I popped into Galaxy Cafe to pick up lunch for our family last weekend.
I had my 3 year-old with me and there was a line, which usually spells disaster. I was committed to grabbing food that was good for my body that day, though, so we stayed.
I handed a menu to 3 at his request, as I was grabbing one for myself, and he proceeded to pretend he was ordering food, “I’ll have a lollipop and a special treat and healthy food.” I watched him pass the time by spinning in circles and walking up and down the aisle feeling the texture on the wall where we were waiting. Lots of movement. A lot of unpredictable-ness.
Normally, my anxiety would be through the roof in this parenting scenario.
Instead, because I have been practicing, studying, looking for playfulness, I was able to see that this child was actually… brilliant! It’s boring to stand in line and wait your turn. Instead of living in boring, he was able to find the fun hiding in the line.
It was a amazing! It was so simple! He is so clever.
Instead of feeling the anxiety that usually rises up, I studied him. I found ways that I could engage that were playful and fun and felt good. He was my teacher in this moment. I was his student.
I don’t always see it this way. In fact, this was the first time in recent memory that I picked up on it. It really clicked. It felt great!! Connected. Fun. Loving. All the feelings. We were just waiting in line and we were doing it together. With ease.
I want to find more ease in parenting!
It looks like I am learning to let go of unpredictableness as a trigger for anxiety. I am learning that my children have a bunch of really beautiful stuff to teach me. I am learning that play is a really cool way to feel good in any moment if you know what you’re looking for… and that getting close to a child is a good as way as any to open your eyes to it.