Last week, Everett learned how to clap his hands together.
I can’t lie, I was ecstatic when I saw it happen for the first time, as just the day before when we were playing at home, I tried teaching him. It was more for my own kicks and giggles, but I literally clapped my hands together over and over like an idiot with a ridiculous smile on my face, saying things like “Yaaaa-aaa-aaay!” or “Clap, Everett, clap!” Though he laughed and grinned at my behavior, I had no idea he took such note of how I had made those noises with the palms of my hand. I laughed at myself for thinking he’d even begin to get it. That is, until the next day. He moved his arms until he felt his baby palms touch. He stared at his hands as he made his own clapping sounds. Upon hearing it, he laughed his “discovery” laugh, one of many of his chuckles.
He’s been clapping like crazy ever since.
Today, I put my lips into a tiny “o” and blew soft air on his face, hair and tummy. He hasn’t been feeling well, but he laughed and laughed so I kept doing it. After just a few minutes, he did it right back to me. It was the sweetest thing. I laughed in a way that was simple and genuine. I thought to myself, “Haha! Remember all the times you searched for happiness in strange places? Well, THIS is what it truly feels like.”
After a messy lunch of peas and banana wafers, I took Ev to the bath and when he caught his reflection he lit up. He started right back up with the “o” lips and began to blow air on me and giggle.
Though clapping and blowing air seem small and insignificant, it reminded me how very much he is catching on to, even at six months old. He copies the way I chew food, waves back, and even sticks his tongue out if I do it first. Every move I make is observed by a tiny human eager to learn and grow.
It’s scary and overwhelming sometimes, to know there is an ever-developing person who will be influenced by my behavior. Since I became a mother, I’ve really had to find a balance in making the “right” moves as a mom, while still staying true to my spirited self. I want to be the best mother I can, but I also want my son to see a genuine, spontaneous, real person.
I want him to live an authentic life, witnessing messiness so he knows how to clean. I want him to see raw emotion so he knows how quickly things can change, and how heavily perspective influences the human mindset. Where does that leave me on a daily basis?
I’m working on myself to better my family. If I am the best me I can be, I’ll in turn act as the best mama and wife.
I’m reading a new book called “Pretty Happy” by Kate Hudson. Though I’m not far into it yet, I’ve already been influenced by an important message…”You don’t have to be perfect. Pretty happy is pretty great.”
I couldn’t agree more.