Monday, February 28, 2011

Day 57: Choosing Trust

I will choose to find a positive perspective under even the most negative circumstances.
I will choose acceptance over resistance.
I will choose to focus on the things I value about my children, not the things that drive me nuts.
I will choose to extend the same grace, love and forgiveness to myself that I try to lavish on my husband and children each day.

After breakfast, Max went down for his morning nap and I needed to jump in the shower to get to my hair appointment on time (first cut in six months...busy much?). Jackson was enjoying himself in the kitchen with Lucky, our chocolate lab, and had no interest in going potty and reading books in his bedroom like I wanted him to. This is the usual routine when I shower because I know where he is and that he's safe (and that the house is safe from him!), but he decided he wasn't done playing with Lucky.

So I had a choice to make. Was I going to pull rank and simply insist that he do as I said? Or would I motivate him, knowing he was looking forward to going to Cindy's salon? I was present enough to avoid the mistake of imposing my will on him, and I did seriously consider the acceptable second "if, then" option, but for some reason I instead just said, "Okay."

This isn't usually my natural reaction, but today it was. I felt no resistance, no tension, just freedom and acceptance. I could get used to this!

I chose to trust him...with the dog...and his "ladder" the kitchen. Whoa. Of course there are any number of things that could go wrong in this scenario, but in that moment I knew that I had given him all the tools he needed to make safe and respectful choices, even without supervision. I knew he was capable. I trusted him. So off I went to shower.

Ten minutes later I was out of the shower and getting ready, listening to what was happening in the kitchen. There was lots of laughter, some squeals of delight (which I assume were accompanied by licks to the face), and long conversations, which, although I couldn't make them out, I can only imagine were quite deep.

When I finally returned after being able to take care of my own needs uninterrupted (wow, really?), I walked in not to a disaster, but to a child and dog happily playing together.

I can't explain why the usual worries weren't there or why I felt such confidence in him today, but I hope it's a sign that this project is allowing me to make changes from the inside out, and that those changes are helping me to naturally choose trust over control rather than forcing myself in that direction.

It was a stress-free morning; something I can rarely say when we have an appointment. Being trusted gave him a boost of confidence in himself, and clearly helped him make safe choices while I was away. How can I argue with myself about that?


  1. First of all: what is a haircut?
    secondly, I am finding myself doing this more and more often. I do give her an option to either come with me or not, and if she chooses to stay alone with the dog, I say ok, I'll be back in *insert time* and please be careful
    It's always great and when I come back she's strangely quietly sitting on the floor or in the seat playing or reading. I think we distrust our children way too much and if we keep a rather safe home, they are ok.
    ANyway, African children are without (much) supervision from the time they can walk. They watch each other. ANd I asked once if they (the mothers) weren't afraid they'd get an accident, they said god watches them - and the accident can happen while you're watching them anyway

  2. We definitely mistrust too often. Children aren't given enough freedom, especially in western society, and it robs them of opportunities to learn through experience - the way we learn best! Protection must be balanced by trust, and faith certainly has a lot to do with that!! I find the more energy I put toward avoiding or preparing for certain disasters, the more they happen. And the more I trust, the less those things happen. Sometimes he really is better off alone than with my negative energy!