Home again. Home again.

24 hours of traveling. We said goodbye to San Francisco Bay Area. “Goodbye house! Goodbye San Francisco!” she waved with giddiness as the plane took off.

Jackie’s way to cope with separation is to hide behind my leg and not want interact with people. She eventually allowed herself to be hugged by Grammie and Grampa. But the long trip itself was smoother than we thought. She just ran circles around us. The power naps she took on the plane gave her unfair energy.

The adjustment seems easy for Jaclyn and she is aware of our exhaustion and wellbeing. She continues to speak english to anyone. She likes the sound of her own voice… albeit, is a beautiful sound.

I have a few thoughts on the changes she is going through.

1. Nagging. She insists. She persists. And at first it was cute because she would plead in english says: “come on! play with me! come on!” not sure when it happened but we must have given in and the path to persistence was created. I try to remind her hat my yes is yes and my no is no, but it’s not working. yet. We entered a short season of butting heads, right before we retuned home. I thought she was anticipating the hard goodbyes, but I’m starting to think that she was responding to our own anxiety. We were more prone to say no to many of her requests. And she had many. As we see clearer and are more rested I am determined to say yes to most of her requests, whatever could go either way, if it’s safe and possible: go for it. Playing with her without an agenda relaxes her body, her face. I realized the day we flew back, as we were being silly on our big bed, tickling, she stopped and I could see the turning point of her mood and attitude. She realized we are still fun and cool. And she is still fun and lovable. It’s so hard to stop what we do and give her undivided attention. But it’s imperative to be present. Fully present. With the heart as well. It is only then when she is receptive to my explaining to her that my yes is yes and my no is no. Nagging is uncool and unnecessary.

2. Intelligence. I recently remembered our psychologist say during our first after match meeting that she will probably not be the smartest kid in the class. On the contrary. So the first thing that came to mind to say was that IQ is not directly related to success and happiness. It’s a proven fact. And She seemed to have quite a high EQ. We’re going to lover her regardless. Didn’t think twice about it then. But as she proves to be extremely intelligent, translating now for my parents from English to Romanian. And she distinguishes with surprising accuracy and clarity between the languages.

3. Self-importance. I heard myself tell my 4 year old that the world does not revolve around her. Guess what! Her self-confidence rises not as I try to boost it up, but as I tell her she is not the center of the universe. I think it lifts up the pressure. I reassure her daily that my love for her is unmovable, regardless of any of her actions or words. But we delve in self-awareness. Selfishness is not cool. Greed is downright ugly. I know we are two different people and what worked for me may not be the same for her, but over time, my observations regarding confidence and clarity of who we are and courage are not rooted in a parents constant boosting of self-importance. On the contrary. There is joy and beauty and freedom in serving others, in acting with integrity even if to outsiders it seems uncool, in loving selflessly. One could preach it all day, and not stick. We ought to live it for it to make sense and take root.