Exactly one year ago I wrote this post, which mostly describes some pretty big parenting fails on our part last summer, but the reason I’m linking to it is to provide a little backstory on why this —

— This right here, that happened earlier today —

slip1

slip2

Was kind of a big deal.

Ditto the happy river swimming, the raucous fireworks joy (with no ear-covering or fretting about noises), and on and on it goes.

Screen shot 2012-07-07 at 7.02.00 PM

I wish I could go back and tell myself, don’t worry. Don’t be so hard on him. Don’t be so hard on yourself, either. He just needs a little time.

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Erin
10 years ago

Congrats, Mama. Awesome. Go Riley!

Katie B
Katie B
10 years ago

I remember reading that post last summer and feeling your pain. We are still struggling through ours on some issues (like: Mom, you have to stand NEXT to me on the tball field or I will cry, cry, cry) but some are getting better. So glad Riley is working through things-yeah! It reminds me to relax about it a little and remember it will work itself out. Thanks!

Kristin C
Kristin C
10 years ago

What a great relief to see this come full circle…as a parent it’s always nice when this kind of stuff is shared because it makes you realize that the hard parts now are just temporary. That you’ll get through and so will your kid. Thank you!

NancyJ
10 years ago

I saw the picture of the slip n slide and knew exactly what you were talking about!
We ALL have our moments – don’t let anyone try and tell you they don’t. I hope this is a shining example to you of why you (we all, even when our kids are turning 22!) just have to take a deep breath and say “this too shall pass”.
It reminds me of the scene in Parenthood (the movie) when Steve Martin is talking to the grandmother and he’s picturing himself on the roller coaster and how everything goes up and down and it’s scary but everyone survives.

Nikki
Nikki
10 years ago

Thank you! I am taking that advice right now and stop giving myself such a hard time about how super freaked out my child is by ANY bug… (last years she loved them). Anyway, point taken and this post came at a perfect time for me :-)

emilywk
emilywk
10 years ago

Does it help, even a little, to know that I have a littler boy and that the difference between last year and this makes me feel like I can understand more? I can do this?

Because it does.

sooboo
sooboo
10 years ago

Beautiful! I wise person once told me: only look back to learn. Guilt is useless.

JB
JB
10 years ago

Thanks, Linda. I am where you were at a year ago. It was good to read your posts and also backpacking dad’s comment. Perspective is so hard to find in the heat of the moment.

Redbecca
Redbecca
10 years ago

He is growing up, isn’t he? This is so great to see (and a reminder for the rest of us.)!

Olivia
Olivia
10 years ago

I’m trying to remember this since swim lessons with my 3 yr old are not going well. I’d love for her to learn now, but I know if it doesn’t happen this summer it won’t be the end of the world.

Eric's Mommy
Eric's Mommy
10 years ago

GO RILEY!!

Jennifer
Jennifer
10 years ago

I love the smile on Riley’s face in the 2nd photo, plus his enthusiastic cousin in the background with the fist-pump.

shriek house
10 years ago

Yay Riley! LOVE this!

Jesabes
10 years ago

I got chills when I read “So this year he hates the Slip N’ Slide. Next year he’ll probably love it.”

Victoria
10 years ago

Awesome

H
H
10 years ago

I can’t tell you how many times I was desperate for a Parenting Crystal Ball. I made mistakes, no doubt about it, but I think the best advice is to do the best you can with what you have and what you know. Then try like hell to celebrate when you made the right choice and don’t beat yourself up if you didn’t. I’m so happy for you and Riley.

Kami
Kami
10 years ago

YAY Riley! ;-)

I have a 22, 19, and 6 year old and believe me when I say do not sweat the small stuff. When you get to the bigger stuff you’ll wish you could go back to the slip and slide problem. Trust.

Jen
Jen
10 years ago

I loved this. Love your writing. So wonderful to read.

JennyA
JennyA
10 years ago

(((hugs)))

Alex
10 years ago

So you take that message to yourself and you go forward with it. HIndsight seems so clear, and that seems so unfair, until we realize we can take the underlying lesson…here, to trust it will all be fine in just a little while…and use it to shield ourselves from similar worries up ahead.

I so enjoy following along on your journey. xo

adequatemom
10 years ago

I so needed to read this. Hooray for all of you! I’m going to try really hard to take the advice you offer to your past self.

dorrie
dorrie
10 years ago

Aw, I am totally welling. Good lessons on all fronts. It is wonderful how happy you all are in Eugene! Enjoy!

sharon
sharon
10 years ago

The saying This too shall pass.. is so true. It took me until the second child to learn this.

Ashleas
Ashleas
10 years ago

So I read about how your neighbors have given you use of the pool till the house is rented. YOU KNOW WHAT THIS MEANS.

A PROPER LEISURE DIVE PHOTO SERIES OF JB AND THE BOYS (throw the cat in too for good measure).

Jennifer
Jennifer
10 years ago

I don’t have a twitter account, but I noticed you talking about this yesterday.

I think you can tell when it’s worthy of interventions and when it’s not. I have one who was anxious and noise-sensitive to the point that we didn’t even dream of seeing fireworks… and she would try school events and then ask her teacher to excuse her to the office when it was simply too loud. That was last year. And she too has grown out of it this year. Didn’t hyperventilate at the loud music at her ballet recital. No clear earplugs required. She might even walk into the ice cream social this year!

