As a mom I’ve often used the phrase ‘do as I say, not as I do’. Today, as a mom, I realized that maybe I should adopt the adage ‘Do as I do’. I thought this as I left my proud 4-year old in her classroom. She has picked out her own outfit and thought she was ‘all that’ in her ensemble. I saw the outfit and cringed but she declared it her favorite-pink, a tu-tu, tights and pokey-dots. All at once. She was happy-happy-happy in her fur vest and striped socks. And why not? I mean really-why not? The get-up made her happy. She felt beautiful and confident and she was 100% authentic. I can’t say that. Maybe I should do as she does and wear a bit more of what makes me happy and confident.
At a recent recital my little one donned her princess dress, her faux glass slippers and spent the evening dancing in the shadows. She was happy dancing there with no one watching. In her heart she WAS a princess. Maybe I should do as she does and dance when the music moves me-even in the shadows.
The belle if the recital was my big girl. I watched her as she bounced around the dance floor-smiling broadly. She wasn’t dancing with the right steps-the waltz doesn’t bounce-but she didn’t care. She embraced the night and let herself have fun. Later that night she created a sweet memory and asked her Grandpa to so the last dance with her. It was the shag and my dad KILLS the shag! He twirled her and showed some fancy footwork. She didn’t know the shag but she just let of and let him lead her. The result is a memory that I don’t think either of the will ever forget. There were a thousand or so people there. She could have been nervous, self-conscious but she would have missed the moment of a lifetime, she embraced the night, sought out the chance to shine and didn’t think twice about anyone watching. I should do more of what she did.
A few days later same child took a challenge head on. She pitched her first EVER softball game. She is 11 and playing with 12 year olds. Most of those girls have been pitching for years. She had been practicing pitching for weeks. Her coach said he was putting her in. She said okay and went about the business if preparing herself. That meant a little extra practice. It also meant she looked me in the eye and gave me a list of ‘rules’ about what she needed from me to be successful. Some people were appalled that I took ‘orders’ from a bossy little girl but I saw something different. She knew what she needed, she communicated what she needed and therefore set herself up for success. And she had success. She was poised, calm when the pitches didn’t go where they should and she was awesome! Without being cocky or arrogant she just knew she would be awesome. She didn’t let any doubt get in the way of what she needed to do. Pitching at this age is an equal mix of physical ability created by repetition and the mental toughness to remain composed. Had she let doubts creep in she wouldn’t have been successful. She knew she could so she did, it was as matter of fact and as simple as that. And why not..why shouldn’t challenges be faced with such a great attitude? I should do more of what she does and just take the world head on without ever thinking ‘I can’t’.
Why don’t i do more of what they do?
My daughter twirls every time she puts on a dress. Twirling makes her happy.
Why not play with silly string and laugh until you can’t quite catch your breath?
Why not try on an out-of-the-box outfit and say ‘I look good!’? My son, my non-attire-adventurous son allowed me to buy him a pair of baby blue slim slacks for an upcoming event. He tried them on. Loved them and wasn’t afraid to say it, to think it, to feel it-he looked good. Why don’t we as adults ever allow ourselves to believe that we look good or are good at something?
Why not color?
Why not sing when the mood hits?
Why not read late just one night when a good book grabs hold and just won’t let you go?
Why not wear striped socks and polka dot shoes?
Why not laugh at silly jokes?
Why not judge the success of your day by the lack of frowny faces?
Why not allow silly trinkets out of a cardboard box to make you happy?
Why not get dirty? Dirt washes!
I spend a lot of time doing what I should do. Maybe there is some truth to a child’s belief that you should do more of what you WANT to do. As adults I know we can’t so that all the time but maybe we should do it more.
Today my little ones taught me more than I taught them. I should do more if what they do.