This child has one of the most unique intense characters I have ever come across. She infects everyone she meets in so many different ways. 5 years ago I gave birth to Autumn Clare. You will find Autumn making friends with the lady at the coffee shop who has just been delivered a delicious looking cappuccino. She loves to get close in the off chance that she is offered a spoon full of the milk froth. She likes to scream out of the car window at anyone who resembles someone she might now. Most days, rocking up to or leaving kindy consist of every child’s name being called out in an effort to make sure that everyone is said hello or goodbye to.
With this delightfully charismatic personality also comes complete and utter defiance. She doesn’t like to do as she is asked. ‘Like most kids’ I hear you say. Well, let me tell you, I hang around with a lot of girls Autumn’s age and I’m not one to be shy of asking other mum’s questions. She is very ‘Autumn’ in her ways.
As much as I try everyday to teach her life lessons that will shape her future and guide the person she wants to become, everyday I am more astounded at the lessons she is teaching me. In striving to be a good role model and unconditionally love my children, I am constantly faced with forks in the road and bumpy journey’s I never saw coming.
This little tribute is for you Autumn. An amazing 5 years of love, laughter, tears and absolute craziness. Thank you for teaching me more about myself than I could have ever known. I might be your mentor and role model but you are my inspiration and muse and I am a better person for having you in my life.
I’m not in control full stop. No matter how much I would like to be, no matter how hard I try, I am not in control. I can’t control how she hears me, how or if she decides to take action on my instruction. I can’t control what she wears or if she listens to me. My control is solely in myself and my ability to role model the best person I can be.
Watch my language. I’m not just talking about swearing. Everything I say is relentlessly thought through. It’s either reverse psychology or just say no. Then it’s that I say the word ‘no’ too much and I need to get creative. Before I ask her to do something I need to make sure she know the consequence before I ask for the action. It’s a constant mind game of trial and error and at any given moment, just when you think you have found the formula, she will change the game plan.
A kiss can make it all better. It’s so easy to get caught up in life. We actually get caught up in SO MUCH SHIT! Life can be kind, nurturing, loving and when it’s not it’s easy to ask for a cuddle or a kiss to make it all better. Yes, our problems as adults can be hugely magnified but what I have leant and constantly look up to is the way in which kids deal with major life issues. Laughing, smiling, just getting on with it. I am forever in awe at how kids forgive each other. A nasty word or a punch is quickly forgotten about over a cuddle and an ice-cream. I don’t know any of us who couldn’t do with a bit more of that.
I must look after myself. My happiness and state of mind absolutely rubs off on the kids. It’s like they have this sixth sense and can smell when I’m tired or stressed. They will take it upon themselves to punish me by waking up super early, not going to bed on time or just general riff raff. It’s even worse when Andrew and I aren’t on the same page. They can smell that something is in the air and their behaviour generally reflects the mood.
Patience always has room for improvement. Autumn has always been able to push my buttons. She is very clever, extremely determined and an insanely confident child. If the outcome is not desirable to her there is no way I can get her to do as I ask. This requires a hell of a lot of repetitiveness and an insane amount of patience.
My final thought would be to not sweat the small stuff. I love that Autumn finds joy in making slater gardens and eating chocolate covered milk froth. I love that she has to introduce herself to every kid on the playground and she still thinks that farts are the absolute funniest thing in the work (let’s face it, they’re pretty funny).
But most of all I love that this tiny human has chosen to enter this world as my own. What an absolute blessing, what a miracle.
Love you princess.