It’s graduation time and last month was full of them! My 3-year-old daughter, Chickehawk, had a “moving up” ceremony, from day care to preschool. My 6-year-old, Ms. Prissy, just completed kindergarten, and perhaps most monumental, my stepson graduated from high school! Needless to say, it has been an emotion-filled time for me. Each graduation not only signified the passing of time but also the fact that change is never ending. As my children transition into a new phase in their lives, I realize that I, too, am evolving.
The other day, I bought my daughters a pack of markers. And, of course, as soon as I turned my back, they managed to draw all over each other’s faces.
Cue angry mother.
It is extremely difficult to wash markers off little faces -even if they are labeled “washable”. I’m talking vigorous scrubbing of turning and twisting faces. Why do my kids think everything is make-up?
After I snatched the markers from their hands and verbally scolded them, they scampered away to their room. About five minutes later, my youngest, came over to me with a wide smile.
“Mom” she said, “ Come with me. I gotta show you something. Watch…it will make you happy again.”
I was in the midst of searching my walls and couch for possible marker graffiti, but my little girl persisted.
“Come on, Mommy,” she said, grabbing my hand. “You will be happy.”
She led me to the bathroom, right over to the toilet, and inside was a pile of poop. “See mommy,” she said, smiling ear to ear, hands on her hips, clearly proud of herself. “Are you happy now?”
And I actually was happy. Very happy, because in that moment I recalled the months that had passed and my needless worry over her regression with the potty after she fell ill in the beginning of the year. Retraining her felt so frustrating since I knew she knew how to go.
Now here she is…her old self again. I was proud — proud enough to look past the fact that there was no toilet paper in the toilet and that my daughter probably did not wash her hands.
“Yes. I am happy,” I told her, smiling, too as I changed her soiled panties and washed her hands. My anger from the marker fiasco subsided as I realized what a turning point we had reached. I noticed my camera nearby and snapped a picture of both of my girls, their faces decorated in a rainbow of colors, before scrubbing them as they whined and protested loudly.
In that moment, I realized the importance of letting go of the small things and appreciating the bigger picture. That day, I ended up taking a really funny picture of my daughters, one that I’ll cherish forever. Kids grow up so fast. It’s been said many times, but it sure is true. It’s important to take a moment to enjoy the crap they give you — literally!