New Memories

paint-splat

I read a story once about a mom who came home to find her kids throwing spaghetti at the walls. Calmly, she told them to give her the bowl. They did, and she immediately grabbed her own handful of spaghetti and hurled it at the wall! The three of them sat there at the kitchen table throwing spaghetti at the wall until the pot was empty. Then she calmly stood up, washed her hands, and said “make sure you clean all of that up.” And she left the room. She recounts this story as one of the great memories in her life with her children. She could have gotten angry. Instead, she made a memory.

I always said that I was going to be a mom like that. I was going to be a mom who praised her kids for the beautiful artwork on the walls and then calmly suggested they use paper the next time. I was going to be a mom who instigated mud fights in the backyard and gymnastics in the living room. I was going to be a mom who caught lizards and frogs and snakes (but not bugs!) for science lessons.

But then the children came along and I found myself saying things like “don’t jump on that!” and “ “put that down!” and “No.” Obviously, boundaries are important, but I’ve noticed that sometimes the word “no” is almost reactionary for me. Sometimes I say it and then find myself wondering why I did.

I don’t want to be that kind of mom anymore. I want to be the kind of mom who involves her kids in everything she does. I want to be the kind of mom who bakes cookies and plays ball in the back yard. I want to be the kind of mom who gets into her children’s world and makes what’s important to them, important to me. I want to be a mom who says “yes” more often than “no.”

So today when I found the kids loading up the ceiling fan with shoes and turning it on to watch them fly through the air, I didn’t stop them. Instead, I grabbed my camera and made a memory of my own (http://laundryandlaughter.wordpress.com/2008/11/10/fun-with-a-fan/).

Baby Steps.

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