about me, but it is nonetheless hard to process. And I tend to start extrapolating all sorts of implications about how I am the lesser parent, that it’s because I’m not present enough, not sufficiently engaged with her, etc. And then I feel bad, feel ashamed, and then I feel an inner tendency either to withdraw or to overcompensate in my interactions with her. I know that the answer is simply (though it doesn’t feel simple) to enjoy the times she wants to be with me, and to gracefully let her go when she doesn’t. But there are days when I wonder, am I ever going to grow up?

Then I think that perhaps my definition of adulthood needs some adjustment, away from adult=lacking any but minor and insignificant imperfections, to something like adult=able to keep an open mind, accept mistakes, and willing to grow.

I’m working on it.

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