Enjoying Interruptions…what if they were a gift?

Only half the day worked out as planned.  The best half featured the interruptions.

As my soggy feet trod through the snow and my boys and I lost our hiking path, I thought of this quote,

“The great thing, if one can, is to stop regarding all the unpleasant things as interruptions of one’s ‘own,’ or ‘real’ life. The truth is of course that what one calls the interruptions are precisely one’s real life — the life God is sending one day by day.” – C.S. Lewis

The friend who shared this quote is the mother of six.  She’s an expert in interruption-management.  Or is it interruption-appreciation?!

Back to our hike.  “Surely if we climb, we’ll get a better view,” I conjured.   So we clamored up the hills (it was more like rock-climbing).  It was fun.  The wind blew softly.   The sun shone brightly.  We had the mountains to ourselves.   Or so we thought.  That’s when we spotted the mountain goats.  Higher we climbed to see them better.

Wow.  Six of them.  Frolicking along.  We paused.  We marveled.

Still no sight of the path.

The boys led the way.  What a surprising delight to follow.  For years our family has been a circle of Chiefs without Indians; each person claiming for leadership.  I think I set the example.  Today, I determined to follow.

“I’m on my way down,” announced our youngest who had chased the mountain goats the longest.  “Don’t worry about me…well, worry just a little bit.”  I breathed a prayer for all of our safety.  Indeed, I had made it down by sliding on my rear in Lycra running tights.  Dress for success.  Thank you, wild blueberry bushes, for having measured me pace.

We found a semblance of a pass and crossed over to the other side of the mountain.  “Let’s continue 10 minutes to see if we find a path.  If not, since we’ve been wandering around these rocks for more than an hour and I think we’re lost, we should turn back,” suggested our youngest.

Eventually, one son found a path.  How, I wonder?  My feet could not stand side by side within it.   Where the snow did not cover it, the tall grasses did.  Tiny as it was, we followed it and eventually found one painted rock certifying the discovery of a bona fide route.

It led us down a cliff.

I was again on my rear, but this time on slate rock.

We each managed fear in our ways.  My method is through prayer.

“’The Sovereign LORD is my strength!
He makes me as surefooted as a deer,
able to tread upon the heights.’ Habakkuk 3:19

Thank you, Lord, for not having given me feet like a cow…or like a duck!!!!   And today I even thank you for my big butt!”

Even as we descended in concentrated silence, I kept reveling in the joy of the day’s interruptions.  Our “planned” walk led us through wondrous scenery and a few adventurous segments.  Lovely.  But this trek none of us will quickly forget.  We were creating memories.

Our interspersed comments evolved from, “Use this ledge,” to “This spot is not as bad.” And finally to, “Part II in front looks like it’s easier….I think.”  The worst of the façade behind us, I looked back to try and locate the path and could not distinguish it.  Too small.  And too infrequently traveled.  Not surprisingly!

Joyful conversation flowed spontaneously as we strode on “Part II,” a.k.a. post-façade descent.   One of them broke out in song, “C’mon baby, rock my boodee…” until they settled in to defining the qualities of excellent confidence boosters.

“The best confidence booster is just being present.  Staying by someone’s side.”
“I hate those confidence non-boosters when someone speaks too much, especially in the crucial moments.  I don’t want to hear, ‘You’re such a champ…’ when my 6 foot body is crawling on a ledge on all fours…Afterwards, I might feel like one (grin), but at that moment, I just feel awkward.”

“This is so eeaazzzy,” they chanted as we continued down the steep slope.  Once you’ve descended a façade, the rest is a piece of cake.  I ventured,

“Guys, maybe a great confidence booster is doing something TOUGH, slip sliding through it even, but getting through.  There is something to overcoming a challenge.  It gives you a head start for the next one.”
“Yeah.  YEAH!”

Exhausted, back at the car, finally filled with food, I announced.  “I’m proud of myself.  YOU should be proud of yourselves.”

Pause.

And as if it were a revelation, “I guess I am.”

#Whatever
#ConfidenceBooster
#GiftOfInteruptions

What’s your parenting focus? FEWER tears…or MORE laughter?!

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Check out these entrepreneurial tykes who seek fun, yum, and mon(ey)!

Their focus is on getting more.

Do you and I as parents focus on getting less?

  • Fewer whines
  • Less back-talk
  • A stop to endless repetitions
  • No more fighting
  • Good-bye to morning rush
  • Cut out the bedtime troubles
  • ….

Humm, how much fun, yum, and “mon” would those entrepreneurial tykes gain by focusing on cost-cutting?  It’s probably not a winning strategy.

And yet, we parents do just that many days.  We find ourselves policing the children.   Don’t do this.  Stop with that.  And it’s no fun.

Besides, fixing what’s broken is not the end goal.

We change the car’s flat tire…so that we can drive the vehicle!

We nurse the booboo to help it heal…and even more to run, play and live life fully.

No tears is O.K.  Laughter is exhilarating!

More than zero problems, we crave maximum joy, increasing harmony, growing wisdom…

This is the SoSooper objective:  to help our children gain life skills and qualities and make a live and a living.

Crying boy

Playing boys making hummongous bubbles

Here’s what it sounded like in our home when speaking with our teen son, a senior in high school with many questions about his future and as many hesitations about getting to work.

“Mom, it’s like this.  One day I’m going to have a job, get married, move out of here and into my own place, have a job, get married, and probably be a dad.  I’m going to have RESPONSIBILITIES.” 

“Well, son, that could be a drag or it could be exciting.”

“YEAH!…” he answered sounding worried.

“That’s why your dad and I are trying to teach you the qualities to help you thrive with responsibility.  Stuff like

  • Curiosity
  • Teamwork
  • Sense of humor
  • Generosity
  • Love of excellence
  • Self-motivation
  • Resilience
  • Perseverance

What else are we trying to teach?”

“Table manners,” he quips.  (The topic of some hefty exchanges over dinner last night)

“Yes!  Social skills.  How attractive is that young woman going to find you when you spit food out of your overstuffed mouth over dinner?!”

This is our SoSooper objective:  to fill our kid’s backpacks with the life skills and qualities to help our children make a living and a life.

If you have done back-to-school shopping, you know this filling with tangible goods takes time.  First make the list.  Check it twice (thrice….).  Get what you can at one store.  Go the extra miles to find purple paper (or some other far-out-yet-required item).  And that’s just for starters !

Intangible qualities don’t sprout overnight either.

Think about thriving professional organizations that you know.  They have a vision AND an action plan to make it happen.  Each of our families is an entity—a service organization—and our best chances of success come when we set a focus and follow through with a plan.

Sounds like work?  Well, it is a vocation.  Join the high calling of mothers and fathers! 

So Sooper helps make your parenting easier, more fun, AND most effective so that all the family benefits.

There is no one set recipe for super families. (That’s why the name So Sooper.  Perfectly imperfect AND Awesome).   Your family culture will be unique to you.

What will be your unique focus?  Try these fun ways to get your family vision crystal clear.  (If that vision is fuzzy for you, imagine what it’s like for the kids!!)

  • Family GPS
  • Family Grooves
  • What’s your Star Parent Style?

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