Last night I had a very stressful dream that I was trying to get my kids to school in the morning, that I was going to be late for an appointment, and my neighbor was doing crazy things like, she had poured a giant cement slab on my property, and was parking her car and her household items on it. Somehow it overlapped with my garage, and at one point I shut my garage door and it smashed over the edge of her car, cracking off her beautiful light blue spoiler off her car. Afraid of what I'd done to her car, I asked her angrily why she would park her car in the line of where my garage shuts! She didn't seem too upset, because she realized it was her mistake. I spent so much time with her talking, and running around like a chicken with my head cut off in a world where nothing was "normal", that I realized the girls were already very late for school, and we had just minutes for me to drop them off and get to my appointment. I had to rush unshowered and unpresentable into the car, with the girls barely dressed and unsure if they were wearing clothes appropriate for the weather. I had no time to make lunches, and knew that my only choice to get to my appointment on time was to ask the school to round up a lunch for the younger one, and for the older one to have "hot" lunch. We got in the car, but I couldn't find my way. I found myself jolting in and out of traffic and driving the wrong way down a one-way street. I found myself at the first school classroom, but without my daughter, realizing I had left her in the car in my maniac functioning, and all this when there are just seconds to get to my appointment.
I woke up this morning to the sound of my alarm, and chased the remnants of such a crazy dream, until I had a profound insight come over me.
This is my children's view of the world. This is how my children feel when they are trying to navigate my world, and how frustrated they feel when they don't succeed in doing what I ask. They are really trying, but they can't do it like I can! It isn't normal for them! This is why they are dependent on me to drive them places, to help them keep track of time. This is why I find them having accidentally broken things or leaving puddles of water on the wood floor. This is why it is natural for them to tie dental floss across the room to door knobs, because it doesn't matter.
Their developmental stages hold only certain abilities to meet the demands of what an adult physical world/structure (especially in our culture) would impose on them: to keep track of time, to keep track of items, to remember what they might need for school or appropriate clothes for the weather, to conceptualize what is going on, and to avoid accidents or breaking things, or leaving things out of place.
When I get upset with them by not understanding what they are capable of (which is often), they feel as though they are moving through the world with their hands tied behind their backs, unsure of how they can succeed--always moving the wrong way down a one way street.
And I get angry that they can't do it, because it messes with my ability to flow.
Their world is play and flowing, without thought to their ability to be more organized, or more spacially accurate; concepts which an adult has a natural ability to assess. Adults can conceptualize how long we have to get somewhere. We have an idea of how time feels--even though we are often wrong in our estimation of it. We have the foresight to see that we can clean up one mess quickly before we make another one (not that we always do). We immediately see cause and effect. A child usually sees it when we are pointing it out, when they are well into the effect part of it that has made us blow our top.
I am so thankful for this dream, and for the insight into my kids view and into myself as a parent, how so much of what I resist about my kids as a parent is because I expect my children to see the world as I do, and to be able to act accordingly, to make it easier for me--which they don't, or can't. They are always coming up short meeting my demands--like realizing they have forgotten their shoes when we get to school! So obvious to me, and in many ways for them, like trying to operate a motor vehicle and actually drive it somewhere. They are only capable of what they are capable of.
Maybe I can give them a loving break. It is no different, after all, from how I am trying to see my fellow adult humans, as doing the best that they can with their level of awareness, and finding freedom in this.
Thank you for this dream. Thank you for this insight.
So, that is why they need me. Hmmmmm.
They are doing the best they can, just like I am. Ahhh, the peace I feel at being able to see things from another angle.
I'm thinking big hugs for today, and a lot more ease in me letting go of my control. Maybe even a spot of fun here and there.