A hard lesson for all of us (and one I’m still learning)
It seems just like yesterday, but it’s been over 3 months since my mom and I vacationed with the kiddos in Ottawa, Canada.
Ottawa had amazing architecture, a world-class tulip festival, but most important to my children was – THE WIGGLES WERE BROADCAST ON LOCAL TV (preschoolers are cultural nuts)!
We had literally planned our day around the 3:30 pm showing of the Wiggles. We’d walk across the Alexandra Bridge for views of the Parliament, then we would visit the markets, and we’d still make it back to the hotel in time for rest and The Wiggles.
The time was asked every 5-7 minutes once we got to 2 pm. The excitement was building and impatience was brewing. When the theme song began, Wiggly followers started twisting and standing like a statue and all the other things that die-hard Wiggles fans do. And then Olen became tired. And stopped. By 3:40 he had moved on to more exciting things (as all 3 yr olds do). Jackson would not have this! “Mommy, he’s not dancing! He’s not being Lachy! Bubba, come here and be Lachy!” We were close to weeping and gnashing of teeth.
It did not matter what I said to defuse the situation, Jackson was pulling on Bubba to force him into cooperation. Finally, I looked at Jackson and spoke those fateful 6 words:
“YOUR HAPPINESS DOESN’T DEPEND ON OTHERS.”
“It doesn’t matter what Bubba wants to do. If he doesn’t want to dance, you don’t stop dancing. If he doesn’t want to sing, you can still sing. Your happiness does not depend on his actions.”
Then I realized that I’d been living my life like this 10 minutes of turmoil. I’d spent so much time comparing that I’d forgotten that it was okay to dance to my own music. That when others don’t understand your passion, it isn’t personal- they just don’t understand your passion!
We live in a world where others are tired. They seep negativity because of the life situations they have been dealt. I can go there. I can hole-up in my head and be the most anti-happiness person that ever existed. It is a battle.
I can stew and pout and be frustrated like my 5- year-old OR I can pull on my big girl pants and remove myself from the toxic. I can do what I need to take care of my family or I can be worried about how others are refusing to dance.
Somedays are better than others.
I can try to teach the difficult lessons to my children, but most of the time I learn more from my little sermons. Sometimes I need the hard lessons more than my kids.
Have you preached something to your kids that you really needed to hear yourself? Maybe you also struggle with allowing others to control your state of happiness? Let’s commiserate. 🙂