My children are 7 and 9 years old. They sleep the whole night through. My challenge on the sleep front these days is still my children ... but it's changed from being about their sleeplessness to focusing on their needs and the ways in which I am not sure I am meeting them. Last night I lay awake thinking about the need for jeans.
Yesterday, after years of resisting, my 7 year old asked for a pair of jeans. She noticed one of her friends dresses simply (jeans and a top) while she herself has chosen up until now to put on layers (a skirt with leggings etc) and she wants to try something new.
I was a bit surprised by the sudden interest in fashion. Previously she has only wanted to wear trousers of the sport type. Anything too 'flashy' (meaning cool, rock chic, black, jeans etc - ummmm I think that is what she meant by it) was a no-no. Suddenly she has compared herself to one of her friends and found that blue jeans and a white t-shirt is her new mode. All of which is fine with me. I love that she wants to try new things and change up a bit. That part I can deal with.
What I am uncertain about is the unseen parts ... the ones she is unable to verbalise for me.
I realise that parenting is about a constant process of working these things out without many guidelines - except perhaps the ones you can glean from friends with older children. I realise that I don't know what I am doing most of the time. I realise that just when I get a handle on it, it changes again.
What keeps me awake in the night is trying to work out what else might be going on that I cannot see. What needs does she have (beyond jeans) that I am not accounting for? Are love, hugs, regular together time enough? Since I don't really know what I am doing, what am I missing?
We found some new jeans - two pairs her Dad bought her last year that she refused to wear at the time so they were put in the box to give to charity. We got them out and she tried them on. Then we found a few other things she had never worn that are still her size. She was so thrilled and proud of her new look.
The jeans issue was easily solved.
If only all her needs were that visible.