I will admit that I did not crawl out of the right side of the bed today. Instead, it was the we'll be bored and irritable today side of the bed. The keeping the girls busy without making messes because we need to sell the house side. And maybe a little bit of when can I do something just for ME? side of the bed.
Part of it is me feeling inadequate: it seems like the girls are arguing more than ever, leaving me to wonder. How do I fix this? Or at least not make it worse? How much bickering should be allowed, versus how quickly I step in and cry uncle?
Another part is my reaction to my energy-filled four-year-old. Lauren is wild this summer, blooming into a big girl but still using little girl tactics, and it's not bringing out the best in me. I'm losing my temper daily, which will only pave the way towards losing my temper hourly. I don't want this.
I don't want to be angry with their learning how to be or with Lauren's exuberance, but when it's directed at an overwhelmed brother or used (loudly) when I'm trying to rock that brother to sleep... I just get so frustrated. And the whining...and the hurt feelings...
So I woke up dreading the new day.
When Lauren came into the kitchen before breakfast, I kissed the top of her head, breathing in her sleepy scent. In with the sweetness, out with yesterday's frustrations. She stood at the back door, looking up at the bird feeder and to the shrubs beyond. I tensed, waiting for her demand. I'm hungry! I need a drink! What can we do today? I knew what I would do; I would encourage her to think for herself. I would remind her that she's capable. I would smile and trust. But still, I was tense.
Instead, she kept silent. She squinted into the bright sky and unlocked the door. Stealthily, she tiptoed onto the patio, crunching bare feet over discarded sunflower seed hulls. The birds flapped away from the feeder noisily, disturbed. I waited for her irritation; I thought the birds were what she wanted to get close to.
She stepped to the shrub, lifted her arm, and plucked a flower. It fell to the ground. Again, I expected irritation. Again, she kept moving. She squatted down with her nightgown brushing the concrete, and smiled when she reached her treasure. She stood and lifted it to her nose. She came back inside the door, closed it, and locked it.
And handed the flower to me.
I was ashamed of myself. If each moment has the capacity to be something special -- either in a grand, spectacular way, or in a mundane, plodding way -- and I ruin it with horrible expectations, what is left? I held Lauren's hand to my lips, kissing her generosity and innocence, and whispered a new incantation: in with the sweetness, out with the expectations.
The flower sits on the windowsill above my sink. Admonishing with an open face. Guiding with a bright smile. Showing me what to see, serene in its observation.
We're seeing the Bigger Picture through simple moments -- moments that force us to stop and take notice of the ways our worlds are important, meaningful, and beautiful. Please join us at Melissa's place today! Grab the button, link up, and read a few others to encourage them as they find the fullness in the simple