Thursday, June 24, 2010

Bigger Picture Moment: The Sweetness

Welcome to Bigger Picture Moments, a place where we step back and take in life. There are moments where we're so caught up in it all, the hectic mind boggling pace of the day. We encourage you to take this opportunity to take a moment and view the Bigger Picture. Whatever that means to you. A moment where you recognized the role your faith plays in your every day life. A moment where you take note of motherhood and the importance of what you are doing. A moment that made you stop and smell breathe in the bigness of it all. The hugeness that is life and the small moments adding up to one huge Bigger Picture.

We hope you'll join us. Take a few moments. Think about your week, and pour however little or much onto a page. Then share. Tell us your moment. Link up this week at Hyacynth's, grab our button, and share your Bigger Picture Moment. And while you're at it, share the love and check out at least one other participant's moment.

Next week Corinne will be hosting Bigger Picture Moments. Keep an open mind and heart throughout the week and come back to participate again or for the first time! All are welcome!


Yesterday was difficult. 

I was hot and bored, lacking inspiration for anything to dig us out of a dull day.  And you know what happens on a dull day, right?  Arguments.  Lost tempers.  Irritations. 

The toddler needed more interaction and activity than I could muster, so she was into everything.  Whole tubs of toys -- overturned and abandoned.  Anything in her sister's hands -- stolen and run off with.  Half of her lunch -- tossed onto the floor.  A glass of water (my water) -- plunged into by her quick little fist.  Repeated time outs -- disregarded and giggled over. 

I was furious with her simple toddlerness as much as my inability to steer myself out of the bad day I'd created for us.  I didn't want to go outside, where my shirt would be soaked through in an instant from the almost 100 degree day.  I didn't want to slather on sunscreen for 10 minutes before enduring a whine-fest in the inflatable pool.  I didn't want to think creatively about places we could go or things we could do.  I just wanted the day to be nice, all on its own.

My voice grew hoarse from stern talking-to's.  I sat still in the hallway while the punished toddler sat, crying, in her room.  I breathed deeply and shook my head at my lost grip.

Mia, the 4-year-old psychologist, found me there.  "You should go get Lauren, you know.  She's been crying in there." 

"I will soon," I promised.  "I'm just too angry right now, and I don't want to yell at her, so she gets a time out until I'm ready."

"You need to calm. Your. Temper. Down." Mia scolded me.  But then her eyes lit up.  "Do you need help to calm down?" she asked. 

Smiling through sheer desperation, I nodded.  In her princess-mode, Mia danced closer to me.  Eyelashes fluttering, she bent down.  And with all the seriousness of a fairy-godmother bestowing magical powers upon an overworked heroine, she softly blew into my face.  Once.  Twice.  Three times. 

Cocking her head at me, she smiled.  "Better?"

I nodded, and she waltzed away, back to whatever pretend ball she'd been engrossed in. 

I wasn't as calm as I'd promised her I was, but I was more clear-headed.  She'd shown me something I forget about too often: the way I teach my kids to behave, matters.  The lessons I try to help them learn regarding attitudes, compassion, frustration, and whatever else, matter.  They are actually learning things from me. 

How many times have I helped Mia calm down from a temperamental fit by sitting still with her and blowing a gentle stream of air onto her hot little face?  How many times have I told her to 'calm your temper down?'  How often does she get in trouble for flying into a fit of rage, yelling and screaming instead of speaking her feelings outright?  I can't count.  These things have happened so many times in the past, I couldn't be sure what I was doing was even getting through to her.

But I must have been.  She saw me overreacting and beginning to throw a useless fit.  She saw my short temper, and she knew exactly what to do about it. 

My work has produced a tiny, sweet bit of fruit. 

Now, I just need to be sure my own bad attitude on these boring, hot days, doesn't dash that fruit to the ground before it has a chance to ripen and mature in my children.  I don't want to thwart their sweetness with my careless moments. 

I want to remember that their sweetness depends -- in some small measure -- on the lessons I will teach them, so I'd better teach them well.

Where did you see the bigger picture this week?  Head over to see Hyacynth at Undercover Mother for more Bigger Picture Moments, and to link up with your own!  (Hint: There just MIGHT be a nice little surprise for you if you DO link up!)  Next week, Corinne at Trains, Tutus, and Tea Time will be hosting.  See you there!


  1. Oh I love this one :) Mostly because our day is ALREADY shaping up to be much like your day yesterday... so I'm going to learn from your moment. Oh the things our babes can teach us!

  2. Delighted to meet you through Bigger Picture Blogs. I wrote about almost the very same thing today for my own post, so I can totally relate. It's such a huge responsibility isn't it, and such a blessing at the same time. I have two little boys and there are so many days when I just have to take a deep breath and try to keep it together. Thank you for this beautiful, important post.

  3. Yes, those sweet little ones are learning from us every moment! <3

  4. Oh, what ornery little sweethearts you're raising! (I think I have a matching pair.) I'm so glad Mia was there for you. She probably felt proud of herself for knowing exactly what to do, too, and that's got to be worth something, right? You're a good mama--I'm glad Mia's becoming a mirror of you! (Because after you went to get Lauren, you danced away to an imaginary ball too, right?)

    On an unrelated note, you're making me nervous about the weather there. What are the chances that the humidity will clear up before July?

  5. It's amazing AND TERRIFYING how they mirror us.

  6. This was MY yesterday. Except I didn't come to any realization until this morning. Which is why we are all getting along so much better today.

    They are our mirrors. We are their best advocates. We must walk the talk...

    I enjoyed this!

  7. Those days are so stinkin' hard as they are long. But there is something priceless about being schooled by a tiny person, isn't there? And knowing that how they are handling the situation is a direct product of your teaching {when they are handling it well} is such a blessing and gift.
    I love your analogy to fruit ... reminds me of fruit of the Spirit.
    Awesome post, Sarah.

  8. It's such a special feeling when they copy something GOOD for once!Thanks for the honesty, I've definetly had those days where my kids are in time-out because I need to get control of myself.

  9. I need that little fairy! We had to worst, no good, horrible, yelling, toddler tantrum throwing day. Sigh..tomorrow is a new day!

  10. I could use a fairy or two. Nice post. See you tomorrow. Have a great night. ♥tlb

  11. Thank you for sharing your honest and beautiful self reflection! my daughter is only 7 months and i feel you already! I have moments of frustration and it hits me sometimes that even though she may not speak yet, she can totally pick up on body language, so i have to constantly remind myself that she is such a sponge. Thank you for another reminder! i am sure you are doing a wonderful job with your little sweet bit of fruit :)

  12. found you via the "bigger picture moments."
    oh i remember these days. let me tell you that the fruit i (with God) have worked hard to produce in my children is the most DELICIOUS!
    they are 12,10,& 8, and i am enjoying the "fruit of my labor."

    i want to be a cheerleader today on your side, encouraging you to keep up the good mommy work!

  13. I am past the days of fists in glasses of water, but I can relate that summer is the season when I lose my cool.

    I've decided this year to take it easier on myself. To have less on my agenda so that the heat doesn't burn me so badly. If I'm not creating my own heat maybe I'll be able to feel the breath of life when its blown in my face.

    Touching story, thanks for sharing it.

  14. I love this post. Love it. What you described here is, in many ways, an epiphany I am currently experiencing. I do not want my daughter to pick up on all my awful tones, I want her to mimic my kindness. And my sweetness. I guess I should be a better example of it them.

  15. What a lovely story, and how much it drive home the point that what we are doing as mothers really matters and really makes a difference. Thank you.


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