Amidst many recent moments of second-guessing (the norm for first-time parents of a toddler), I am excited to report that I had a major breakthrough last weekend. You see, it was a perfectly beautiful summer afternoon in Madison. Days like that are the reason I endure Wisconsin’s never-ending month of February.
Jason, Lucy and I followed the sun down to the edge of Lake Mendota, more specifically to “The Union,” aka the living room of campus for UW-Madison, which overlooks the biggest lake around (except for that “great” one just right of Milwaukee.)
After saying hello to a number of duckies, a stroller ride down the path towards Picnic Point, and some fun conversation, we found ourselves in the SUPER DUPER long line for some of the best ice cream around. Well worth the wait.
[Side note: Lucy is showing all of the signs of a future chocoholic. (And I am secretly thrilled!) You see, for the last 10 years, I have been living with a man who simply tolerates chocolate. Ouch. All of you cocoa-lovers out there know the pain I’ve endured. After spending the previous 22 years living in a household dominated by estrogen (4 daughters, mom, and Princess our dog — oh, my poor dad!), chocolate cured all. Marrying a cherry pie/carmel cashew lover has been quite the culture shock. Our weekly pan of brownies growing up was a ritual that was about as sacred as our weekly visit to Mass. But, my patience has payed off. Our little Goldilocks is going to be sharing a 9 x 9 pan of chocolate heaven with her mom soon enough. And all will be right in the world, once again. Alas, I digress…]
So Lucy and I shared some chocolate ice cream and Jason enjoyed his lame, um, I mean lime sherbet.
I decided it was time for Lucy to have FULL control of her own ice cream cone. No micromanaging, as had been standard practice in the past. I handed it to her and we exchanged a look that I will never forget. It married surprise and wonderment. Her hazel eyes shined pure joy. She licked. She smiled. She concentrated. She beamed. And she ended up with the cutest brown ice cream goatee I have ever seen. Ice cream was up her nose, on her toes and everywhere in between. She undeniably enjoyed every. single. bite.
And here’s where the breakthrough came in.
I let go of the messy shirt, the sticky fingers, and crazy sugar buzz that would follow the inevitably mammoth clean-up.
I LET IT ALL GO.
“Never let making a mess get in the way of making a memory.” — Kim Kotecki
For all of my over-thinking lately regarding time-outs, whining, and our anti-veggie Lucy, letting go felt pretty darn good. I let her “be” and thoroughly enjoyed her bliss. In the process of savoring her joy, I recongized that there are moments like these just waiting in the wings all the time. All I need to do is to open my eyes to them and slow down long enough to let them happen.
How about you?
Can you do it?
How have you let go of a mess in order to make a memory lately?