This past weekend, maybe the last snowy weekend of this long winter, I hauled my three-year-old god-daughter to the country. Holly is a wonderful bright, loud mouthed, sometimes complaining, sometimes the world’s best sport, always exciting to be with little kid. I love having her after parenting my own mouthy, wise daughter, a second pass, if you will. And another chance to give some good advice to what my dad used to call ” a baby woman.”
It’s simpler when it’s not your own daughter pushing your buttons with the speed and ease of a pin ball machine, but age, therapy, a string of wisdom are also lovely artillery to have for parenting. My favorite encounter with what I consider to be an A HA MOMENT. And it came outside in the snow and wind.
We had been using the crazy blue and orange snow coasters zooming down the hill. We were wet and getting to cold, but I thought we had a few more runs in us, when Holly starting moaning and whining about being cold, well just done in and giving a litany of what she DID NOT WANT. Without knowing this myself I said to her. Hey ask me for what you want NOT WHAT YOU DON’T WANT. Tell me what you want and trust that I will listen to you. I may not always be able to give you what you want, but I promise I will always listen.
And so she pulled her short self together and calmly said I would like to go inside. Done. Hand in hand we went inside to dry our mittens and socks and pants and boots by the fire.
It is powerful to ask for what you want and as women we all too often forget that a direct ask is powerful whether we get the exact result or not. We took action and left the cold. I know I need more time to write. I need someone else to cook one night a week. I need a job, which pays me and where I can do good work! Yes.
And so I rededicated myself on this last day of February to asking positively for what I need because of the example of a three-year old. When the little ones are right in front of us, it is often easier to see what we ourselves should do.