Emma had just woken up. She walked into the room with her hair like a bee's nest, pajama shirt, and no bottom. Deb is in Peru. Our nanny, Olga, has been staying with us for the week. I told her that I had an 8:30 client and asked if they could leave a bit earlier today as she usually leaves for school at 9. On other days I start work at 9 so I have time to spend with the kids and Emma and I usually read some books before she leaves.
Emma sat at her little table beside the dining room table with her naked bottom and her back to me and she started to paint. Barely a word was exchanged. My first thought was that there's no way they are getting out of the house by 8:30 and I felt a sense of pressure creep into my chest.
Emma, meanwhile, was painting the border of her paper green. I was aware of the tension that was building for me. I wanted the house to be quiet for my session. Emma turned to me and told me she was painting something for her best friend who had just moved to San Antonio. "I hope she loves it," she said and returned to painting and humming.
Slowing down and staying in the moment, I found so much beauty there. I told Olga not to rush and that it would be okay. I softened and felt the tension dissipate as immense gratitude unfolded. What a gift, I thought to myself. I let Emma's unadulterated presence wash over me and felt happy as I walked with my coffee into my room to start working.
If you haven’t already read the book, it’s a great place to start - Relationship Reboot: Break free from the bad habits in your relationship.
David B. Younger, Ph.D. is the creator of Love After Kids, for couples that have grown apart since having children. He is a clinical psychologist and couples therapist with a web-based private practice and lives in Austin, Texas with his wife, 14-year-old son, 5-year-old daughter and 7-year-old toy poodle.