Wednesday, May 23, 2018

The Line for 5th Grade Graduation... PS Send Coffee.

“OK Mom.  See that seat right there?”  Taylor said, pointing to the front row, center seat in the auditorium, “That would be the perfect seat for you sit in, so you can see me best.”  I laughed.  “Well obviously, honey.  But there are how many kids in the 5th grade?  And multiply that by how many parents and grandparents and siblings will be here?  The chances of me getting that seat are very rare.  This dad standing next to me JUST told me that at last year’s 5th grade graduation, he arrived at 7:45am for the 9am grad, and the line was already wrapped around the building. I also heard they cram the room full, and a lot of parents end up just standing in the back.  So whether I’m sitting or standing, I’ll be able to see you from wherever I am and it will be fine, OK?”  “Ok.” Taylor shrugged.

Just 5 minutes earlier, I had literally said to another mom, “I’m not some crazy parent that’s about to wake up in the middle of the night to get a good seat in the cafeteria, I mean, ‘auditorium’ for 5th grade graduation.  Let’s be honest, 5th grade grad is, well, JUST FIFTH GRADE GRAD.”  Don’t get me wrong.  I love a good celebration!  I love to celebrate and acknowledge and honor… But I also like things to have their rightful place.  Let’s not treat today’s “graduation” like a college graduation.  (Did I just see a money lei?  STOP.)  

But as the day went on, I could not stop thinking about my little interaction with Taylor from earlier in the day.   Why were my chances of getting the front row seat so slim?  If I were to be honest, the only thing between me and that front row seat was my opinion. I didn’t think it was worth it.  I didn’t think it necessary to wake up at O-Dark-Thirty for this ceremony.  Yet clearly it was to her.  

And so this morning I got up before the sun was up.  I lugged my chair and a blanket and here I sit.  The first person in line.  Because This:  Am I willing to love her to the degree to which I think she should be loved?  Or am I willing to meet her where she is and love her how SHE wants to be loved?  

I feel this all the time in marriage.  We’ve all heard it - the 5 Love Languages… meeting your spouse's needs… I know it’s a value there.  I know I need to love Jon in the way that best serves HIM, not me.  But what about with young children?  I mean, I know Reese needs physical touch and Morgan needs quality time… And I try to meet my kids where they are for that.  But what about these types of things?  When we clearly value different things?  With little things, like those certain shoes they really want and you just don’t get it… or the rolling backpack you know they’ll end up hating, but they “have” to have….  or the front row seat at a 5th grade graduation.  Do I try to convince them otherwise?  It’s not THAT important!  Or do I say, “What matters to you, matters to me.”  

Can I do it 100% of the time?  Nope.  But as much as I can, may I love with my eyes on THEM and not on ME.  Because loving others while keeping my eyes on myself, seem to be 2 mutually exclusive activities.  

So I let them choose the shoes. And the backpack. I set the alarm.  And get the front row seat. Not for me. For them.  Because I’m learning that “for them” is reason enough.  <3 

No comments:

Post a Comment