However, becoming an emotional mess doesn't make anything better, and I end up modeling very poor behavior for my toddler.
Occasionally though, I manage to find beauty in a potentially frustrating and overwhelming situation that might otherwise disarm me completely. Life can throw crap at me (literally) -- but I decide how I react to that crap.
With that in mind, I'm sharing two instances where I didn't sweat the small stuff and managed to create moments to cherish instead.
#1-Little ones in the car and excited to go to the duck pond and feed the ducks. We pull out of the driveway to discover that we have a flat tire. NO!!!!!!!
Wild Thing (my toddler) desperately wanted to see the ducks. He is NOT happy. I can sense the fit coming on, when I notice...
...a new bloom in our yard, one I had not noticed before. I show the Wild Thing and send him on a "flower hunting" mission to see what other new beauties might have sprung up around the yard. By the time he tired of that, the AAA driver had arrived with his tow truck to fix the tire and the ducks were certainly long forgotten by the excitement of the truck and the "magic" of the tire changing process.
#2-While wrapping up packing, work stuff and other prep the day of our red-eye flight to NYC, Wild Thing and Caterpillar (the baby) had some playtime that was much less supervised than normal as I focused on getting everything done. I come back from the laundry room to check in on them and discover...
...an empty linen closet with every single clean towel, wash cloth, blanket, pillowcase and sheet emptied onto a not-so-clean floor.
|The baby is buried underneath the mess somewhere. :)|
The situation could have been a source of major frustration with another mess to clean and more laundry to be done. Instead, I cherished the extra time to get things done as the two little ones played together happily and recalled my own childhood memories playing among a pile of blankets and pillows.
I'm drawing on these two experiences this week for my meditation focus because sweating the small stuff makes no sense at all and keeping that knowledge front and center makes me a better person and a better parent. When I get frustrated and overwhelmed and give in to those feelings, the situation often gets worse (because the children's emotions feed off of mine). But, when I take deep breaths in the face of a flat tire or unnecessary mess and realize it's not worth it, well the pay off is roses and childhood memories.
Please also visit Carrots Are Orange for a very moving post about Gratitude and Hugging Tightly as she eloquently expresses the importance of letting the small stuff go because at any point, everything can change.
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