This afternoon, during a sibling fall-out, one daughter warned that she had placed a snake under the sheets of the other daughter’s bed.
Summer is so good. Until it’s not!
A snake. Really?
When the one who suspected her sister was bluffing asked where she would have found the snake, the crafty sister swiftly replied, “The bushes.”
The bushes. Really?!
This conversation then followed…
“One that you don’t know about.”
“How did you get the snake?”
“I caught it.”
“Let me go see if the snake is there now.”
“You can go look, but you won’t find him. He’s not there anymore.”
“Then why should I be scared?”
“You shouldn’t. Let’s solve our problems, Ok?”
“Ok, just stop talking about snakes in my sheets.”
“Ok, I’m sorry.”
Hugs, kisses, sisterly embraces. The whole kit and caboodle. Problem averted.
Oh, Lord. If only as adults our problems were as simple as imaginary snakes hidden in our sheets!
As an adult, our problems are layered with scales; bits and pieces of old things we would love to shed.
They are slippery; hard to grasp altogether but persistent in their attempt to get our attention.
They are undercover. Like a snake in a bush, they find their way into places we wish they wouldn’t.
They are intimidating to face. Though once we allow them to wrap around our arm or more importantly, our heart, they are approachable.
They feed on just about anything. Making it pretty difficult to not fuel their appetite.
They change with the season, camouflaging themselves at times to make us think they have left for good.
When I think about what occurs in a day with four kids home for the summer, it is blurry in a dreamy and equally exhaustive way!
Today, I overheard an in-depth snake conundrum. Then, I took those Sally’s to a neighborhood race and let them work it out while running on the sand. I cooked dinner, twice (pre and post-race.). I cleaned and got those snake fascinators to bed.
Now, I am post-processing which happens a lot for me. So many dynamic things happen in a day in the raising of children. If I don’t stop to take stock at the end of each day and try to extract where there was growth, change, love and learning, then I miss so much.
Somehow, this snake moment showed its face or rather it’s long tongue, at a time where it was deeply needed.
In photography, post-processing means transforming photos from what was captured by the camera either to be closer to what our eye saw, or to alter the image artistically.
So as a mother, I can look at the day and catch moments from either frame. Maybe one daughter smiled her most authentic smile and I remember that’s what my
eye saw. Yet, what my heart remembers is the raw details of her beautiful smile. Just like a single photo file of beautifully rich data, my heart imprints this.
The snake “situation” lasted for a long while. I mean a really long time. And just when I thought I couldn’t take it anymore, “Poof” it was over. Artistically, it was halerious to listen to. For my ears, it was taxing.
The incredible thing about this parenting gig, is that we get to choose how we want to view each and every situation with our kids.
Do we want our memory to be closer what our eye caught? Or closer to an artistic interpretation of what we felt?
Right now, a broken dish and glass line the bottom of our dishwasher after an attempt of our girls unloading it. Seven, yes seven loads of laundry are unfolded and strewn about our playroom. It’s 10:48 and I have yet to shower. What my eye sees, (at least my good eye, because the other eye was accidentally ninja-kneed by the snake hunter this eve), is a total and complete mess!
But artistically? I see love, growth, possibility. Because that’s what today was.
We can post-process the bleep out of our parental efforts. It’s good. Go for it!!!
We have the opportunity to blend the world of art and visual record to create fuller pictures more often. I prefer this.
Tomorrow, most of my adult
problems won’t be dispelled. Scales and all, I will work to shed them one at a time.
Tomorrow, there will be more sibling blow outs. More dirty dishes. More…I can hardly even write this… gulp, laundry 😂. And tomorrow, I may not see any of all the above as artistic at all.
We get to choose the windows by which we view these parental moments.
Difficult? Almost always.
Completely stock-full of joy? As often as we would like to see it.
And when someone says the snake has now moved on from our sheets, well, we too can move on.
My synopsis is this:
*Adult problems are similar to snakes.
*Post-processing is the king of all power-driven instruments on our parental tool-belt.
*We always have a choice about how we interpret our experience as a parent, or in life. We ALWAYS have a choice.
This image was taken near Cliff-dweller, Arizona. Windows upon windows in an old make-shift rock home. I loved seeing an endless line of vistas from one single spot. It just seemed so relative to daily living with children.