As I scrolled through my pictures for inspirations on what to write about, this picture stood out. Actually, what really stood out was the bandaid on Michaela’s face. For three and a half months, Micha kept re-picking a scab next to her eye. I can’t tell you how many times I got angry, got weepy or mostly got frustrated with her. As a parent, we foresee things that our children will regret later. Every time I saw the scab re-opened I felt defeated because I was unable to prevent her from having a scar that one day she’ll regret. When I didn’t know what else to do, I started repeating the first line of the Serenity Prayer: “God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change.” It helped because I reminded myself I was doing all that I could.
Micha does things on her time. She’s persistent in not conforming to another’s wants (all the time), rather doing things when she’s good and ready. Trust me, we tried everything but she wasn’t ready to leave the scab alone. I don’t know what made her decide that it was time, but all of a sudden, she was done picking. I chuckle now because each morning she points to her nose (where the scab was) and says, “Look, Micha didn’t touch it!” She’s smiling big, knowing she did something “right” and is proud of herself. I smile back, say, “Yay, Micha!” and that’s it–off she goes to do something else.
It’s amazing…these little people with their own minds, their own agendas and their own timeframes. She drove me crazy those few months, because I had to accept what I could not change and that doesn’t sit well with my controlling personality (are you thinking “like mother, like daughter?!?”).
Micha taught me an important lesson. I have to accept that I cannot change what arises in Micha’s life to turn out the way I want it to. I have to accept that I will do my best every day and that’s ALL I can do. I have to accept that what I want for Michaela might not be what Michaela wants for herself. For those of you with older kids, you know this better than I do. We have to love and teach our children as best as we can. Then we have to trust them to do the rest.
In retrospect, maybe if I had trusted Micha more to leave her face alone, she would’ve done it quicker. I couldn’t help but express my frustration and disbelief at times. I’ll keep this incident in mind as we approach another bump in the road. We all like to do things on our own time. That’s how we learn.
Hope you have a good week of learning something from your kid(s).