powPOW stands for “Piece of Work.” Another word for this is “Aviva.”

Going polar, I’ve decided, is shorthand for taking the Path of Least Resistance. Another way of saying this is Pick Your Battles, which is another way of saying what do you want to pay attention to? What does it look like – in any given moment, especially the POW-filled ones, to step back and make that choice? Who do I want to be? How do I want my girls to see me seeing them? The fact is, we could be in opposition from crows to crickets. And this is not how I want to live. This is not how I want to parent. It takes practice, some other way.

And then to see her power and celebrate it, like Saturday night when she got on a two-wheeler – after a summer of no practice, no real interest – and simply rode off. Pow! Just like that. See ya, Mama.

And with Greg. When things are tense, or disjointed. Oh, how easily really we could become estranged from each other, cohabitants, co-captains of a team. But it’s not enough. We have to communicate, grease the skids, reconnect, make that effort to cross the bridge back to each other. Our tenth anniversary is approaching and guess what? It’s also Aviva’s birthday. POW! I’m telling you, she was born with it.

Meanwhile, Pearlie asks the most marvelous questions, makes us all laugh when she laughs. She likes to play in just shorts and pee naked in the grass. The most powerful word in her exploding vocabulary is “brothery.”

Today I moved our bed. It’s a small change that totally alters the shape of space in our bedroom. Lying there today (all of us wound up napping), looking out the window that used to be above my head and is now to the side, I could feel the air flowing into the room. Could feel the energy shift. Later, Aviva and her friend chose our room for their game. A little shift, something small, can carry such a big punch.

So often, it’s the big stuff that gets all the attention. The big accomplishments, the big meltdowns, the big dreams, the big fears, the big ideas that can feel overwhelming or simply elusive, hard to pin down, much less implement.

And so it comes, yet another reminder. To go small. To remember what a punch small can pack. To let go of, or at least soften, my fierce resistance – to my own moods, to tension, sometimes even to truth. To allow myself to be surprised at the results. To give our kids room to do what they’re ready for, trusting that it will happen right and right on time. To pay attention, cross the burning bridge with honest words and vulnerable postures.

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