“Cake?” It’s what C says first thing in the morning when he walks into our bedroom. “Cream?” And apparently he would like ice cream with that. What a funny way to wake up. First of all, I cannot believe C is now walking into our bedroom in the morning, because that’s how grown up he is now; and second of all, was he dreaming about cake and ice cream or does he really think this would make a good breakfast? He reenacted this scene several mornings in a row, maybe reinforced by our startled laughter each time. It was an improvement as previous mornings he would just stand at the edge of our bed and yell “eat!” in a frustrated voice until we woke up. At least cake and ice cream shows a little more creativity on his part.
Two-year-olds are definitely full of themselves, in a good way, and I think wanting cake and ice cream for breakfast is an example of healthy narcissism. Narcissism definitely gets a bad wrap, and I used to recoil at the word, but I’ve been thinking about it different lately, from the lens of depth psychology, in that only by embracing our natural narcissistic tendencies by being honest with ourselves that they are there, can we let go of defenses and be our full, loving selves. So I would say that me writing this blog is like eating cake and ice cream for breakfast, my inner soul craving some sense of indulgence, need for the spotlight, specialness. So I indulge and my soul feels honored, heard, celebrated.
Speaking of spotlight, J had an end of the year sing-a-long, and I definitely cried watching him up on stage with his class singing “you are my sunshine.” It was a lullaby my mom used to sing to me, and so I think anyone would have done the same if they were in my shoes. Plus, singing with hand gestures is just not his thing, but the fact that he was really trying hard made it beautiful to watch. At the end of the year, we were given a report card and he had good marks which made me feel proud, and we also got a letter from the school nurse saying he is red-green colorblind, which made me feel even more proud, for some reason, and in love with him, because it’s one of those quirky things that make up who he is.
When J asks “why do I have to go to school if I don’t want to?” I realize that I have that part of me too – that asks why do I have to do anything if I don’t want to – and that it’s important to recognize when this shadow part also shows up. Because I think if I deny it’s there, all that energy to hide from it can become exhausting and block making true contact with myself and others. I love the term radical acceptance (Tara Brach) in which we don’t necessarily agree or accept in a submissive way or shirk responsibility to make positive changes if we can, but we can surrender to fighting imperfections in ourselves and life, which we have no control over, in order to free up our energy and heart space to have more authentic contact with others and the present moment.
So that’s what’s new with us and my healthy narcissism believes there are readers out there who care and will enjoy hearing about it. And I hope that my own quirkiness or humor that I’m still discovering and letting out into the light will connect with yours.
J writes, “In summer, I will have a lollipop.”