For when your child wants something and you are feeling pressed for time…
...or you have something else to do.
Lately my four and a half year old daughter has been saying, “Just one more book and I promise I’ll go to bed.”
Sometimes I read an extra book. Sometimes I don’t.
And the kicker:
Tonight she asked for an extra book. I didn’t want to read another book.
“No, honey, no more books. Time for bed.”
“Will you lay down with me?”
This sounds so cute. Honestly. Who wouldn’t want to cuddle with their adorable little kiddo?
Except my mind flashes back to when this meant, “I’m not tired and I don’t want you to be tired either so how about you pretzel yourself onto my tiny bed while I do jumping jacks on your head?”
I also thought about the 9,367,851 things I wanted to do before bed. Or the fact that I wanted a break. Or that I still had to get the baby to bed or…
In that brief pause of not answering my daughter an inspired, intuitive angelic message came through. It translated into something like: “You can do anything for two minutes”.
That made so much sense to me I said, “OK” and before I knew it my daughter was scootching over to make room for me.
I pretzeled myself onto her tiny bed and braced for impact.
Wow, she really wanted to cuddle this time.
It was so cute, her arms wrapped around me. I smiled and sighed contentedly. I thought, “What could be better than this?
She says: “Let’s look at the ceiling and pretend we’re seeing fireworks.”
Wow, this is so much better! There we were, our heads together, our arms around each other, pointing out imaginary fireworks.
“Look! A red one!”
“One in the shape of a flower!”
“I like the purple one!”
It was one of the most magical things I’ve ever experienced with my child. It was so simple, so inspired and so real.
The Not Part
Afterwards I realized the most important thing I did was what I did NOT do.
I did not say to her, “Ok, but only for two minutes.”
I simply thought, “I can do anything for two minutes” and so I surrendered to those two minutes. In doing that I ended up with a whole lot more.
We are busy, no doubt about it.
Sometimes we can’t just stop what we’re doing and play (dinner on the stove, baby on the changing table, UPS at the door). Most of the time we might not stop because we really don’t have “all day”.
But what about two minutes? Do you have that?
Not: “OK, FINE, but only for two minutes…”
I am talking about thinking to yourself: “OK! I can do anything for two minutes!” while saying to your child, “YES”.
If you can surrender for just two minutes you leave the door open a crack…
…and magic might just wander in.