|Yes, you can stand in the bowl|
I set them up to both engage my emotionally responsive daughter and distract her from my mood. While she happily engaged in the invitations, she also checked in with a smile or an exclamation "look at this one, mama!" or a simple hug. Surely this beautifully intelligent child could pull me out of my mood? I wanted desperately for it to happen, but the more I resisted my mood the further I seemed to fall into my dark hole. Then while packing some boxes I came across a book I read this summer, "Last Child in the Woods" by Richard Louv. It was just the reminder I needed of the healing powers in nature. So I stopped setting up play invitations and took Addi to the woods...
|Yes, you can hike in a sundress|
|Yes TJ, you can explore without your leash|
While this wasn't a complete cure for whatever was ailing me at the time, I did find some genuine laughter as I raced through the woods singing songs with my fully engaged daughter. That evening I reflected on my somewhat lightened mood and knew the clouds were lifting. The combination of nature and my daughter helped me to once again find laughter and connection. I hope to remember this sooner next time.
I don't know what the overall message is here. Maybe there are several - don't beat yourself up for having negative emotions? Give yourself compassion? Remember the power of nature to recharge and reconnect? All parents have bad days? Maybe all of them. But I thought I'd share and hope you find something for yourself. -ab