Middle Bear bebops a lot especially when he passes through the kitchen as he transitions from the outside into the depths of the inner. It’s here where he lets his guard down, here is where he is most comfortable to do so, here is where he knows I grant him access to belt it out. Here in the heart of the whirlwind of my day’s busiest, noisiest, most intimate moments with my bears and their rumbling tummies. I welcome his sentiments along with his impulsive and emotional outbursts so long as he leaves the tude aside. If he can’t trill it out here, then where else? What I won’t tolerate is harmful rhetoric or defeatism, his hindrance to his great tale to tell, his great tale to breathe into existence.
On a recent day off, he spent the AM hours baking and creating a dish from scratch. He originally asked me to buy mac and cheese, even though he knew the answer. I will not purchase contents in a cardboard box to pour some boiled water into a powdery mix from a foil lined bag just to fill tummies even though they may chow it down with gusto. Instead, I encouraged him to whip it up with wholesome ingredients. He took on the challenge with his usual bebopping and even lured his sister into whisking the three cups of milk, one cup of whipping cream and nearly three blocks of cheese. Needless to say, she lost interest and said that her wrist was tired. As he reclaimed the whisk, his upbeat tune quickly declined into a mumbling rant of negativity. He wanted to throw in the towel because it wasn’t thickening. I first took a deep breath and then asked him to be still. I took another breath and asked him to review the ingredients he tossed in. He thought about it and said, “maybe I should add more cheese mom will you shred more?” I gladly performed the task and his ranting seized. He let the shredded gruyere rain in the simmering liquid and noticed it thickening. “Mom shred some sharp cheddar, it’s working.” His spark ignited again, after the downpour of the shredded cheddar, the stirring cream condensed. “Mom pour the mini elbows in let’s see them soak this sick mix up.” He lit up again. I offered a splash of TRUFF, a black truffle infused hot sauce, and with his first taste, pout turned grin and confidence restored to maximum capacity. I watched him eating from his steamy bowl, still bebopping and bouncing with great pleasure and pride for his homespun, a bit collaborative and thoughtful lunch, and I felt his virtuous and breezy vibe buzzing into the reality around us. What more could I ask for?
Middle Bear often does it Yang…loudly, proudly and ever so soundly, but he can also be his most dangerous enemy when he invites defeatism into his mind. If you allow for imprisonment in your mind, you allow it in reality. Here is the critical point I come in, but how to get him to see that what he is feeling are emotions waiting to be released not meant for him to hold on to? In this instance it flowed through with just a gesture to review the recipe. It’s not always with this pleasurable buoyancy that it works out so fluidly. I’ve had much to apologize for and to restore. Finding space within myself first is what has proven golden. I didn’t feel that space for some time now, but since I have prioritized being authentic myself and even though I may continue to stumble while my bears may be affected for better or for worse, I will forever strive for the better. I have to say, we do make an adventurous duo as I work toward recovery.
I will be there to remind him that just like when he was less than a year experienced in this world, he pranced up every time he lost his first steps and only by his own will was he able to turn those first steps into his first sprints, with me darting behind cheering him all the way.
I believe in you. Always have, always will.
Now more than ever, I hold an impassioned prayer in my heart for him, for all my precious ones and their beloved peers to be who you want to be, be who you feel you are and express your individuality unapologetically. Sing the song in your heart little ones, let it resonate into the world and I will guard your back. Love has got to stand for its existence, and I will sing it to you all night, but you must remember to hightail it out of your own way so that you can bring it. The world has been waiting for you.