How I went from rigid to flexible this morning?

4:00am: My bladder knows no courtesy. Never mind that I was sleeping soundly and quite comfortably. Grumble. I had no choice but to pay attention to my bladder’s calling and so I did. Then I went to the couch. After all it was only 1 1/2 hours until I normally wake up. I didn’t intend to fall back sleep.

5:15am: I heard the littlest feet coming down the stairs. I smelled the perfume she dowsed on last night, that is still lingering behind her the way her blanket drags the ground and goes every where she goes. Kennedy and her blanket climbed up on the couch with me. She was clearly wide awake; I noticed with all of her wiggles and noises. Somehow she managed to firmly land her head right onto my eye.

“Ouch” I said instinctively (I’m not sure what tone I used here but I don’t think it was a gentle one).

“What? It’s not like I did that on purpose. Geez.” Were Kennedy’s first words this morning.

It was an abrupt way to wake up, and I had a choice to point out the obvious lack of manners she started her day with or focus on the fact that we were starting our day together. I accidentally chose to point out her lack of manners. I don’t mean to be rigid, but it’s not always easy for me to adjust my intended path. I had a vision of waking up calmly with no surprise pain. and who is my innocent daughter to send me off that path?

I proceeded to get ready for the day and make breakfast. She gave me some orders about her lunch box that left me noticing her lack of manners again. As I often do, I tried to talk about our obvious struggle every second I could. Over-talking about a struggle while we are in it, is never successful. Yet I tried it again this morning.

On our drive to school, Kennedy says “Mom, you need the 10 minute timer. You use to be the 1 minute timer, but now you are the 10 minute timer.” Kennedy measures our families’ ability to be flexible in life by the length of time she determines it would take for us to get back to being fun. And today I went from a 1 minute to a 10 minute…..where does she get this stuff, really?

And so started my reflection, after such a harsh accusation. Why am I being so rigid? Accidents happen, not everyone likes the same food, we all change our mind about what to wear at the last minute. Was I really letting those things be more significant than having some fun and enjoying our day? 

Awe, I witnessed how sometimes it is hard for me to flow with ease through my days. I reached my hand to the back seat to hold her ankle because I can’t reach her hands anymore (sad face). I said “I love you Kennedy. I know, I know, I tell you all the time and you already know it. But I like saying it…..I LOVE YOU.” I screamed the last affection as loud as I could. It shocked her into forgetting about my rigid morning attitude.

She laughed and said “You can tell me again if you want.” 

I smiled and starting enjoying the day. We laughed on the way to class alongside a 3 year old friend practicing his skipping. Ease and flow is my motto today (and probably the whole weekend).

P.S. Respectful communication is very important to our family, but I know that she won’t learn that from a mom who is acting rigid and unpleasant. She’ll witness it on the days I’m fluid and loving.