josh and i pretty much have an ongoing conversation every day about our littles ones. i think most all parents do. that constant talk about how they’re doing and how we’re helping them. are we providing what they need right now and what they’ll need in the future. are they getting the right serving of vegetables each day, more than enough hugs and loves and stories read? do we have the proper amount of laughter and happy music in our home? is there a proper amount of laughter and music in one’s home? are we brushing their teeth correctly and supporting their dreams already? are we providing the right opportunities for learning and growth and what are the right ways to discipline and is their enough positive reinforcement in our home? it’s all so new to us as well as it is to them. and you kind of only get one shot at it all, which is really really scary. there is only so much parenting guilt you can take before you want to throw in the towel and call your own mother and ask her to come over and fix everything.
through most of our conversations lately, josh and i have decided to try to focus hard on just a few things. three of the main things that we’re working on in our home right now for the kids–
nutrition and sleep (because we all know what a step up it gives in the early years. they seem to affect everything else and we hope that the habits and lessons they get now will stick with them when they’re older.)
positive love and reinforcement (because our upbringings were incredibly different from one another, and we’ve both seen how constant positive reinforcement or constant negative reinforcement during one’s developing years makes a huge impact, for better or unfortunately for worse.)
and encouragement every single day to explore, to ask more questions, to use that incredible imagination and make everyday a big adventure! (because nurturing a blossoming imagination is probably our biggest honor and role as parents. because these kids can do anything they set their mind to, so long as we don’t step in the way and knock down their dreams.)
i can’t say for conrad just yet, but eleanor and samson both love to use their imaginations all day right now and it makes my mama heart soar. because duh, of course that wooden xylophone is a skateboard, and of course your bed is a rowboat keeping you safe from the sharks and fish and “octopuses and seahorses” on the nursery floor, and duh, of course that measuring tape is a lasso! and all that construction paper with tape just the right way can make you the fanciest crown in all the world, or a beautiful fairy wand or even a big golden sword too. and i understand now, of course the kitchen is an airplane and traveling all the way from one end of the apartment to the other means you’re now in a far far away place, and a make-believe see-through astronaut suit (with all 17 pieces properly in place) means you are floating through the room or ready to do a moon walk down the hall and see earth as just a small ball, the size of the world globe on the shelf. of course, my little ones! of course!
the ways to give our little ones the best possible start are endless, and there are countless books and experts and methods that tell you this or that is the right way. and that stuff is certainly helpful, but only to an extent. it’s all up to us as parents, to figure out in which areas our kids need us the most, and then find ways to support their minds, their play, their imaginations, and their precious hearts.