Drying my hair seems to produce some of the best thinking for me. I’m not totally sure why that is, but maybe it’s because I am trapped there. Not going anywhere for roughly 10-12 minutes. Maybe it’s the sound of the hairdryer like white noise to cancel out any other sound. Whatever it is, it is a place and time where I can think. I find myself constantly stopping to make a note about something. When I want to memorize Scripture, that is the time. I tape it on my mirror and Voila! memorized.
The mister and I returned from a quick weekend getaway one recent Sunday night. We fled the country to Cozumel, Mexico, to kick off celebrating 10 years of marriage (our anniversary is actually in September). It’s amazing what a few days of time away from your people will do for your soul and relationship. No matter how much you think you like being around your kids, you really should flee the scene and enjoy just the two of you. Our days were filled with sun, coffee, food, sun, drinks, books, sun, laughs. I think I ate Peanut M&Ms everyday. Talk about a vacation!
However, it never fails that upon arrival back to reality, life kind of sucks hard. Our kids (even though they had an amazingly fun time with grandparents) treat us like we neglected them. Left them on the street to defend for themselves and eat grass. I completely recognize that this is in response to being off schedule and missing us, however, I can never fully understand the drama.
The day after our return from blissfulness, my Biggest threw an epic meltdown lasting for nearly (WAIT FOR IT) two hours. Do you remember how old she is? Not 2. Almost 7. You may remember me writing about surviving that one. Would you like to know what sent her into utter craziness? It wasn’t the assumption that I left her or didn’t feed her or removed all fun from her life. It was because I bought her the wrong chapstick. (insert any explictives you would like right now). What in the world? You guys, I can’t even explain what happened. At one point, she tried to hit me on the head with an umbrella that was in the backseat of the car. A friend pointed out that rule number one in raising a strong-willed kid is to never leave “weapons” in the car. I completely forgot about that point. I’m like, “Babygirl, I hate Mondays, too.” But seriously? Chapstick.
While drying my hair the next morning, I had this thought: Leave it on the field. When it comes to raising these
beasts beauties, we must learn to leave it on the field. I honestly don’t do this well. If I am offended, I tend to carry it with me. I don’t easily shake it off. I think this is part of the curse of women because men seem to do this so much easier. I’ve heard that saying throughout my life. Whatever happens in the game on the field, leave it there. Walk away. Don’t let it change you — change your feelings or thoughts towards yourself or others.
Regardless, I let those moments ruin me. It ruins how I see myself and how I see my kid. It’s hard to love in those moments. She’s moved on and I still want to be grumpy, upset, wounded. Yet, I need to leave it on the field. I need to be able to face the moment. Fight with heart as if I was playing a fierce wiffleball game. Kind of like “what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas.” No matter what was said — leave it on the field.
“You’re the worst mom.”
“You don’t love me.”
“I can’t do this thing called parenting.”
LEAVE IT ON THE FIELD.
Are you with me? Have you had a moment like this recently? Do you have advice on how to leave it on the field?
I feel like it starts with refusing to take it personally. I was handling that melt well for the first 30 minutes and then I found myself melting. I have a hard time not taking it personally. I know she doesn’t mean what she says, but I still don’t fully understand. You just experienced great fun with grandparents. You went to see a movie. I just spent almost 2 hours with you at a playdate. I just rewarded you with chapstick. WHY? I don’t have an answer. I may never understand why. But I do know that I need to learn to leave it on the field.
Proverbs 19:11 says, “Good sense makes one slow to anger, and it is his glory to overlook an offense.” Wow. It is her glory to overlook an offense. Just let that one sink in for a minute. I need to practice not being offended by others’ actions. Could you imagine how different your world would be if you didn’t get offended? How different would your outlook on life and others be if you refused to be offended? That is my challenge today for myself — and for you.
Play hard. Fight the good fight. Love hard and well. And then, when the game is over, leave it on the field.