Big picture

“Mom, did you see my note?” asked Charlotte this morning before school. “Yes, I was going to ask you about that. … You were feeling sad last night?” “Yeah.” “You wished I would help more?” “Yeah … did you see at the end?” she asked. “You mean where you signed it ‘Hate, Charlotte’ instead of ‘Love’?” “Yeah because I asked you for a kiss at bedtime and you just left and when you do that it seems like you don’t care!” “Last night? You asked me for a kiss?” “Yes! And you walked away and you always do that when you say goodnight and you don’t even look at me!” Her eyes filled with tears. I said, “I see. So when I say goodnight you want me to look at you and give you a kiss before I go.” “Yeah! And not a blow one either.” “Got it. … Charlotte, thank you for telling me.” At that she straightened up and went back to chasing the cats.

So it’s becoming increasingly clear that my next challenge is to not let myself get bogged down in the details of these new strategies. To that end I feel a road map coming on. And not the little dinky one that’s taped to my office wall that I have to squint at to read. I need a big huge one that I can’t avoid looking at every day to remind me of the big picture. It needs to be burned into my brain so that all the tiny little choices I make all day long are all lined up and pointed at that big picture.

The reality sandwich is that we’re not fixing here. We’re not trying to eliminate conflict, upset, frustration, and failure. We are teaching and training and showing and relating and loving, and that road is covered in bumps! And the bumps never stop … ever! Damn … really? Never? Deep down we all know it’s true. We’ve all tried to fool ourselves — No, no the road will smooth out when I go to college … ok, maybe when I graduate … or when I get that perfect job … when I move … when I get married … umm, kids! Having kids will get me there… Ha! That’s the funniest one of all.

So finally, finally it’s time to embrace the bumps. The bumps never stop, but every day we have a choice in how we respond to them. We can either do the things that work and build confidence and enhance our relationships, or … not. Which version of eternity do we want?

Talk about being at choice …

Explore posts in the same categories: Week 9: Family Meetings

2 Comments on “Big picture”

  1. Catharine Says:

    I love this! I can totally relate to expecting it all to be easy in the future. I still feel that way and it’s nice to think about the bumps being part of life and to embrace them instead of run away from them. Truly inspiring.


    • flockmother Says:

      Yes, when things don’t go the way I want or expect, I consciously look for the good side of things going badly (learning, empathy, resilience, insight.) Not easy, but when I can do it, it transforms my attitude and keeps me calm.

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