“To be nobody but yourself in a world which is doing its best to make you just like everybody else means to fight the greatest battle there is to fight and never stop fighting- the battle to be yourself.”EE Cummings.
My Biggest Little Teacher (BLT) has a love and a flair for art in all arenas. Today, for the first time she actually used a suggestion I threw out regarding a piece of art she was working on… well, if you consider decorating a brand new hairbrush “art”. She felt that her ornate “J” looked more like an “S”, and I suggested a small change to the tail of the “J”. A few minutes later I heard her say out loud from the back seat, “Thanks for the suggestion.” I was a bit shocked and asked, “So you used my idea?” She said “yes” and went back to what she was doing.
I thought for a moment and in an audible conversation with myself said, “Well, I bet I could suggest anything to you and you could make it beautiful. The only beautiful thing I’ve ever made was you.” I could see her smile in the rear view mirror. I continued, “Well, I didn’t do it on my own, God did most of the work.” She responded quickly, “You are still creating beauty.” “Huh?” I said dumbfounded. “Mom, you are still creating beauty.” I asked “How?” She said, “You teach me to be a better person, that is beauty.” I hear her words and want to cry. In my most humble of tones I tell her, “I hope that is what I do. I try to be the best guide I can be.” She senses I’m getting teary and says, “Well, it can be fun too. It doesn’t have to always be so serious.” Ah-ha! The big reminder! So we talked about life being both fun and serious, and if it were serious or fun all the time, life would not be very well-rounded. She nodded her head and went back to her hair brush art.
Sometimes I wonder how the heck she figures these things out at age 9, and then I remember how most kids these days have this brilliant clarity and knowing that seems so grown up for such little bodies. I love taking time to listen to the children, as they are the genuine keepers of truth and knowledge!
Even though I am the first to console someone whose had a bad day by telling them, “We all have days like that”, I forget to apply it to myself. That is until my Biggest Little Teacher (BLT) gives me a whopping reminder right between the eyes!!!
Last week was energetically rough for me. Work was overly demanding, money issues, scheduling issues – you name it, I felt overwhelmed. On one particular day my fella had a really rough day too, and when we came together that evening there was no room for error or understanding. Basically, we snapped! Dinner was very quiet except for BLT’s sweet voice telling all kinds of stories. But on this day, her stories could not jar us out of our self pitying egos. The three of us uncharacteristically spent the entire evening in our own spaces – separated. My fella spent the evening in the bedroom reading, while BLT and I remained in her room doing homework. The evening ended, and my fella and I went to bed angry.
Morning came and I felt horrible for the massive tension I’d created for BLT and the family in general. By 6:30 am I decided to put my ego back in its sheath, and waive the white flag. Before BLT awoke, I swallowed my pride, apologized to my fella, and made peace with a tight kiss and a good bye as he left for work. Feeling sure I’d made BLT very uncomfortable the night before, I went in to wake her up and talk to her a bit before the day began.
She woke with a good attitude, which is not always the case for this night owl, and we spoke about the upcoming day. I gently began to apologize for the evening events prior and explained, “Man, I apologize for being so grouchy yesterday. I was really feeling angry and overwhelmed. I was even irritated with Sunny” (That is what she calls my fella). She looked at me a little surprised and said, “Irritated with him about what?” I thought, “oh no, why did I bother to bring this up, she didn’t even notice!” But, since I opened the bag, I had to round up the cat… “I was just irritated with him because of all my stuff going on. I simply lost my patience. I was having a really bad day.” BLT, looked at me with soft deep brown eyes and said, “Well mom, everyone has days like that. Today will be better.” I cannot lie, I was shocked! BLT seemed so mature and aligned it was as if God were smacking me directly!!! I smiled at BLT and gave her a big hug. She looked up at me again and said, “Yeah, everyone has days like that once in a while.”
I do hope this reminder will assist you when you have one of those “days like that”.
All my best,