Sometimes you put your daughter to bed early. Even if that means she'll stay up chatting in bed past when she would normally fall asleep, it's ok. Because sometimes long days just need to be that 10 minutes shorter. But something that makes me happy is we've gone two days without a tantrum. I'm not saying I think that will become three, then four, then forever, but I'm happy to have a break. Those things are intense.
While Bria was at school today I had a couple options of things to do. One was catch up on last night's Private Practice, and the other was to run to the store and make dinner for a friend (and mother of three) whose husband is out of town for a month straight. I debated until nearly the last minute, and the more charitable side of me won. I am so happy I chose to delay whatever sort of entertainment I get from watching tv dramas in favor of delivering a bit of cheer to my friend. It actually has a lot to do with anxiety. I love to do little things for people I care about, but I am always worried about how it will be received. In making dinner for someone, I am instantly filled with panic about whether they will think it's gross or, if they have kids, whether they will think it's gross and then it's more of a hassle in the end for them. But I doubt that's actually ever happened, and if it has, well, if the tables were turned, I would always be grateful for a friend's gesture of kindness.
I talked with my dad on the phone today for a while (which makes me super happy! because usually he's about a 3 minute convo type guy), and I was telling him about the tantrums Bria's been throwing lately (see above), and I reminded myself by telling him how important it is to respect a child's agency. I am grateful bria is her own person and she is discovering her personality. I am grateful my belief system revolves heavily around respecting choice. As frustrating and exhausting it is to parent a young child who is exercising her agency, it's exhilarating to watch her develop and grow. I hope she learns how to be well-adjusted in this world while never denying who she truly is and what she truly desires out of life. This is the type of stuff that makes parenthood heart-wrenching. The elation and the exhaustion are so extreme, sometimes I'm not sure I'll survive feeling such intense emotions on such a consistent basis. This must be how one's heart grows and grows.