My parents divorced when I was five years old. I still remember the final argument before their split. It's one of those stories you tell and laugh about now but then it wasn't so funny and I'm pretty sure that something I told my dad is what started the whole thing.
So began the next 13 years of my life spending every other weekend at my dad's house. Even though he tried, I'm pretty sure we never got enough time with him or with my mom for that matter....what kid does get all of the time with their parents that they want?? My dad has an amazing ability to tell stories and will have you laughing so hard. What makes it so funny is that they are true life stories and will leave you wondering "who does this stuff happen to". He will tell stories that range from having his bicycle repossessed as a child, to his brother's ability to be elusive from the cops and all the way to where he use to hide at when he skipped school at a very young age. The titles of those stories may sound sad or horrible but to hear the actual stories behind them will have you rolling on the floor laughing. I'm sure that at a very young age when someone comes to repossess his bike it is very heartbreaking but life continues and he loves to tell that story and laugh about it now. It is part of his life.
My dad has a quality that I seem to lack. Little (and sometimes big) things just aren't the end of the world. I have noticed the past couple of weeks more than ever that I freak out about small things...something I am certain that I have always done but am determined to change. I want to care but yet just not care much...I have no idea if that makes sense. A few days after my birthday the kids and I went to meet my dad for lunch at his favorite place. It had been a stressful Tegan morning (or week for that matter) and lunch was no different. At the end of lunch Tegan wanted another chocolate milk. I said no but of course Pawpaw ran right to the counter to get both kids another chocolate milk like any grandfather would do. Within 10 seconds of Tegan having the chocolate milk, he spills it everywhere. I instantly jump to react and a mere second before I could start fussing and saying mean things to Tegan, my dad jumps up and repeatedly tells Tegan that it is OK. Accidents happen. I can always buy you another one. We can get someone to clean this up. The kid that had just looked at me with fear that he was going to be in trouble is now looking at my dad like he is a superhero and has just saved him from his mommy.
To be honest I haven't really thought much about that moment since that day....that is until today. I had two moments today, one with Rylee and one with Tegan, that involved me using my words to make them feel bad about accidents that had just happened. As I was getting on to them and blaming them for not being careful, I heard a voice inside of me saying "It doesn't really matter that much". But that didn't stop me. I was so aggravated and not even the looks on their precious little faces could stop me. I don't want to break their spirit. I don't want to put them down. I want to say "Don't worry, we can always get you another chocolate milk".
I have spent 31 years of my life worrying, reacting and not enjoying. It doesn't matter if my child is loud in public as long as he is happy. It doesn't matter if my daughter spills something on her clothes every time she eats, an outfit can be replaced. I have been working really hard to let go of a lot of my germaphobia and have really came a long way so there is no reason that I can't learn to just go with the flow and let my actions mean so much more than my hurtful words.
The point is that we all worry and react to things that we shouldn't b/c in the grand scheme of life is it the end of the world or just another funny story that you will have to tell.