Mom: “Good job telling me you had to go to the bathroom.”
Child: “Uh huh.”
Mom: “Because do you remember last year when it was too late and they had to shut down the whole pool?”
Hard to contain the chuckle that bubbled up while I overheard this gem. I felt for both the mom and the child. But mostly, I patted myself on the back for having made it through those early days of rushed potty breaks. I’m pretty sure I kept, for nostalgia's sake, the $40 Disney Princess pants we had to buy when our overexcited daughter forgot to tell us she needed to ‘go’ at Disneyland one time.
Ironically, this overhear finally shifted me away from the frustration I had been feeling at our daughter, and her friend’s, behavior on our Lake Tahoe vacation. Eleven year olds who are best friends should be old enough to resolve disagreements, I thought. Are they really going to keep fighting over a stupid sticker book, I wondered? Argh (on more than one occasion) for just their general attitude.
I was reminded how easy it is to focus on the things that are right in front of us, the things we want, and overlook the things we already have.
Recently I decided to take stock of how I am doing in my life. Am I accomplishing what I want to? Do my actions mirror my values? You know… that kind of stuff. As I considered my values I realized it was really easy to pay attention to the ones I felt were not being fully met… like social connections or a sense of accomplishment. On the other hand, it was far more difficult to recall the values that were currently grounding my life, like independence, creativity and health.
So, although my daughter’s snarky comments antagonized me, I could breath a sigh of relief (while I sipped my mojito and watched her swim,) that at least I didn’t have to worry about her shutting down the pool… Now, being kicked out of it for dunking her friend, well that was another matter.
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