Can You Find The Tree That Grew In A Squiggle Line?
When I was staying in the Gran Melia Resort Puerto Rico this past week I was lying on the beach doing my best to relax when I heard the giggling of small children. It quickly turned into the whining of small children which makes parents heart rate rise, skin get a bit chilled because they know what happens next. The kids are going to start having tantrums due to boredom. Boredom can strike when you least expect and it is less fun for the adults than it is for the kids.
I turned around to see what was going to happen. How would the poor mother on the beach handle her children nearing a major meltdown? Would she distract them with toys, lose her cool and sink to their level, ignore them completely so we all had to suffer in the name of some ridiculous game of chicken no one would win? I had to know because of course I didn’t have my children with me. I was child free, nosy and now it was someone else’s turn to fail and I was eager to see how it would go down. I wasn’t prepared for what happened next.
There was no mom. These two little’s were alone with their daddy. Now, in the year 2015 we have come a long way but as a majority we still believe that inherently women are better with children. I can tell you that this is not true in my situation. And probably not in this situation.
I have a lot of guilt about not being the mother I thought I would be. I learned early into this parenting routine that I wasn’t a huge fan of kids. Patience never grew and I was never able to look at a child and feel that warmth spread through my chest. Do I love my own children? Of course I do, unconditionally. But I’ve adapted all of us to my recipe of parenting. This includes a cup of sarcasm, a tablespoon of irritation, a dash of disbelief and then you wrap it up in love.
Quick and easy ideas to keep Spencer and Jason busy and out of trouble were never obvious to me. As they were having tantrums on the floor I was frozen in terror, the stares of other mother’s burning holes in my back, trying to talk sense into them.
“If you knock this crap off right now I won’t take away your (insert favorite toy here) but if you keep this up you can kiss it goodbye. Seriously, people are staring. I don’t do staring. ”
It’s All About Adaptation
Finally though one day I realized we all have different abilities. There are things in this life we will learn we are good at, that maybe come naturally. And then there will be things where we will struggle. And through that struggle we can choose to give up or press on. When parenthood reared it’s ugly head as a definite struggle for me I couldn’t just give up so I did as I mentioned above and adapted the role into something that worked for me.
And things that we are inherently supposed to be good at have exceptions. I remind myself that although I’m not good with children and will never be the mother that will get down on Jason or Spencer’s level, that they still love me. They actually love me a lot and miss me when I am gone and want to cuddle me when I’m here. I’ve done a good job even if it isn’t the typical relationship we’ve come to expect from a mother.
Is This Father The Exception Or The Rule?
Now these little children who have grown bored with building castles were sending out a warning to their father. But he was prepared and swooped immediately into action. I witnessed an act of heroism I would never have been able to pull of. He pulled a children’s activity out of thin air. With just one simple sentence he started a game that turned the entire moment around.
“Can you find the tree that grew in a squiggle line?”
So I turned my head and I found the tree that grew in a squiggle line. And in doing so I reminded myself that we all have strengths and weaknesses. And I was once again able to find peace within myself.