This morning didn't begin well.
Little Girl has a bad cold, a cough that's particularly deep at night, and she slept in bed with us for the third night in a row. Husband took her in the shower to steam and he didn't get back into bed with her until 3:30am. I was asleep, oblivious. We woke to the sound of the big girls pounding down the stairs. "Mommy! Daddy!"
I shot up in bed, full of panic. "We checked the clock and it's 7:15!"
We'd all overslept. The big girls' school bus pulls up at 7:21am. I flew out of bed, groggy as ever, willing myself to see and think straight. Punishing words floated through my head. We can't do this. How did this happen? The self-criticism was sharp, but I was snapped from my spiral by the sound of the big girls again. They'd disappeared upstairs to get dressed and they raced down the stairs. "Breakfast! Shoes!" Big Girl crooned.
I chased them down. They collected apples from the fridge and protein bars from the pantry. Husband made a sock run. I grabbed coats. At 7:22am, they tumbled out the front door, hair woefully tangled, and got on their bus.
I watched, stunned. They'd done this themselves. I was prepared to run them across town to school, but they were all business and they made it. As I poured my first coffee, I began to reframe what had just happened. That was pretty incredible, I said to Husband. They just dressed and got themselves out the door in less than five minutes. Why does it usually take more than an hour? I laughed. Sipped coffee. Felt a staggering zip of pride. Love.
Last night before heading up to bed, I noticed that the girls had left a big mess on the floor of the family room. I felt my anxiety surging, but then I walked over to the strewn markers and cut-out papers and ducked down and I saw this:
I smiled. I picked it up. Any frustration I'd felt quickly morphed to affection. Who cares that they didn't clean up when there's this?
To keep our cool and protect our sanity and enjoy life more, we must try to:
(1) Frame Positively (when possible); and
(2) Forgive Ourselves (particularly for small things).
We overslept. So what? Our girls are off to school. They are happy and probably quite pleased with their victorious morning race.
The kids left a mess. So what? The mess contained treasures, hints of love and life, evidence that these are happy creatures, that despite the dropping balls, we are doing something right.
Time for more coffee. Hope you all have a great, positively-framed, forgiveness-laden Thursday!
Are you good at framing things positively?
Are you good at forgiving yourself for dropping balls?