January 30, 2018
Plans don’t always work out as we hope. Though I myself am not yet a parent, my teaching career has given me plenty of experience with children to know they have a way of throwing a wrench into your perfectly laid plans.
Bryn, John, and their kids arrived on time. As they started piling out of the car, I noticed they were dressed in lovely, coordinating blues and grays. We greeted each other and Bryn immediately mentioned that her youngest had not slept well overnight, nor had fallen asleep for her afternoon nap. Now, I love my own sleep enough to know that if I can be cranky without my sleep, a 2-year-old may certainly feel cranky. I am sure a cranky two-year-old was not in Bryn’s plans.
But here’s the thing. When it comes to kids, I’ve learned to expect the unexpected. I’ve learned that their plans are different than mine, or mom’s, or dad’s. I’ve learned their emotions are real and deserve the same measure of respect and understanding as with anyone else. So, I let Bryn know we would make the best of it, please don’t stress, and I would keep the session moving as quickly as possible.
Bryn and John totally came prepared, by the way. They had a prearranged reward for the kids for following directions (to take place after the session). They had a couple of the kids’ favorite toys. They had music (there were dance parties). They had a lint brush. And baby wipes. But most importantly, and it was beautiful to witness, they had encouraging, patient, positive words for their kids.
Was this session “perfect?”
If your definition of perfect includes perfectly compliant kids who smiled on demand, then no. This session was not “perfect.”
But if your definition includes dropping in on a real moment with a real family who loves and respects one another in real ways, then yes. If it includes well-prepared parents who anticipated how to make the experience as positive for their kids as possible, then yes. Sometimes our plans don’t matter. What matters are people and their love for one another. And this growing little family has plenty of love for one another. That was evident.
Yes, it was perfect.