October 18, 2011
Peanut Butter Fingers
Posted by Steph
As a parent, it's so easy to get caught up in the Do's & Don'ts. The older my kids get, the more time I spend all day Do-ing and Don't-ing:
(Do) Eat your dinner!
(Do) Wash your hands!
Don't draw on the wall with crayons!
It occurred to me the other day that most of the words coming from my mouth were corrections. Part of being a mom is guiding our kids to learn and grow into capable adults. One of the avenues of guiding is correcting. But, there are so many other paths and journeys to take with our kids.
Part of being a kid is having the freedom to explore this world: to play in the dirt, to splash in the tub, to create a hurricane of toys in the family room. As adults, we forget what it is like to be a kid. We see a muddied child, a drenched bathroom, and a messy playroom. But kids, oh kids! They are lost in the world of being a renowned dinosaur excavator, a magical dolphin swimming in the ocean, a bulldozer working hard at the construction site.
They are dreaming dreams, hoping hopes, and learning only the beginning of their great potential. They are doing exactly what they are supposed to be doing:
Being a kid.
When I realized how much I was missing, how much I was allowing my kids to miss, it made me want to be the kind of woman who said no a little less, and laughed a little more. To ignore the mess and celebrate the opportunity.
So today, while preparing lunch, I saw Little Chica's hand creep toward the peanut butter canister. I knew what was coming: a fat finger dipped into the creamy spread, and plopped immediately into her hungry mouth. My body tensed, a No! on the tip of my tongue. But I stopped. I took a deep breath. And embraced the opportunity to allow my child to be a world-class chef testing her latest creation, or whatever her imagination had conjured in that moment.
And you know what? I dipped into the peanut butter too.
We all still have a lot to learn.