Love nudges

“Finding the courage to kick that cutie out of the nest, while the nest is low to the ground, and creating a lifetime of experiences so that when finally, that big day comes, and her solo journey begins, it begins on the wings of glory, not crouched behind an ever protective parent.”  – The Courage to Push

This reminds me of something I overhead today at the local karate academy. An older boy was talking loudly to his friend: “I’ve got four more years before my parents kick me out of the house so I have to learn how to do it by myself! My parents told me, when I turn 18 I’m outta there. Out into the world!”

It doesn’t matter that I don’t know what skill he was referring to. What struck me was the sense of urgency in his voice as he tried to get his friend to understand — Don’t you get it?! I’ve only got four more years to learn this stuff! And he sounded scared.

By chance just then Charlotte came out of the dressing room and said, “Mom, I can’t tie my belt because I always have the teacher do it so I don’t know how.”

I looked at her and smiled. “I’m sorry honey, I have no idea how to tie a karate belt.” It’s true, I don’t. For the past year I’ve made sure not to learn so I wouldn’t ever be tempted to do it for her.

She rolled her eyes at me went away. Several minutes later when I peaked into class her belt was tied. One way or another she got it done.

Love them, hug them, but also trust them and back off. Do it with all those little things and the big ones that come later will be so much easier for everyone. I know, I know, it can feel ruthless and mean, but you can still radiate love and compassion as you watch them struggle and fall. And even as they give you the hairy eyeball, they will feel the love and it will help them get back up and try again all by themselves.

ps Recently before the last week of school–after over a year of encouraging my girls in the kitchen, and telling them (and myself) that they are capable of so much more than they think–I smelled a wonderful smell and came downstairs to a scene of chaos, mess, excitement, and joy. Ellen had decided it was time to make cookies, and not just any cookies. These were cookies that neither of us had ever made before. She found the recipe on the chocolate chip bag and went at it completely on her own. The counter was so full of stuff that she had to move her project to the floor.

I smiled and went on with my day. She handled the whole thing AND cleaned up! Toward the end I couldn’t stay away any longer. I casually strolled into the kitchen. “How’s it going?” “Good! Want one? You can have one of the kinda burnt ones. I’m bringing those to school tomorrow. Over here are the soft ones. I’m saving those. Here, Fenner, you can have a soft one.”

The next day she skipped into school with cookie tin in hand. She was beaming with pride. Just beaming.

Back off, create space, leave your opinions at the door. I promise you won’t regret it!!

Explore posts in the same categories: Weeks following: Miscellaneous

8 Comments on “Love nudges”

  1. Lizzie Says:

    Love the reminder that sometimes that best thing we can do is “radiate love and compassion!” gotta remember that more when I’m tempted towards frustration – sounds fun!

  2. Debby Says:

    Love the photo!

  3. Shalagh Says:

    Wow Catha – what progress – I loved how you got one of the kinda burnt ones but her Sister got a soft one!!! All of your hard work paying off – again – thanks for the inspiration! : )

    • flockmother Says:

      Yes, that was a sweet moment (pun intended!) Ellen knows that Fenner doesn’t like crunchy cookies so she offered up a premium one for her. What a difference from when we used to make cookies and I would do most of the work, and then they would fight over who was getting more, bigger, better ones. Never again!

  4. tealara Says:

    Such inspiration. And a great reminder for me about patience with the process. Thank you, as always!

  5. Vicki Says:

    Thank you, thank you, thank you. Big Love.

  6. Cindy Pierce Says:

    GREAT story. I love how when the project extended to the floor, even with two dogs in your house, you still just let it roll. It all works out. The pride cannot be beat.

    The belt story reminded me of advice my mom gave me years ago: “if you iron your boyfriend’s or your husband’s shirt once, you’ll be in charge forever.” Being that ironing brings me no joy and the iron battle to get my own arsenal ready for a wedding or graduation is heinous, I listened to my wise mom. The fellas in my life got the opportunity to find their own way through the cleaners or the iron. And I smile with joy if a partially ironed shirt on Bruce steps out on the dance floor with me. It’s like the cookies – some are crunchy and some are soft. All good.

    • flockmother Says:

      Yes! What was it Vicki said at that mom’s weekend at your place? Something like, “If you don’t want to do it forever, don’t do it once.”

      That cookie metaphor is brilliant!

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