I‘m very happy to be guest posting here at Fun On A Dime! I think embracing the small, simple, imperfect happy moments in our lives is what it is all about. I would be honored to share with you one of the lessons in my mothering journey that truly stopped me in my tracks and made me change my entire perspective. The original story was posted on my blog Sweet Spontaneous over a year ago, but I do not exaggerate when I say that hardly a day goes by that I do not remember this incident, and use it to remind myself to slow down…
to ask more questions…
and to take just that one extra breath to allow me to find the hidden beauty in my children, my life, and myself.
My middle child is a complicated child. She is contrary. She is volatile. She is mercurial, temperamental, a moving target. She does many things that are utter mysteries to me, and I usually assume that she does them specifically to try my patience. (I still think I am right most of the time).
One of her many quirks is that she removes her shoes (and socks, and hat, and sweater, and bracelet, and purse, and hairbow, all worn at her insistence – but let’s just talk about the shoes for now) at every possible opportunity. She must put them on and take them off 50 times a day. And lately, even when I can get her to wear shoes, she refuses to fasten them. She walks around with the velcro straps undone and flapping in the breeze. I have often wondered if she just forgets to fasten them, or if she relishes the knowledge that as soon as she sits down somewhere she can get them off just that much faster, or if she just likes to see my blood vessels pop out as I ask her please, one more time, if she would please put her shoes *all the way* on.
Tonight we were walking through the PF Chang’s parking lot for Mother’s Day dinner, the bigger two children several steps ahead of us. David, smiling, asked me if I knew why Eve left her shoes unfastened.
“No”, I replied, quickly escalating the conversation to vent status, summoning to my memory all the times I had had to find the “other” shoe, how many hundred pairs I had carried in from the car after being thoughtlessly discarded there. “I have no idea why. She does it everywhere we go, and she is so reluctant when I ask her to fix them! I think it must be just”-
“I asked her today. She does it because she is hoping if she leaves them undone, one of her shoes will fall off. Like Cinderella.”
That just totally blew my mind.
My daughter – my sweet, blonde, humming, dancing, living-in-her-own-private-universe daughter – was holding this little secret in her heart, and I almost missed it.
Because I never took the time to ask.
Because I assumed the worst of her.
Because I couldn’t shut my own mouth and just listen.
Lucky for me, tomorrow is a new day, and I am absolutely confident she has more delightful secrets that I hope I can be privileged to discover.
If I can just listen.
Rachel is a mom of three who loves to write, cook, practice yoga (so she can calmly allow her childrens’ insanity to wash over her like waves on the ocean), and run (so she can get away from them quickly in case the yoga thing doesn’t work out!)
Renee saysNovember 9, 2011 at 9:42 pm
Love this story Rachel. It makes so much sense, I just might leave my shoe unbuckled.
Renee saysNovember 9, 2011 at 9:43 pm
(In hopes that my HUSBAND OF EIGHT YEARS finds it. OF COURSE.)
Rachel saysNovember 9, 2011 at 10:23 pm
Well, I’m not too proud to be the first one to comment on my own post. 🙂 Thanks for having me, Michelle!
Laura Lofgreen saysNovember 10, 2011 at 12:05 am
This is the sweetest story. I’m so happy I had the chance to read about it. Thank you, Rachel.
Emily Childers saysNovember 10, 2011 at 12:41 am
LOVE this post.
Jamie saysNovember 10, 2011 at 1:02 am
What a sweet reminder (or first-time insight)! Thank you for sharing!