“I do it!” These are the words I hear, over and over again, all day long.
When we’re rushing out of the door, I hear these words when you try to buckle your own shoes. I stop to help you and you say “I do it!” And I let you do it, even though it’s frustrating, because I know someday, your little shoes won’t be at the door at all. So, I wait and watch you slowly buckle your shoes, and I try to savor the moment of watching your tiny feet fit into your little shoes.
Every morning before the sun is up or before I’ve made my own coffee, I grab a glass from the cabinet and the orange juice from the fridge, but even before I take the cap from the container, you say, “I do it!” So, I sit you on your stool and watch with tired eyes as you so carefully pour the juice into the cup. And at first, you spilled the juice and I tried very hard not to sigh. But now, you can pour almost perfectly and the small smile you give me tells the story of your pride so clearly.
And yesterday, when I took off your life vest after you waded in the bay, you yelled “I do it!” when I started to fasten the vest back up to put away. So, we sat and you slowly fastened the vest without pinching your fingers–that was my worry and I tried to explain that to you, but you just kept saying “I do it.” And you did it. And you didn’t pinch your fingers at all. I watched you fasten this literal life vest and my mind couldn’t help but to go to a figurative life vest. Right now, my arms are that for you, daily, but before long, they won’t be. So, yesterday, I just watched you buckle it–your chubby hands working–and nothing seemed so important. And where was I rushing to, after all?
Shoes and orange juice and life vests are all obstacles in your path and every time you are able to persevere over one, your confidence grows and I need to help you learn that you really can do it. To a two-year-old, the world can be a frustrating place; I forget that sometimes. And so, today, I want to honor your need to say “I do it!” By doing so, I’m showing you that you can do anything you set your mind to as long as you have the patience to try.
Thanks for Mothering the Divide with me, as I do my best to practice patience and allow my toddler to say “I do it!” and then marvel as she really can.