My husband, Kevin, and I are at an interesting place in our lives right now. We are the parents of a “tween” and a toddler, both of whom are a challenge standing alone; put them together, along with our 2 cats and dog, and we have the Lyons Den Cirque Du Soleil. Some days I really feel like I’m going to go out of my mind!
While I am in complete agreement that being a Mom is the highest privilege on the planet yielding the greatest rewards, there are some days I question myself “What was I thinking?” Any Mom who has had to deal with a toddler knows exactly what I am talking about. “Little humans” as I lovingly call them, are absolutely adorable one moment and terrorizing the kitchen cupboards the next. Tonight our precious blue-eyed blonde decided to dump Kevin’s cup of water all over my laptop. (Please do not ask me why a tall cup of water was sitting by a laptop….) Kevin was able to rescue my laptop before any emergency operations needed to be performed on it, thankfully, allowing me to blog about my day before I collapse into bed tonight.
Meanwhile I am graciously begging the Lord for patience with my Middle Schooler who asks me repetitively if she can call her BFF with whom she just got off the phone with only minutes before. I know it’s a stretch, but I have to keep reminding myself of the days of Junior High School (as we called them in the north) when social interaction was THE most important event of the day. The drama between the Kardashians pales in comparison to what happens between middle school girls. While I understand that the drama is very real to the girls, I am continually amused at their antics. Life with a middle schooler is priceless in my book (or wallet, depending on what angle you want to come at this from.)
I am being stretched. And while there are days that I would like to drop my responsibilities and hop on the nearest cruise ship leaving port, I wouldn’t trade one minute of being a Mom for the world. Seriously. I wouldn’t.
I am not sure why, but my mind drifted to the rubber band. I have no idea what triggered the thoughts because we weren’t using a rubber band and there wasn’t one around anywhere. (Are you kidding? Don’t you remember me saying that I have a toddler and a “tween” in the same house? Believe me, the rubber bands are FAR from sight!)
I was thinking tonight about how I needed to be more like a rubber band, and be flexible. Rubber bands can be shaken, twisted, pulled and snapped and they still maintain their round shape and size. (Not saying I want to maintain a “round” shape and size, but since we are on the subject, most rubber bands are skinny. Now that part I wouldn’t mind!)
You can step on a rubber band and it doesn’t break. You can almost do anything you want to a rubber band and it bounces back to its original form. That’s what I want to be more like.
It may seem a little out there to say that a rubber band “embraces” things, but really it does. If you think about the action of a rubber band, in it’s purest form, it embraces tightly whatever item it is placed around and holds it together. The more times a rubber band is twisted around something, the tighter “embrace” the rubber band has on that object. I equate that to the embrace of my children and family. I want to be the rubber band that tightly embraces them and is instrumental in “holding them together.” I think that is my responsibility as a Mom and I think the rubber band does a great job of setting a good example of that.
We all learned at a very young age that rubber bands can travel very far when stretched and snapped. (That is exactly why our rubber bands are hidden from view.) We also know that the more we stretch a rubber band, the farther it travels. While nobody likes to be stretched, the truth of the matter is that we are like rubber bands; the more we are stretched, the further we go. We don’t want to be stretched, but honestly, just like the rubber band, we were designed to be stretched. If that were not so, none of us would have made it past our first day of Kindergarten. Or even before that, we wouldn’t be potty trained! I guess I have that as an illustration because I am at the beginning stages of potty-training a toddler and not only is it stretching for me, but she is being stretched too. I have yet to meet a toddler who actually wants to stop playing and use the potty….
The bottom line is this: we all can learn from the rubber band. I think we all could be more flexible, learn to embrace those we love more, and accept being stretched as an opportunity for advancement and overlook the short-term pain that accompanies the stretching. I know I could. My kids would probably agree with me too!
Set a rubber band somewhere (out of the reach of the little ones) and let it teach you in the areas that you are seeking to improve. Let it be a reminder to you of the things that we discussed so when you are stretched and snapped, you are prepared to travel a distance that you’ve never gone before.
While I would love to sit and discuss this with you more in-depth, I am really tired. I started out this morning with my toddler deciding that 5:30am was playtime and that was just the beginning of a long and thrilling day at the Lyons Den Cirque Du Soleil. I guess the last comparison that I want to make with the rubber band is that when you lay them down, they don’t move.
With that thought in mind, I am looking forward to imitating the rubber band as I lay myself down in my bed. Hopefully, my good example will beckon my toddler to follow my lead. I can only hope.