It was one of those mornings.
We all woke up a little earlier than we all would have liked, and Cancan and Frodo were over sharing just as soon as it started. The HBH (Hot Black Husband) directed Little Brother to the back of the house so he could watch in awe as Dada shaved whisker after whisker off his face, his head, his neck. I rallied with Big Brother, sneaking in hugs and letting him watch an extra Curious George, simply because it’s a Friday.
But by the time breakfast rolled around, Cancan was having none of it. No Cheerios. No toast. No hot chocolate. No yogurt. Instead, all his three-year-old emotions caught up with him, and he cried because Dada had to go to work and he cried because he didn’t have school today and he cried because Baby Brother started drinking apple juice and he really, really wanted to be the one who got to drink apple juice.
Life, man. It gets you every time.
But then he offered a solution: He wanted to take a nap.
Now y’all, the kid doesn’t nap anymore. I’ve finally stopped trying to fit a square anti-sleeping peg into a round hole, and have instead finally begun to relish in the beauty of a quiet afternoon, with him by my side. So when he offered, on his own accord, to climb into Mama and Dada’s bed and take a nap, I was like, Yes, please. Would you like your favorite blanket? Would you like me to sing you a song? Would you like me to tuck you in and bring you milk and read you a book and and and…
But he just said he wanted to go to sleep.
So I walked out of the room and may or may not have looked in the mirror and said this to myself:
I made it to the kitchen before Cancan emerged from the room.
“I’m up from my nap, Mama!”
“Oh wow, buddy. It’s been about twenty seconds. Are you sure you don’t want to nap longer?”
“So, do you want to eat breakfast now?”
He ran to the dining room table a new man. Gulping down the Cheerios until only the milk remained, he then licked deliciously sticky strawberry jam off his fingers. He finished his glass of apple juice and – kid you not – giggled through his entire meal.
That’s when it hit me: He just needed a do-over.
He needed to press the restart button on his day, which for him meant taking a twenty second nap amidst the pillows and blankets and general fluffiness of Mama and Dada’s bed.
And isn’t it true for all the grown-ups, too?
We may not struggle with sharing an apple juice-filled sippy cup, but we struggle with the demons of our mind, with the broken record player inside our heads that sometimes tells us we’re not being enough and doing enough. We’re perfectionists, so we don’t think we’re allowed to make mistakes, and we’re overachievers whose expectations of others and of ourselves tend to get a little out of hand. We become lazy, and our laziness burrows us into a hole, so much so that it becomes hard to dig ourselves out of the ditch we find ourselves in.
But the good news is that we can push the restart button.
We can go into our room and bury our faces into the pillows and the blankets for twenty seconds and we can declare a do-over.
So, what’s stopping you?
Go in grace.
Where do you need a do-over in your life? And what lesson has a little person taught you lately?