Regaining perspective

This morning I took ds2 and ds3 to a local story hour, and afterward they made a craft and did some painting.  It’s the first time I’ve done this with them, and though we do things like this every day at home (except for painting – that rarely  happens), I wanted to take them out so it was a special outing with them.  It was very nice for us all.  When I came home with them, a puzzle was in the early stages on the dining room table, so while I waited for lunch to heat up, I started putting it together.

Though I rarely do puzzles, I enjoy them – I find it relaxing and satisfying to watch one come together, and after interacting so intensively with the littles for quite a while, was enjoying doing something quiet and purposeful.  After about ten minutes, dd9 came by, saw me working on it and asked if she could join me.  I told her ‘sure’, so she started working with me.  But as her arm was repeatedly moving in front of my face and making it hard for me to see, I started to feel like she was getting in the way of me getting the puzzle done.

After this happened about fifteen times in two or three minutes, I felt annoyed and was about to tell her that I couldn’t get anything put together like that.  I started to say “It’s so-” and abruptly stopped as I remembered that it really didn’t matter how fast the puzzle got done, or even if it was finished at all.  What mattered was taking the opportunity to do something fun with dd.  As she continued busily trying out puzzle pieces in various spaces, she asked me, “‘It’s so’ what?”  And instead of telling her ‘it’s so challenging to get the puzzle done with your arm blocking me every ten seconds’, I told her, “It’s so nice that you’re doing this puzzle with me.”  And I meant it.

So often we get busy and lose sight of the forest for the trees.  We have things to do, and more things to do after that, and sometimes we rush right through everything.  Isn’t it obvious that the puzzle didn’t matter?  But it just goes to show how we can easily lose perspective, even with things that are unimportant and are supposed to be fun!!


3 thoughts on “Regaining perspective

  1. A similar thing happened here today. My daughter asked if she could help me make an applesauce cake. My gut reaction was to say no, I’m in a hurry, etc. But she was so sincere and determined that it was clear she would be very hurt. So instead I put her in the driver’s seat and let her do everything! It took maybe 5 extra minutes to accommodate her and she came away feeling like a million dollars. And so did I. :)

    1. It’s really amazing how little extra time it actually takes to involve our kids and leave all of us feeling connected and accomplished instead of frustrated and irritable, isn’t it?

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