Every once in a while I look back through the photos and journals to remember all that has transpired.
A story my youngest loves to tell popped into my mind and I would love to share it with you.
It was a fall day and I had just put my two older children on the bus. I was distracted, frantically running around trying to get ready for work while also getting ready to drop my youngest off at daycare.
We were Both dressed (quite a feat when you are talking about a caffeine deprived mom and a toddler). The van was JUST about in reach when my son did what any toddler would do. He darted under an enormous spruce tree we had in the front yard.
We make choices every day with what reactions we choose to have. I Chose not to get down and crawl through mud and potentially get spiders in my hair. Instead of being patient and realizing that Late isn’t the end of the world I chose to let the frustration of the day get to me.
I imagine people several streets away could hear me lose my cool .
‘TJ YOU GET OUT FROM THAT TREE RIGHT NOW’
but mom, its sooo cute.
Um – what?
My head snapped around.
My mind started racing.
What could it possibly be??
Forgotten stuffed animal (pleasepleaseplease), snail, worm …… MOUSE????
That feeling of dread.
Your arms gets goosebumps.
Your stomach feels like a weight has landed inside of it, simultaneously pushing down AND squeezing tight.
hEEEEEEEY, baby ….. What’s so cute? I asked with a fake smile plastered on my face.
Then it happened.
My adorable (clean) toddler slowly came out from under the tree, with the biggest smile on his face. Cradling in his arms ….. a completely DEAD crow!!
Oh MOM, can I keep him – he’s beautiful.
In an I’m-super-cool-with-this-and-not-at-all-freaked-out tone that I totally pulled off (no i didn’t – but let’s pretend) I calmly (not so calmly) told my son to
PUT DOWN THE BIRD
As he hugged that dead bird tighter its neck grotesquely twisting to one side (gag reflex happening as I recall this), I had this fleeting thought:
We each have a different perspective on what is important.
I had two choices. I could march over and take the bird from my child’s arms and tell him how sick it was making me and how he needed to react in the same way I was. Confused and upset he would eventually comply.
I could look at this through his eyes. I could see the black feathers that glinted in the sunlight. I could acknowledge that when you only see birds flying gracefully in the air, to have the ability to hold one in your hands must be magical.
If I would look and talk to him about how lovely the bird is – I would be able to get him to release the bird more quickly and painlessly than if I tried to put my opinions and views on him.
I’m not going to tell you what it is I chose to do … I’ll leave it to your imagination.
How different it is when we pause and truly take the time to look at a situation through another’s perspective.
How much more empathetic would we be towards each other?
How much more would we be willing to open up to others – knowing that they would truly be trying to understand rather than putting their own judgements on a situation?
How much better would this world be?