Then we have a younger one with very strong sensory aversions and it was clear that hers was interfering with her development… not just with her fun. That’s the line for me. Give it time if their strong fears/sensory stuff means they’re missing out on some fun and stuff you think should be an integral part of childhood memories. That stuff will usually come with time and exposure and erosion of their iron will. And then those things will be ok and maybe even fun and awesome.

If it’s more than that, you do know it. And that’s when you seek out some professional opinions.

And all that said, evaluations through early intervention and/or school districts are freeeeeeeeee and fun for the kid. So if there are any doubts, an eval will at worst be a waste of time and at best either a huge sigh or relief or an important first step to helping your kid conquer the world like some braveheart meme image or something.

Alyce
Alyce
10 years ago

Yay for a year’s passing.

Amy N
Amy N
10 years ago

Thanks for the reminder!

yaya
10 years ago

Loving this post, story of my life right now. My Dude has come leaps & bounds from last year but I still find myself thinking “oh my gawd will he ever…” and yes, yes he will do all those things I fret over & he’ll be big & live his own life and be away from me ‘mom’ and I just need to chill out & have my future self tell my current self “CHILL and enjoy, it moves way too fast” :-)

Awesome post.

sharon
sharon
10 years ago

Linda, I remember back about a year ago, you were reading a book about sensitive children, and talking about how it was describing your child, exactly…and I thought at the time that I should write down that book title! Alas, I can’t find it and I can’t find your blog entry that discussed it. Was it “The Highly Sensitive Child” or “Raising Your Spirited Child” or something like that? I have both of these on hold at the library now, but would love some advice on a book to read that could maybe help me figure out how to better help my amazing, bright, mercurial, explosive, empathic, tender, energetic, precocious, sad, scared, loving, obsessive, brave, creative daughter.

Linda
Linda
10 years ago

Hi Sharon — I feel like I’ve seen LOTS of recommendations for those two books. I haven’t read them, but the one I thought was pretty helpful is “Freeing Your Child from Anxiety” http://www.amazon.com/Freeing-Your-Child-Anxiety-Practical/dp/0767914929

There was a particular metaphor in that one that really worked for Riley (imagining your worrying brain as a dog that’s barking at a friendly mailman, or something like that).

Jennifer
Jennifer
10 years ago
sharon
sharon
10 years ago

Thanks so much for the advice! You have no idea how much I appreciate it. Or, maybe you do. :)

Wanda
Wanda
10 years ago

That is great! So glad to see Riley enjoying all the fun without the stress. It’s amazing how much they change as they get bigger.

Eclecta
10 years ago

Linda, I don’t even know you (or have any kids of my own), but I am so freaking PROUD of you!!!!!!!! Your honesty helped so many people a year ago feel not so alone, maybe also helped them see beyond their own frustrations to choose more mature and loving responses, and now you’re providing a little bit of hope to those who might be going through their own July ‘ll situations. You ROCK, lady! :->

Julia
10 years ago

Remember that even when it’s scary because you (collective you) just know your in heart you are a terrible mother that you aren’t. Kids are the sum of all days, and they know how much they are loved. Wow that was preachy…. Congrats, you guys should all be proud of yourselves.

Willyn
10 years ago

So nice, worth it enough to remember:)

Mary Clare
Mary Clare
10 years ago

Hurray! It’s so reassuring to read this post and to know that kids can grow out of the over-the-top worrying and adversity to some seemingly small things. I have found myself in the same position as you in the original post – trying to parent an anxious, screaming kid, who’s having a public meltdown about some inane thing… Oy! It frustrates me to no end that my daughter won’t listen to my reassurances or calm down. Lately, there’s been this fear about taking baths and being afraid of the drain. Oh, and a fear of loud automatic flushing toilets. I am learning to give her space and not force her to do things when she’s anxious. However, that doesn’t mean that things always go smoothly or that I don’t lose my shit about her freak out. Thanks for sharing your stories!

Jenna
Jenna
10 years ago

Thank you so much for showing me that there’s light at the end of the tunnel. :)

Heather M.
Heather M.
10 years ago

I’ve had more experiences with Zac like the ones you mention with Riley than I can count. I still have them. Last year’s post and this update both sound like they could have been penned by me at any point in these last 14 yrs. Your closing in this post is so dead-on. It is REALLY hard for me to give Zac grace, to let him come into his own, in his timing, especially when other people are watching and (I’m too quick to assume) judging. I am still learning that I don’t need to care what anyone thinks, who’s watching, what they might think of me…it just matters what my hubby and feel like we are called to do for him and everyone else doesn’t get a say in my head. Man, that’s hard for me. It was so hard when he was smaller and there is SO much I would do differently if I had a do-over.

Then one day you casually realize it’s been ages since that old issue that used to plague what seemed like every freaking event…just went away. And he’s telling you not to tuck him in at night anymore and he doesn’t need your help with his bloody nose, etc. Sigh…

Ashley
10 years ago

You are right where you are supposed to be, I love that so much.

Kelly
Kelly
10 years ago

I can’t ever decide who does more growing- me or my own Riley-aged kid. It is a win, either way. Your recent posts have got me so EMO, Linda! You Sharps are KILLING IT, and I’m very happy for you all.