The knots in my daughter’s hair this morning were a tangled mess. It is day four of outdoor camp and no matter how many showers, baths or brushings we’ve done all week, the knots are multiplying. So is her snarling at me as I attempt to brush them out because she asked me to.
And the more she protested (yelled, really) at each tangle, the faster I tried to go, the more it hurt…you can see the cycle.
We did a few rounds like this and I finally remembered to stop*. And go back. Back to the sections that were already smooth, soft, now easy to brush. I spent time re-brushing these strands and talked to her about what a great team we were, how we had made it through tough spots, and how the result was just what she wanted. Then we kept going–a few strokes forward, a few back, and we eventually made it all the way through.
So often we miss what is going well. We are so focused on the bad, or the concern, or the not-yet-accomplished that the good passes us by. Our attention skips right over the pleasant, because the worry is in our way, distracting us from seeing the invisible good.
It happens. It happens in parenting (and relationships and life). It especially happens during the bumpy landing in the transition from end-of-the-school-year to the beginning-of-summer.
Which means it is time to pause, take a wider view, and see all that we are missing. Time to stop and See the Invisible Good.
Starting now. What went well this morning? It doesn’t have to be epically big. In fact, it shouldn’t be. (Are you noticing a theme in the Summer of Love? We go for the small stuff.) Did your kiddo grab their own breakfast? Or get (mostly) dressed on their own? Was there a joke? A laugh? A quarter of a smile? Even just less strife?
Write a note. Stick it somewhere. Somewhere you’ll remember, and then remember to tell the kids. Report the Good. Say what you saw.
Then see what happens. Keep seeing. Keep talking. Keep showing them all that they are. Watch the Invisible Good grow. And grow.
And then? If you want, let me know about it. Jump on over to our Facebook page (if that’s your kind of thing), and share your experience. Read what other’s have noticed. Maybe it will be something that is hard at your house, and maybe it will be something you hadn’t even seen as Good.
* Parents ask me often if my kids are always beautifully behaved. If I always have the answers at home. The answers are no and no. This morning was a great example–I stopped because I remembered that this week’s Summer of Love was going to focus on Seeing the Invisible Good. The morning might have turned out differently without it. So thanks for joining me on the Summer of Love journey. I hope it helps at your house, I know it does at mine.
Want to go back to (re)read Week One? It’s all right here.
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