And I can't say that I liked the fact that little mundane things would bother me. I have never liked that about myself, and now that I'm older, I make a conscious effort to be the opposite in certain matters. Just letting things roll off. Taking things in stride. God's helped me in this way, there's no doubt, because it's simply NOT in my personality to be laid back.
And I'm not saying that I never stress out. Now that would be plain impossible. Everybody gets stressed. I'm just saying that I don't get as stressed with things that are not important in the grand scheme of things. It may not even bother me at all, for that matter. But I still get torqued and twisted in a vice from time to time. And yes, it stresses me.
Children seem to be the most common form of stress in life. My children are no exception. Poor things almost never mean it, but they're just not ever going to be adults as long as they're children. Why do we expect them to be? It's so hard as an adult to see things from a child's perspective, to realize that muddy shoes are not the first thing on a child's mind when there's a fresh PBJ on the counter. I think it's just as hard for an adult to see things from a child's point of view as it is for a child to see things from an adult's. It can be such an impasse at times.
Yet I'm working on it. I am trying more and more to put myself in my children's shoes and see things from 2 feet lower. To take out the extra knowledge that 20+ years have afforded me. It doesn't mean that I allow them to act out in normal, destructive, un-called-for behaviors, it just means that I'm meeting them at their level more. Taking in the significance of the situation, seeing it from their eyes, and acting accordingly.
I'm not getting as stressed over nothing. I'm allowing them to be children.
Used to stress me out.
Now, take into consideration what I've already said before you condemn me. I can't help how I'm wired, but I CAN change it, and with God's help I believe I am.
But the kids picking the nice flowers in my yard and bringing them to me ad-infinitum was an annoyance to me in the past. Or even the UGLY flowers....over and over and over again. And to my small defense, I'm not a flower person by nature anyway. I don't particularly care for Chris to bring me home flowers. I'd rather get a nice foot rub or a trip to the bookstore. So to have my kids bring me flowers as soon as they pop up in the spring (winter?) used to get under my skin after a very short time. I would try to be kind about it, because I could tell how infinitely mean it was to ask them to NOT bring me flowers, but I would quell the flower picking pretty quickly.
But it dawned on me this year:
They won't bring me flowers forever.
And then I got sad.
How could I keep them from showing me this kindness? It's not like they can take me out for dinner, or do some of the chores that I would rather not do. They can't pay the bills for me, or pick up the groceries.
But they CAN pick a flower. It so simple and so touching at it's very core.
It's not messing up my yard. Or damaging the landscaping. Or not considering others. This is how I USED to think about it, what USED to stress me out. But I've changed my mind.
This is their love to me. Their devotion to me.
I need to enjoy it while it lasts, because some day they won't pick me flowers. They may buy them at the store, but they most likely won't pick them. And someday, my boys will have someone else to pick or buy flowers for. I expect that I will be loved and honored when I'm older and they're adults, but I won't be idolized (if you'll allow the term) and treated as the center of their universe.
Someday I'll miss that.