02 April 2010

Broccoli and Bike Riding


Over the past couple of years I have had the delicious opportunity to share a bit in the raising of a darling little bug. It has been a fantastic learning experience for me: to learn how to be a good, wise and patient almost-parent.  I am still working to try to demonstrate those qualities with consistency. Such a challenge. Has not been easy, but the smiles, hugs and kisses and lovingly shared sentiments of thanks and appreciation make it all worth it.

As we sat, struggling to eat a few bites of vegetables the other day I heard repeatedly "I can't." and saw a lot of feet dragging  - comments like, "I'm too full....I'm really tired, I should go to bed..."  This was accompanied by flopping herself on the dinner table, rubbing her eyes, yawning, stalling, etc. I wished she could just see how easy it would've been to just quickly eat the hot vegetables -- to cut them up in small bites and mix them with other food rather than having the situation become even more unpleasant. Instead it turned into a drawn out unpleasant moment for everyone.

Then I thought about all the other things she's accomplished over the past two years, things she thought she couldn't do. That seemed too hard, that she had said, "I can't" to, dragged her feet, cried, faked sleepiness, stalled and whined to avoid. A short list includes learning to pedal a tricycle, roller-skating (w/training wheels), coloring, cutting with scissors, washing her hands, going potty, taking off her clothes, putting shoes on the right feet, saying prayers, safely walking down stairs and when tired just merely walking. All of these things are important lessons she should learn to survive in the world. And fantastically she  has mastered them all in just two short years and mostly cheerfully. None of these events did her in as she was sure they would. They were not too difficult, she just had to go through the learning process.

I applied that to my life and thought of how often I wonder if I will be able to survive the experiences I go through. As grown ups we must make big decisions like where we are going to live, big questions about whether you are applying your talents to the life you are living, are doing enough for others, are making the right choices for your and your family. I think these things feel pretty overwhelming.

We wonder if we can manage or will be broken, if we will ever know the right answer or be forced to take an educated guess and live with the consequences. Just like the four-year-old bug, these are things we can't determine the outcome of. We may slip and scrape our knees, others may not be able to catch us when we fall even if they promise they'll be there for us, we may not be able to stop in time if we get going too fast and can't brake, we might die if we have to eat the broccoli.

But as grown ups what do we tell them? You can do it. Do it quickly and it won't be so bad. It will be fun. You'll love it if you just try it. Pay attention, be calm and you'll be fine. Just breathe.Take a break for a few minutes. Trust me. This will be over soon. In a few days none of this will matter and you'll be just fine. Everything will work out, it always does. This is a blessing in disguise. There is a silver lining. --And we really believe these things when we say them. These are probably the same things our parents, grandparents and ancestors would tell us if they had the chance. It will all be okay. It will be easier if we just push through. Rest and calm down as needed. Know that things always work out and you will be okay. 

So the next time you don't think you can do it, just get on your big kid bike and head out, knowing It will all be okay. It will be easier if you just push through. Rest and calm down as needed. Know that things always work out and you too will be okay.

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