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A Lesson from my daughter

Meg Chaney

I wrote this a month or so ago, but still felt that it was worth sharing here. Our children are amazing teachers! I hope you enjoy. 

Friday morning was a busy one in our house. School has been in session for over a month, but it still feels like we're searching for our sense of routine. Getting accustomed to this foreign concept of Preschool for my son and Kindergarten for my Daughter. Packing school lunches five days a week. Keeping track of homework assignments, sight words, special dress days and show and tell. Friday was school picture day, so I was also making sure that my daughter's outfit coordinated, and wouldn't horribly clash with the fake Fall flowers they always like to put in the corner of the photos. That, and somehow tame her wild hair. We drove up to school, almost late because we always wake up so early (why is that?). Pretty orange dress, check, dress shoes, check, lunch, check, show and tell, oh wait... I forgot her show and tell. In a class of seven students, it would be obvious too.

I felt horrible. I'd already failed in my mommy-organization skills, and this only a month into the school year. I expressed my frustration, apologizing to my daughter, to which she replied:

"Mommy, it's really ok"

Wait, what?

My daughter looked calmly at me from her place in the back seat and assured me that others have forgotten before. It really wasn't a big deal.

She wasn't concerned, while me, with my perfectionist issues, felt awful.

What am I teaching my daughter about worry?

About perfectionism?

Remembering assignments, things required of her is important. But she was right too, forgetting show and tell in the first month of kindergarten was forgivable.

What if instead I had just suggested that she "Tell" something to her class, such as her favorite knock-knock joke, instead of making a big deal out of it?

What crazy perfectionist tendencies am I passing on to her?

Will she grow up thinking that perfection is the only answer through her school days?

Will she think that only a perfect house, a perfect room, perfect manners will do?

Is that really the message I want to send her?

Or instead, do I want to teach her about peace?

Peace, like she displayed to me.

Calm trouble shooting on the days when things don't work out right.

The ability to let go sometimes, and just enjoy the people around me.

If I look back to my school days, the only thing I wish I did more of was enjoy my friends. Less time on school work, more time just enjoying those I cared about.

Because 13 years out, no one cares what grades I got in high school. It's been ages since anyone asked.

Yes, diligence, studying hard will get you far. Good grades helped me get into college, and then grad school. It was important.

But relationships were important too. That was a lesson I learned through my college years.

It's ok to not be perfect. To instead take those moments of critique, of imperfection, and ask, "How can I grow from this?" How can we resolve this problem, without worrying or stressing out? What can I learn from this?

In my daughters calm demeanor, I was reminded, that often, an easy answer is in sight. It doesn't take stressing and worrying to figure things out. Sometimes, it just takes a moment of prayer. A moment of quiet. A moment to view things from a different perspective.

Aren't children amazing teachers?