It Could be a Disaster, or It Could be Kind of Funny!

If left to their own devices – They Create! Ben made a D.J. station for Bean and a guitar for himself out of paper yesterday.

Today, I am not only the invalid, I am also the one in charge of this joint. It turns out that only one hand is still needing to be swaddled in gauze. The other hand had surface burns, but healed really quickly. Today Scott goes to work. Both boys are home. I have to attempt a one-handed shower, and the boys have said they will hold the hair dryer while I operate the brush. Good-times, Good-times.

Then we get to go to Ben’s Parent/Teacher Conference. And then I think, we are going to attempt a trip to the store.

Because I am home sick and spent much of the day in bed with both hands bandaged, I allowed myself the luxury of uninterrupted blog be-bopping and bouncing from one to another, exploring, reading and discovering some awesome reads!

Yesterday, I was reading Brene Brown‘s blog, and I know I need to read her amazing book, Daring Greatly. She is touching a nerve in so many communities. She speaks to mothers as well as CEO’s. Actually, I was directed to her blog from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation blog: Impatient Optimists. She talks about the power of vulnerability. She talks about being authentic and admitting and learning from failure. I think I learn from failure well. I can self-evaluate. Admitting my failures is less comfortable, unless they are funny failures. If I think I can get a laugh, I’m all for sharing.

If it’s to share gut level vulnerability about mothering, like Laine did about her 6-year old’s behavior, I don’t think I’m strong enough to share that much hurt and frustration in the open. While it seems the online blogging community has circled the wagons to be there for Laine, there are also those who didn’t spare her feelings and basically gave her some equally public tongue lashings for coming out and saying what she said.

The blog that spoke to my heart yesterday, was Tao te Ching Daily and a delicious article about opposites and balance points. Here’s the part that sung to me.

People naturally do the right things.

When left to their own devices, people manage themselves just fine. Our children don’t need us meddling and nitpicking them every step of the way, our employees don’t need us monitoring their every step. Leave them alone, TRUST them and they will do OK. In fact, they will do better than OK – they will shine. This chapter is reminding us that people do their best when we trust them to do what is natural to them.

Of course part of me panics because I feel certain that if left to their own devices, my boys would kill each other or burn the house down. Left to their own devices in a store? They would definitely run amok and cause chaos… or at least cause a scene, which would be hugely embarrassing to me.

Today, I’m going to try a new tactic. I’m going to try to let my kids be kids and impress people or not without feeling shame about my child-rearing skills. The thing is, they are amazing and wildly gifted. They also have lots of energy. At some point, I will have to learn to allow them space to be brilliant without me trying to bridle their enthusiasm. I so want them to grow up and look back with fondness. I do not want them to remember only that I was always trying to make them be quiet and behave.

They ARE behaving… like children.

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8 thoughts on “It Could be a Disaster, or It Could be Kind of Funny!

  1. I love the idea of leaving our kids alone to be kids!! It’s hard, though, isn’t it! Just discovering you through NaBloPoMo – my hands are tingling with sympathy at your steam accident. Ouch!! But, you sure do well with only thumbs.

    • Thanks! I love sympathy. I should just come right out and say that, shouldn’t I? Please come over here and coo over me and my poor hands. “There, There!” Thank you!

  2. Hope your hand is doing better. The joy in the picture of your kids shows they are loved and enjoying life. You are doing just right. My parents had 6 of us, and they didn’t micro manage our lives, as there was too much to do, and we turned out fine. The picture tells it all.

    • Thank you, Winnie. It’s true. When I’m thinking clearly, I know that. When they are rambunctious in a store, I tend to forget and start the snipping. I bet if I stopped that, they’d manage just fine in a store too!

  3. So sorry to read of your accident, Liesl. To say that must have been SO painful is such an understatement, I know, but I just wanted to say I hope your blisters will soon be healed and you’ll be back to firing on all cylinders very soon. Loved your post today.

    • Thank you! My family is taking such good care of me! Bean helped me dry my hair today and keeps telling me how pretty it looks!

  4. Glad to hear you are on the mend! I love the pic of your boys their musical instruments! That’s priceless. I would say that any mom who questions her parenting skills is probably a most excellent mom. It means we think about it. We’re curious about how we can help our kiddos be the best people they can be – while keeping their enthusiasm and creativity intact.

    I find, now that my kiddo is 13, we laugh together about some of her misadventures and some of my parenting misadventures – then we can have good conversations together about what we want for each other – not from each other.

    Hang in there! I’ve been thinking of you. This was wonderful to read!

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