Yesterday Shelby woke up in a terrible mood. Within a few minutes of her getting out of bed, I was pretty certain we were going to have a no good, rotten day. Nothing I said was right. She was clearly overly tired and the day had barely started. Plus, she's got those pre-teen hormones pumping through her body, which makes her susceptible to tears and meltdowns for no apparent reason.
I offered to have a snuggle session, but she turned me down.
Mike made a special breakfast of eggs and gluten-free pancakes. He made sure her egg was just the way she liked it, super juicy without any pepper. But that didn't help.
I was sort of resigned to having an angst-filled day. I figured the less interaction we had, the better.
I was working at my computer trying to finish a freelance assignment that was due in a few hours. Shelby came into the room with her Girl Scout vest and about 10 patches that needed to be sewed/glued on. Out of the corner of my eye, I could see her carefully arranging the patches exactly the way she wanted them. Then she said, "Mom can you come and put these patches on my vest."
My first thought was "No. I have a freelance assignment I have to finish up. It's due in just a few hours. I have no time for this." But I took a minute to respond. I turned an looked at her while I decided what I was going to say. The pleading look on her face was enough to help me make my decision. I said "Sure."
The next 45 minutes, I sat on the floor with Shelby talking Girl Scouts and affixing her patches to the vest. When I was done, she her body had relaxed, she was smiling and the funk that plagued her all morning was gone.
It wasn't about the patches. She wanted to be seen. She wanted me to listen to her and connect with her. She wanted my undivided attention. She wanted to matter.
I don't profess to be a perfect parent. Far from it in fact. But I'll admit: I was pretty thrilled with myself after this. I told Mike "I did something right. Seriously, I did something right this time."
One minute. I'm grateful I took that one minute to think before I filled the space between us with excuses.
One minute. I'm grateful I turned to her and answered her bid for attention with love and grace.
One minute. It changed the outcome of our entire day.
One minute. It managed to write on my heart the importance of really trying to hear what my family needs and take the time to connect with them.
One minute: We all have one minute.
One minute. Can you take just one minute today to make a connection?