1. Adah says:

    Oh dear. This one made me cry. So sweet. You are so good at describing tough spots AND giving yourself credit where credit is due without being overtly congratulatory – just simply informative and reflective. You have amazing run-ins with such interesting people.

  2. What a sweet reminder to just take a deep breath and get in step with our loved ones as we dance through life together. Makes the dance a whole lot more fun!

    {gotta go wipe my teary eyes after that one}

  3. Melissa says:

    Beautiful! My oldest daughter is 8. I so needed to read this… Thank you. And I love the dog bikini. I wonder where I can find my girl one of those…

  4. paula says:

    I loved this. It was beautiful, heartfelt, true and just plain feel-good! I have been learning to live simply, lovingly, and sincerely through your writings. Thanks for sharing your life with us!! It’s inspiring.

  5. Kim says:

    This is beautiful. And you made me cry. Thank you so much for sharing this.

  6. Courtney says:

    yes, yes, yes. we all need those reminders.

  7. KC says:

    What a fantastic story. I have had a few times where my three year old has melted down in the store or at the library and I have used respectful connection with her and after the storm is quelled I have had strangers come up and compliment me for the loving relationship we have.

    I am so glad to have found your blog. Me and my family are about to become expats as well in France in like two days and it will be nice to read about another families journey.

  8. Ellen says:

    tear drop. mmmhmmmm

  9. Amanda says:

    Why is it I feel more like Eli than you?! Thank you to you and the stranger. If I can just hold onto this I might actually get somewhere with my own 3 1/2 year old son–and the soon-to-be-born babe.

  10. Mom says:

    You are a wonderful mom. I’m proud of you and yours.

  11. Joanne says:

    Thank you for sharing this story. I read all these parenting blogs, but the examples they use seem too easy. This shows how we may not always go directly to the solution, but you can still get there.

  12. Kay says:

    Perfect, just perfectly beautiful. Too bad all the parenting manuals I read didn’t say just this. I remember reading something by Ram Das along these lines after my kids were grown. Maybe you will be the one to write the new revised parenting manual that will allow parents to be more supportive of their children in all stages.

  13. Miranda says:

    good stuff, as always! i am learning now to listen to my 3.5yo boy. letting him and myself be without having to fix anything are some of our best moments. what a gift to be acknowledged as well!

  14. Babs says:

    Lovely post. I’ve noticed the Mexican mothers don’t freak out but stay calm which seems to bring that calmness to their children.
    I marvel at the lack of tantrums in the children in this country on a regular basis.
    Wouldn’t we all like someone to put us on their lap on a chaise and just hold us some time? What a great thing you did, instinctively.

  15. Peg Runnels says:

    I’m sending this to my daughter, whose firstborn son is 6 and occasionally has a meltdown. Taking a moment to remember that the child WANTS to feel better but can’t find the way is so important. You modeled how to do it. Thanks.

  16. angelle says:

    I needed this today. Lovely. THANK YOU.

  17. Kalala says:

    This is so perfectly appropriate for my oldest daughter (6) and I. She is often requiring the reconnection time with me to reset and if I can only slow down enough to recognize it the benefits are astounding, for all of us. Thank you for the reminder!

  18. Rita says:

    I suspect so many of us feel teary because we can relate to both you and Eli in this story. I have had a hard week with the child who is temporarily stealing the show, and I so appreciate reading this. Yes, slowing down and connecting. It’s hard when they are angry and unappreciative and triggering my own meltdown. Slowing down is always the way. As you point out, it’s rarely a matter of will. No one wants to be that upset. It’s just what we are.

  19. jennifer says:

    I think I’m (was) Eli, too, and these comments just helped me realize who I am as an adult (and was as a child…who didn’t get what she needed from the adults in her world), and what I may need to do for my sensitive son. Just yesterday, he just needed me. He calls his 2.25 self a baby bird that just needs his Mama. He holds up his hands and says hold you…I always read that as, “I want you to hold me.” I would correct him, and then realized, nope…he just wants to hold me, and I need to stop, breathe him in, and hold on tightly. Don’t forget the lesson you learned from that stranger, because I just wish someone was able to do that for me when I was young…guide me to help myself when I needed it most. It is so hard to learn these lessons as a 41 year old adult.

