After a particularly rough day with the Little Critter, I decided to relax by watching Finding Neverland on Netflix.
Now, mind you, today wasn't especially bad... but it's been a few weeks of solo-parenting, kiddo missing his dad, summer bliss, boundary breaking fun. In a nutshell, today may have been a day that broke my emotional threshold. You know, when your heart is just overwhelmed with all of it and the normal kid behavior makes you wanna cry, even though it probably shouldn't.
Finding Neverland was a good choice.
Following the dismal reception of his latest play, Little Mary, J.M. Barrie meets widowed Sylvia and her four young sons in Kensington Gardens. He proves to be a great playmate and surrogate father figure for the boys, and their imaginative antics inspire him to write a play about boys who do not want to grow up. Barrie's producer skeptically agrees to mount Peter Pan despite his belief it holds no appeal for upper-class theatergoers. Barrie places children from a nearby orphanage in the audience for the opening night show and the adults present react to their infectious delight with an appreciation of their own. The play proves to be a huge success. *Credit: Miramax, 2004
This movie struck all the chords within my heart, the first being mother. I was reminded that though kiddos have rough days (as all humans do), at the center of each child is a heart that longs to explore, be free, imagine, and learn all they can about this world we live in. Every child is Peter and the Lost Boys. As a mother, it is my job to encourage these things within the heart of my own child and those I am called to love. Loving a child is allowing the spirit to soar, so that they may learn who they truly are within their own hearts.
As children grow and learn what it means to be human, they are forced to handle the pressures of life and this can often be overwhelming. Anyone else had a long, busy day result in tears and refusal to brush teeth? No? Hmm... must just be me.
Life will, if we let it, snuff out the creative heart of a child and they will fight it. Finding Neverland reminded me that though the days and weeks can be grueling, they are also beautiful treasure, because often this is our kids efforts (though they're usually unaware) to take back their time, freedom and creativity.
It can be a very difficult and often impossible thing to truly "store up these treasures" or feel the "gratitude, because someday you will miss this" when the pressure of parenthood becomes a weight, but if we truly have a heart for this calling (parenting), we will be blessed with reminders of why we're going to get up and do it all again tomorrow. It's my job to advocate for the heart of my child!
I am continually having to be reminded of this. My calling as a parent is not a duty, it is a gift; a treasure.
On our roughest days, it's often wise to plop down on the couch, and find something that will remind you of your own heart, and what you believe in. Give yourself a good cry and let yourself be free to acknowledge that one bad day doesn't mean you're a bad parent. In fact, bad days give us opportunities to reevaluate and reacknowldge just why we're doing this incredibly important job.