Then she wouldn’t let me go. She put her hand on my arm, locked her eyes into mine and started to talk. The tears soon followed. Too much of this from her brother, not enough of that from me, moments of frustration and exhaustion and insecurity…all catching up with her on a late Sunday night.

I would be lying if I said I had the patience for it. I had a busy work day ahead, this was a soccer camp filled with kids his age and fun coaches, it was Monday. I didn’t understand why it was so difficult for him. Why he was making it so difficult. Why I had to drop everything to pick up a six year old like he was three again.

This is a story. This is something I want to write about. Something I want to share. Something that I will remember next August and the August after that and every time I go back to that place for 36 hours of rest and relaxation.

It’s not easy when there is a mortgage to contribute to and vacations to dream about and savings to build. It’s not easy when the unknown lies ahead of you and years of experience and success lay behind you. It’s not easy to walk in a new direction when you’ve run in one for so long.

I want them to express their feelings loud and clear. I want them to take those words with them as their relationship grows over time. As it goes from the safe, comfort of our home to life beyond it.

Maybe living with intent has nothing to do with what you do do and everything to do with what you don’t do. Leaving some spaces empty once in a while. Some moments untouched. Some days completely blank. Maybe it’s less about the choices you make and put out into the world and more about the ones you make and keep for yourself.

I thought about saying something to those girls, as I have done so many times in the past in defense of my kids and others. I thought about encouraging them to give my daughter a turn. Asking them to share. Trying to teach them a little something about kindness and generosity. 

But I also know that right now, at this stage of parenting, this little word took on big meaning for us. It showed that we could teach our kids about being mindful and thoughtful and communicating well. That we can lead them by example and create routines that they may (hopefully) keep with them for years to come.

There's no "crisis" term for this stage that we can fall back on. There is no one really paying attention to our needs during this transition because we've checked off all the boxes we were supposed to along the way so we must be just fine, right? We have the baby, the house, the job, the travel budget...the whatever. But maybe we need more.