Today was another milestone for our family: Our first 'Show & Tell' at preschool. I have been looking forward to this exercise based on my fond memories of bringing something special for Show & Tell when I was a youngster. I was also a bit anxious about the potential for arguing over who was going to take what. One of the things about having 3 children the same age is that most things are community property. Add to the equation that the item could not be fragile, must fit in their backpack and had to start with the letter A and it was a situation ripe for controversy.
R, my natural born leader, was first out of the gate this morning with his request to take a toy ambulance. P followed with his request to take a toy alligator. Whew! Two down, one to go... K asked if she could take some ants. When informed that ants might escape and bite someone, she decided she would really like to take an angel. Unfortunately, I had to nix that idea because all of my angels are either fragile or packed away in the attic awaiting Christmas. Alas, K decided she would like to take an apple. I offered her a cool toy airplane or a photo of her baby cousin, Avital, but she was insistent on a plain apple.
As I was packing their backpacks for school I had out my handy Sharpie, labelling each toy so they could find their way home. K watched me then said, "Don't fo-git my name on my apple, Mama!" Suddenly, I found myself, Sharpie in hand, labelling her pitiful apple and feeling terrible that the boys had the better end of the deal with their noisy, colorful toys.
Here's the thing: K did not care. I did. I wrote a note to the teachers explaining that she CHOSE the apple. I wondered if the teachers would think I slighted her and favored the boys. I felt compelled to explain it in person, in addition to the note. Seriously? It is 3 year old Show & Tell at Mothers' Morning Out, woman! Come to your senses!
I am constantly reminded as I parent these precious little people to separate my desires and expectations from theirs. As a mother I must remember to keep my perspective. Even if it were possible to give them a storybook, picture perfect childhood, my idea of 'picture perfect' is likely vastly different than their idea anyway. (And -GULP- too often different from the Biblical "in it, not of it" perspective as well.) The most important thing I can do for them is LOVE them in a way that points them to Christ.
In the end, K was pleased that she chose something "all by herself" and proud to take it to school. That is the point afterall, right?
I won't show you P's big feat...but am happy to tell: He has been 3 days without an accident. Today he even went #2 at school for the first time. He informed me yesterday, "Yo-wa big kid is back, Mommy!" Hallelujah!