For the past two weeks, I have been eating humble pie. I have made so many clumsy mistakes, I finally saw what I was supposed to learn: I am human and clumsy. So are my children. I need to stop with the fussiness already. It all culminated with my finding Mom Enough – especially the first chapter by Rachel Jankovic. I received a new perspective and repented some more.
I have been a bit too harsh and hard on them lately. When they make mistakes because they are small and human and still learning, I have overreacted. And then I spilled the gelatin mixture as we were pouring it into LEGO molds, giving myself 30 minutes of cleaning sticky goo from the kitchen counters and floors. My son even helped of his own free will, even though it was not his mistake. But he was helping his mom because he wanted to, which humbled me further.
And then I forgot I placed my cell phone inside my son’s violin case, which meant we thought I left my cell inside the building where our son had his recital. This wrong belief, stemming from my own forgetfulness, meant that we spent two hours in front of a building on the UTK campus, waiting for a police man to come unlock the building on Friday evening Memorial Day weekend. It gets worse: it was our 10th anniversary, too.
Of course, the cell phone was not in the building. It was inside our son’s violin case all along, inside our car, two feet from us. But we did not know it. Whenever we pinged it, it showed it should be in the building (or in our car, due to our proximity to the building, but I just KNEW it could not be in the car – trust me, we searched, too). As we left the campus, for some reason, it showed still in the building, so we stopped pinging it as we drove home. And it was on silent, so when I rang it, of course it did not ring.
Once we got home, my husband pinged the cell phone again using Life 360, an app we use to locate each other (and our cell phones). It showed to be in the house or in the car. It did not show on the campus anymore. We were completely dumbfounded. Could it have been with us all along? After more detective work, we found it under the violin inside the violin case. I immediately downloaded an app called Shush. This would have turned the cell volume back on after an hour or two, once we got out of the recital hall. We would have heard it ring.
All this to say, I need to do better at being more gracious towards my children. Beyond anything else, I am teaching them how to live – how to experience life. And if I fall apart at everything that goes wrong around me, from the smallest to the largest, they will learn to do that as adults. It’s as simple as that. Down with fussiness. My own, that is.