  20. cameron says:

    good one

  21. Taos says:

    YOUR EASY ONE?!?!?!
    I mean she is a lot of stuff but EASY?! I mean come on 😀
    EVERYONE knows I’m the easy one 😉

  22. Kristin says:

    Wonderful post. Just the perfect thing to read. I’ve been struggling with my 4 1/2 year old son who is in the middle of his nine year old(and very
    Sensitive) brother and four month old sister. It’s so hard not to lose it when he has been having multiple tantrums a day about, well, everything really. Reading this reminds me how uncomfortable he is feeling and reminds me to stop and put my arms around him more often. Sit heart to heart. This is what he really needs. Its
    What I need too. Thank you 🙂

  23. jenelle m says:

    Women supporting women.
    “Held without hurry.”
    …slow clapping…

  24. Elizabeth says:

    Thank you for sharing this. Very meaningful

  25. Teresa says:

    Hola Beth…..your writing always penetrates me…..not to mention the content,,mil gracias chica for your stories as well as us getting to keep up with your family’s well being and growth…..it sounds like that woman who came at the precise moment and interacted with you and Eli was your and Eli’s angel……and she just disappeared???

    Um…..there you have it….incredible….miss y’all…mucho amor y feliz semana santa, by the way Eli is gorgeous like her MOM!!!

    Abrazotes to all…Teresa

  26. Thank you SO MUCH for sharing this story. I have a 5.5 year old who, when he’s tired or hungry, expresses his frustration and angry by completely melting down. We’ve struggled with how to appropriately address this behavior so as not to condone it, but also to make him feel comfortable in expressing himself. Last night he had a major meltdown with my husband. Thinking of this post, I asked if I could step in and hugged him, breathed deeply and remained calm. Within three minutes had stopped crying and felt like someone had actually listened to him. I know it’s not always going to work this way, but it felt really good to be able to help him in that moment.

  27. Rachel says:

    This is a tricky age and in lots of ways I feel my 10yo still needs the care and attention I gave her as a breastfeeding toddler! We too find hugs and calm often help a lot more than talking even though she barely fits on my lap.

    Man, I miss that beach view 🙂

  28. Jessica says:

    Beth- most of your posts speak to me, but this one just down right screamed at me!!! “Slow down, Mama!!”. Reflect. Breathe. Cuddle. I can do that:)
    AND Bella misses Eli, too! Can’t wait to see you guys next go around

  29. Jess says:

    So perfectly played out and written. This hit me at my core. Thank you.

  30. Sara says:

    Thank you so much for posting this. As my daughter refused to participate in a recent class I drew upon your wisdom and we just sat together and observed and it was amazing. She needed something from me that I was overlooking and your story helped me recognize this and to truly be in the moment with her. Thanks a million!

  31. erica says:

    You are a good mama, Beth. Thank you for sharing this story, you and your life, your writing, all of it. You are blessed.

  32. Nida says:

    Thank you for sharing this, makes me realize how it important it is that we simply slow down, and not rush to fix someones emotional reactions so quickly as it wont work, especially children. I also wanted to say I love your blog! Thank you for sharing your experiences!

  33. Margee says:

    So interesting because I started to weep while reading this, and I thought “Wow, I must be getting my period”. lol, I couldn’t put my finger on why it made me cry. I read some of the comments and saw I wasn’t the only one crying, which puzzled me more. Then I read Rita’s comment and I think it may have explained why- it’s because we relate to both you and Eli (in a very profound way, I might add). Keep up the good work, mama 🙂 p.s. How fortunate to have a stranger pay you such a nice and timely visit. I suspect your good karma bank is full and coming back around to you, which is awesome 🙂

  34. Nicole says:

    Beth, I just wanted to let you know how much this story has helped us with our 2 year old son during his “terrible twos” and even before while he has been in the process of learning how to express his emotions. After reading this we decided to react with love and patience during his meltdowns and it has worked so well! I love watching him go from being upset and angry to just wanting to be held and consoled. Then he gets up and moves on just as your daughter did. Being new parents we’re always trying to figure out ways to handle what he throws at us, and I so much appreciate stories like this to help us through.

  35. Shelly says:

    I loved this story! It made me cry too. Sometimes just connecting with our child makes ALL the difference in the world.

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