I wrote and published the post the other day about me losing my mind over the boys fighting and nonstop need to be physical with each other the other day, and then literally, within 5 minutes, read this quote on another blog:
|image courtesy of thegreatread.blogspot.com|
But I think sometimes I need to do a better job of understanding that just because I don't understand it, doesn't mean it's wrong. And sometimes it's hard to do that. And if we can't demonstrate to the kids how to respect people who do things differently, how can we expect them to learn that? I think of Brian and I....we each have different ways that we choose to de-stress or spend time with friends. He doesn't really "get" my love for book club or black Friday shopping, while I don't really "get" his love of going fishing or how running for 30 minutes is a stress reliever for him. But we respect that for the other person; that is how we recharge our batteries, or how to connect with friends and family. Just because we have different ways of doing it, doesn't mean that the other person is wrong.
I think sometimes we (Brian and I) get so caught up in wanting to "raise them right" that we overlook appreciating them for who they already are. We shouldn't want to change them, we should want to help them become the best versions of themselves that they can be.
And when I stop my mind from immediately thinking of how messy bath time is going to be that night, or how I'm going to have to thoroughly check for ticks, or wipe up the floors after they traipse through the house with dirt falling off of them....when I stop thinking about all of those negatives, I have time instead to think about the positives. My kids want to be outside running around like crazy instead of parked in front of a video game....my kids want to share with me everything that they have discovered in the dirt....my kids want to use their imaginations to build a huge fort that is the secret hideout of all the superheroes. Maybe the activities they're doing aren't exactly what I would choose to do, but the bottom line is, they ARE doing exactly what I want them to do...they are being active, they are sharing their lives with me, and they are using their imaginations.
I wrote last week in my recap post about how the boys wanted to "go exploring" in the woods behind our house. Brian was cleaning up the yard, so my first instinct was to say no or tell them they had to wait until daddy was done so he could take them. Then I caught myself; why can't I take them?? It's not like we were going to be hiking for miles and miles, they literally just wanted to wander 15 feet away from our backyard and explore the trees.
I'm so glad I did. Because if I hadn't, I wouldn't have heard Liam's giggles every time the leaves crunched under his boots. I wouldn't have heard the pride in Jake's voice when he said "Mommy, look at me, I did it!" after climbing a tree by himself. I wouldn't have watched them both use a fallen tree as a balance beam, then jump off the end and high five each other that they made it across. I wouldn't have heard them talking and giggling with each other about how they were the "lost boys" from Peter Pan, and how they might have to figure out where to build a shelter that night if they couldn't figure out how to get out of the woods and back home.
Would I normally suggest that we go walking through the woods where it's a hotbed for ticks, climb trees where we could potentially break an arm, or try to build a fort with sticks? Nope. But I'm so glad I didn't turn down the offer to join them. I have a lot to learn from these boys.
Be fierce, be wild, be passionate.