Earlier last week I finally went on a jog here in Chapel Hill with my daughter to the post office. On the way to the post office, I thought I was being super awesome mom when I caught my daughter throwing her shoe out the side of the stroller. SO AWESOME that another mom said “Nice Catch Mom!” and then I bent down to toss it in to the basket only to discover that this was not the first shoe being thrown but the last! Somewhere along the run we had lost a shoe and I missed it. But because I do not have thighs of steel (and a turnaround run for the week before had done too much damage – another story for another time) I decided to continue to the post office, mail my packages and then look for it on the way back.
So on the way back I jogged to the point were I had discovered the first/last shoe and then I began to frantically search the ground on both sides. I looked EVERYWHERE!!!! I even found the sock (that I had also missed with this first shoe toss) on the side of the road and thought “ahhh I am so close to finding this shoe!!” Now the shoes were only $6 but we live on med student loans and when you have to buy new shoes every 3 months or so you really don’t want to lose the ones you already have. So I continued to look as I walked the last mile or so home. Nothing.Nada.Nunca. There was no shoe, and my only perceivable scenarios where: a parent with a 1 footed child s(not sure if that’s PC or not so I apologize) tole the shoe, an animal (we live in a heavily wooded area now) took the shoe, or somehow my daughter had the best luck and when the shoe was tossed, it bounced off a passing car and down a storm drain. My money was on option 3 just knowing how my daughter rolls.
Fast forward two days and I’m walking with my husband and a friend at the farmers market (which was near where I found the other sock.) I pleaded with them to walk and see if having “another set of eyes” would make a difference. We walked and walked and I came to the corner where I found the sock and proclaimed “I guess it’s just gone.” At this point my husband points to a tall 2×4 post in the ground on the corner of this home’s lawn. There ON TOP is a hot pink sneaker! YES the very same one I apparently now have walked by not once but TWICE! I was so thankful for my Hubby’s “perspective” and the rest of the weekend was awesome. Without his different perspective this shoe may never have been found =) It got me to thinking about how many other times in my life have I “missed” something because I had to narrow of a perspective.
Skip on over to today. It’s pouring rain and I am running errands and we go to our favorite stop Trader Joes! It’s our fav because we get snacks (I say they’re for her, but we both know I love getting a free shot of coffee too), and they have shopping carts for kids, which sounds terrifying to those without children, but can eliminate whining for those with kids who hate ridding in carts, like mine does.
We shop. My daughter is a wanderer, so I’m constantly calling her name, taking items OUT of her cart, hunching over to push a mini cart and coaxing her to go and ring up our items with the promise of stickers. But I love it all because seeing the smile on her face when she get’s to put “ornges” & “ba-na-nas” in the cart is priceless and in a blink of an eye these days will be gone. It can also be less whimsical and more stressful when I am trying to pay and keep her from running out of the store. Today’s trip was one of those trips. I went to swipe my card and by the time I got the receipt the mini cart and my daughter were gone!!! I mean not just down the isle from where I paid, but out the door gone. (I would like to say this is the first time, but it isn’t.) Usually I am able to catch her by the sliding door, but today she was going for GOLD and was all the way out the door and almost to the parking lot. When I got there (keep in mind it’s still pouring rain outside) there are two women holding/corralling my daughter, one is an older woman who said “You need to keep your eye on her and be near your daughter, she could have gotten hit by a car.” The second was a mom with her son, who actually was the one holding my daughter’s hand and she quietly leaned close to me and said “I’ve been there myself” and that was it. No condemnation, no looks of shame, no stitching of a scarlet “M” on my shirt. She just grabbed my daughter’s hand, let me know I’m not the worst mom out there and went on her way. HER perspective changed the rest of my day. I would normally go home super embarrassed and wondering how many other people thought my parenting skills were on par with Walter White, but instead, I just shook it off, reminded myself to take the monkey leash (another story another time) with me next time and went on my way.
So the next time you have a situation that is looking hopeless/stressful/awful/insert other negative word of choice, try taking a step back and getting a different perspective, you might be surprised with how you end up seeing things.
(I hate using # but am told this is what bloggers do, wait maybe that’s fb or twitter we’ll find out) #mommiesunite #hadbetterdays #perspectivematters