Thursday, January 17, 2008

one step (of many)

i gave olive a bowl of organic mixed veggies to munch on while i put away groceries. several minutes later the bowl, along with all of it's contents, save a few stragglers that made it into her bow of a mouth, came crashing down. i said a firm no olive! then sighed and since the maid isn't coming today i got down on my hands and knees and scooped them up. round two, another bowl of mixed veggies & another attempt at putting away groceries undisturbed by catastrophe. CLANG! CLATTER! down goes another bowl of veggies. it's hard to be mad at such a beautiful, innocent child and of course i wasn't. just tired and my neck hurts and frustrated that i just did this. it got me thinking about my own mother in a number of ways. first, that i no doubt pushed her buttons in innumerable & intense ways just like my own children do and i think we made it through it without anyone getting beaten over the head or screamed at (as far as i know). but more than that i thought about the fact that it is olive's nature, as it is any baby's to explore and throw and be curious and absolutely unapologetic about any of it. the number one thing i have learned from being a parent is that what i have with my children is the model for the relationship that i want to have in the rest of my world. i mean, one cannot compare apples (adult relationships) to such beautiful oranges (those with children) but it's a start. i want to view a person not as the frickin jerk who stole my parking spot or someone who is in general morally repugnant, but as a person who was loved very deeply by a mother once upon a time.

the deeper issue is that we cannot change people's nature and we shouldn't try. two weeks ago at church the pastor said something to the effect that we use what we personally excel at and use that as the standard when we apply that situation to others, thus demanding that they rise to your level and judging them because they arent. simple human thinking but it's still wrong. why then can i not apply this more often to my most important relationships? for the life of her my mother will never be on time to anything. (my brother is getting really bad at this too - love you guys all the same though!). instead of shrugging my shoulders and letting it stop irking me ten ways to tuesday i only focus on my david and i's hyper-punctuality and continue thinking why can't she/they be more like that!! ive got to internalize more truths about the world and this one is the first in my "2008 - the year of treating everyone responsibly", stop using myself as a standard. when i use myself as a standard for anything or anyone other than my own self improvement i not only sit in judgment of them but i in essence am playing God. (which ill go on record and state the obvious, that i would make a terrible God)


shutterthink said...

Love this post.

Oldnovice said...

I didn't learn about this until my oldest was in 4th grade and stopped applying herself on her schoolwork. I talked to her teacher at parent/student conferences asking, "Why does she blow it off?" Her teacher said, "because she's NOT you!"

Corin said...

I would make a terrible God too.

Aunt Laya said...

Hi Jenny Mae, I logged on to YouTube to look for something and got distracted by the birth of an orangutan. Your birth video came up after that. What holy and beautiful territory (I left a comment). Wow. So I wanted to know a bit more about you and found your sweet blog. This post inspired me to post to my blog about blessings. I wanted to invite you to read what I wrote (today's date, I guess just click on the link of my name). Maybe it will be useful or inspiring to you in some small way.

Anyway, nice to meet you. Thanks for sharing yourself in such beautiful, honest ways.

Many blessings,