Wednesday, April 04, 2012

what to do about cave drawings and spills and tears

i often wish i could change my personality to be someone more patient, more carefree, less uptight about certain things, less barky
or maybe its not that i need to change my personality per se but that i need to continue to develop the characteristics that are inside me, just oftentimes dominated by my weaknesses
this is where i find myself
at a crossroads
between the mother that i am at my best and the mother i am at my worst

i am so very grateful to the many comments that i received here on my blog, on FB, and even through text  regarding my post on my trivial fabric dilemma
many of them from mothers i aspire to be more like
oh how i want to be that mother who reacts the calm, gentle, and carefree way when strawberry jelly is knocked over onto her fabric covered dining chairs 
the unplasticized, white and bold colored patterned fabric calling out to her that it was her decision to unplasticize and recover them with fabric with large amounts of white
because she didn't like the feel of sticky vinyl or its grandma implications
and she didn't want to depart from her inclination toward airy graphic fabric 
that is the mother i would choose to be
the one who gets to choose the style she wants to live in and also is patient when it is scarred by little hands

i found it very ironic that soon after writing my post and receiving varying suggestions, 
that I found this cave chair drawing
accompanied the following day by this torn pillow cover

immediately following the discovery of the chair drawing began a session of our church's semiannual General Conference
a source of great peace and inspiration to me
a weekend i look forward to with great anticipation every six months
one of the talks was given by our beloved prophet Thomas S Monson
he related a brief story of a woman who spent her time furnishing and cleaning her home, and did not invite her grandchildren over for fear they would break or ruin her precious possessions.  she later received a diagnosis of a life-threatening disease and immediately knew that she wanted to spend her remaining time with her family and friends, those who were truly most precious to her.

Such moments of clarity come to all of us at one time or another, although not always through so dramatic a circumstance.  We see clearly what it is that really matters in our lives and how we should be living.

if i choose a dark fabric to hide the stains and decide on covering the cushions in vinyl
that is definitely not a guarantee that somehow, some way, strawberry jelly will not make its way onto them.
yes, the decision of which fabric to purchase is trivial
but the ever so untrivial and important decision is how i will react when chair drawings, tears, and spills occur
will i be quick to bark and demonstrate that those most precious to me are possessions rather than posterity
seeing my sorrowful little boy's face quickly hidden in his hands softened and opened my heart
this image reminded me of the crinkly paper on my fridge that houses some of my favorite quotes
i may have shared this before
but if so, its a good one that needs to remembered again and again
...hence the posting on my fridge

When we act with the child's needs in mind, we act very differently.  When we understand that our children are doing the best they know how in a big, confusing world in which they often feel awkward and powerless, we like Jesus, can act redemptively.  When a child falls short because of lack of wisdom or experience, we can teach rather than punish.
H. Wallace Goddard, "The Soft-Spoken Parent

whatever i decide about my silly chairs, i decided and not my children
i must remember that spills are going to happen
{and truthfully often they are from me}
and though the scrubbing and repairing will be inconveniences, i must not make my children feel as if they are
oh dear friends, remind me of this!


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