For the last month and a half, I have set and reached a goal every single day. And I’ve been pleasantly surprised to find that Big C, in all of his nearly 6-year-old wisdom and maturity, has willingly and enthusiastically joined me on this adventure.
When I decided to overcome my black thumb and plant an herb garden, he was right next to me transferring soil to the pots. When I focused on conserving energy, he was like the electricity police, practically issuing me a ticket every time I left a light on. And he hasn’t forgotten the day I set a timer and took 3 deep breaths every hour. Just the other day when I was beyond frustrated with my leaking furnace and lack of heat, Big C calmly asked, “Mommy, do you need to take a deep breath?”
The fact that Big C has not only been participating with me, but has been taking some of these lessons to heart made me realize that this project I created for myself is growing into something so much more than I intended. It's gone far beyond simply satisfying my need to spruce up my life a little. I’m actually teaching my children a lesson I wish I had learned years ago:
A world of opportunities can open up if you just jump out of your comfort zone once in a while and embrace new experiences.
Today I wanted Big C to do something outside his comfort zone, help him embrace a new experience. So I signed him up to read to therapy dogs at our local library. As a kindergarten student, Big C is only beginning to hone his reading skills, and when he gets stumped on several words in a row, he tends to give up. The purpose of the therapy dog reading session is to allow children to gain confidence by reading to an audience that is calm, nonjudgemental, unlikely to interrupt, and more than likely to offer wet kisses as rewards.
Big C was excited all day anticipating his time with the dogs. But when we arrived at the library and were told that parents were encouraged not to accompany their children in the meeting room, Big C's enthusiasm vanished. "You can do it," I prodded. "Once you see those dogs you won't even miss me."
Sure enough, Big C walked tall into that room, and 45 minutes later when I was allowed in to get him, his smile had returned. And in the car on the way home, I couldn't help but smile myself as he asked, "When can I do that again?"
DISTRACTING LITTLE C
In my excitement to help Big C with an adventure of his own, I neglected to think about how Little C would react upon seeing the dogs in the library. (After all, I've never seen dogs in a library, so for all I know, Little C was wondering if the Cat in the Hat would be next to walk through the door.) The only way to distract her from the dogs and the fact that she wasn't allowed to play with them was to let her to peruse every single picture book in the libary. Ok, I exaggerate. But I certainly wouldn't want to be the librarian in charge of reshelving books tonight.