Saturday, 6 June 2015

7 year growth cycles

Mother Nature is kind. Just as your child leaves the first 7 year growth cycle, she  gives you back the gummy smile you fell in love with to ease the transition for a short while. Loose teeth, bare gums, the last glimpses of infancy before your child moves into middle childhood. Corresponding with natural-term weaning from the breast, the jaw shifts and changes, making room for wide sharp adult teeth, a new smile.

I've experienced a full 7 year cycle in my child, honouring his needs as best as I could at every stage. I am saying goodbye to the infant I held close, getting to know the boy and catching glimpses of the man he'll become.

His needs were so easy to meet in the beginning, but how they stretched me as a person.  I'll always be grateful to this boy who made me a mother, pushed me straight into attachment parenting despite all my notions of independence. He was Dr. Sears' Fussy Baby, needing always more than I could give. He cried like his heart was breaking when I left him for work. He suckled at my breast every night until he physically couldn't any more. He taught me to live on "baby time", to throw all ideas of me controlling my life out the window. To be patient, to put another person's needs before my own. He and I were a unit, a dyad. We were in sync,  reading each other's thoughts. He spoke aloud my thoughts, from before 2 years of age. He cried my tears though he didn't know why. I anticipated his needs in a dance of synchronicity.

And then suddenly, but ever so slowly in the last year everything has changed. He can sleep without me. He can go a day without a cuddle. He has feelings and motivations I know nothing of. And I'm chasing him, for physical contact, to hear his thoughts, stay involved in his life. He spends hours without me lost in games I know nothing of. He has relationships I haven't forged. He is bored with the old and searching new paths.

It's so bittersweet. I see how all our dancing got us here, enabling him to do all this. The years as a duo have given him the confidence to go solo. And I need to learn new ways to walk beside him, he doesn't need his hand held anymore, he's showing me the way. We're in new territory, and the mother I've learned to be needs a whole set of new skills to deal with this new phase. Put away the dancing shoes,  we're going on a hike.

I'm reading theories about 7 year development cycles, here is one that goes year by year into adulthood which I found spookily accurate, mentioning chakras.

 Here is one following a Steiner philosophy and dealing with each 7 year cycle as a whole.

Have you noticed a similar pattern in yourself / your children?

1 comment:

  1. I really enjoyed this Niamh and am always fascinated by the way we live out our unique path yet see these patterns in our lives. To think you'll soon get to hold another little one starting on his or her journey ♥

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