Friday, April 30, 2010

When Life Gives You Lemons

Yesterday, DD8 and a friend decided to get secretly creative in the kitchen and make lemonade -- with real (read: expensive) lemons, using the electric juicer. Now, this did not please me for a number of reasons, not the least of which being the mess and "waste." DD heard me descending the stairs and tried to catch me with a confession before I witnessed the work in progress. With a nervous smile she announced, "We're making lemonade!"

"With what?" I (foolishly) asked.

"(Pause) Lemons."

"How many lemons?"

"Just three." (Worried smile.) Three of the four lemons that had a designated purpose.

I didn't get angry, but it was clear that I was less than impressed as I shooed them outside reminding them that they need permission to do things like that, etc., etc.

I tasted their concoction and realized why it had yet to be drunk. ;-P

Then it sunk in that I had a choice: I could let my daughter and her friend feel guilty that they'd done something they shouldn't have, and dwell on my displeasure; or, I could just make lemonade. After all there was nothing else to do with the mixture they'd created. So, I decided to go for this:

I called them into the house and sent them into the backyard, where their mouths dropped at the sight of this:

They were beside themselves with amazement at how "beautiful" it all was and how "special" it made them feel, and bubbled over with sweet words of gratitude. I didn't get permission to post a pic of DD's friend, but here is my little Starlight exclaiming over the loveliness of it all:

Wow! I'm so glad I made the choice I did! It took two minutes of effort on my part, but it made a world of difference to two little girls who thought they were in trouble. And it sure brought about a change in my own attitude. If only I took those few seconds to think through my reactions ALL the time!

Is there a time when you've had a choice in your reaction, and you've chosen the more creative, life-giving reaction than the natural, critical one? (Well, "critical" seems to be the default reaction for me, anyway!) Please leave a comment and tell me about it.

Or -- just leave any comment so I know you've been here:)

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