December 3, 2010


Does your child ever want to do something and your insides cringe? You want to immediately say no, and perhaps you do, or you may quickly squash the idea in a gentle way.

It happened to me, it happens to the best of us. Even mindful parents can have those moments. It is how we learn from them that matters.

You would think what my daughter wanted to do was something huge. You would think I would have to play a big part in it, the way it bothered me. 

I had to dig deep. WHY did it bother me? What was the big deal? Why did I have to let her sense my negativity when she was so excited?  Isn't that a smaller version of stepping on someone else's dreams? 

I was multi-tasking, had a deadline, was not in the best of moods, but that shouldn't play any part.

She is twelve. She could gather everything she needed herself. She and her friends could do it together without my help. She is able to climb ladders safely. She knows how to fold and do the laundry. I didn't have to be a part in it at all. 

She didn't bring it up again and I forgot all about it. . . 

until this morning.

And all I could do was stand there and smile. . . and grab my camera!

They made a tent with all our available blankets tablecloths and sheets. I stood there with my mouth open, and truth be told, I wanted to crawl in myself. 

It was held together with a multitude of clothespins.

And beneath the tent of fabric and warmth, three friends were fast asleep.
It was terrific and I loved it . . . 
and then the guilt seeped in.

Why did I have to be such a poo about it in the first place? 
Why couldn't I have been upbeat and cheery and given her words of encouragement?

Was it because once she takes it down, the blankets will just stay all around the room? (which is like an open invitation to allow the rest of the room to become messy. . .  have you ever noticed how that happens?) 

Did it bother me that all the blankets would be piled next to the washer and perhaps sit there for days?

This was my child. 
A child, children actually, who had immense joy in constructing this and using this. In the scheme of life, what IS a mess of blankets in a room or a pile of blankets needing to be washed.

I have to tell them the moment they awaken, how glorious it is. And it can stay there for as long as she wants, and I am thankful I am stocked up on laundry detergent. 

It is a lesson to all of us. to breathe before we answer a child. It gives us those few milliseconds to respond in the best way possible, in a positive light, to encourage and allow their dreams to flourish and their imagination and ingenuity to take hold.

Every day is a new day.  We have a chance to start over, to change our responses, to look at life in a new light, and always strive for happiness.

happy day!

1 comment:

Luisa said...

All I can say is oh my goodness. Nicely put.