I start. I stop. I stop. I start. This has been my dance over the past two months.
I place my fingers on the keyboard and I blurt out a thought. As I stare at it for a few minutes, I delete it. I’m like a toddler tracing letters in shaving cream. It is real fun until I realize I’m making a mess that only i can clean up.
This is the life of a father of 5 right now. I hold onto the few moments of self reflection. It happens but not like it used to.
Here is the thing. When you have a lot children, you have to find ways to give them what they need. For 4/5 of my children, I tell myself that I get it. I may be kidding myself with my proclamation but when you’re averaging about 4 hours of sleep per night, you too tired not to believe in yourself.
As the school year has unfolded with Sawyer, I’ve had to reevaluate my goals and expectations because they were for me and not for him.
This mindset can happen when you want so much for things to unfold a certain way. I wanted him to be able to close gaps that have unfolded over time. Such as, making friends. Such as, keeping up with grade level work. Such as, being able to communicate his feelings in a age appropriate manner.
However, these were my goals. Articulating my goals as his goals isn’t fair. I didn’t really notice this until one of my 2am baby feedings.
It’s amazing what goes through your mind when your fighting to stay awake.
Regardless, I started to look at what Sawyer has been achieving versus what i want him to achieve. To be specific, Sawyer can calculate elapsed time whereas I was too busy looking at his struggles with basic computation.
Sawyer has made some friends. This goes beyond play dates. He even recently went bowling with a family without us. We are well past the moments of being petrified of how he would interact with adults that weren’t family.
Sawyer has been able to overcome his obsession with music being on in restaurants. Thank goodness that he enjoys eating out again.
So these benchmarks are uncharted waters. They are this way because I wanted to see them. Though my dance is scattered, my eyes have finally opened again.