See if you can put yourself in this woman’s shoes…
She and her preschooler traveled hundreds of miles to visit friends at their Minnesota farm. Over the course of several days, two mothers did their best to entertain two boys who were less than six months apart in age.
They experienced sun, storms, tractors, swimming, kitties, ice cream, and laughter. On the last night of their visit, the young guest was ornery and for no apparent reason, he walloped his young host.
If you were the visiting mother—how would you have felt?
In this story, the visiting mother was devastated. Her sensitivity to the situation was as intense as the bare root of a tooth with an ice cube on it.
Who was this rude, bruiser of a kid? And just what was she going to do about it?
She became very upset with her son—and herself. There were tears, embarrassment, and shame(mostly from the boy’s mother)—a terrible ending to the friend’s time together.
The mother’s attachment to her child and his behavior built a false narrative in her head.
She could not see that his behavior was normal (and not really that big of a deal) for a kid who was tired, out of his element, and an introvert missing his alone time.
Completely outside of the moment, and imagining a future of fist fights for the four year old, the mother turned a mosquito into a pterodactyl.
Had the wallop been reversed, she knows she would have said, “It’s no Big Deal!”, and meant it, just as her friend said, to deaf ears.
Attachment had muddied her waters.
She was me.
I’ve learned a lot since then. Could I create a much better story and outcome than I did fourteen years ago? I believe so….
Next time you find your emotions taking over, consider what you’re attached to, and how you might react differently, if the water was clear.