Thursday, March 7, 2013

Life is What You Make It

"Mommy, can we go play in the snow?"

It's so hard to tell her no. "Well, not right now. It's too cold for Allie and we can't leave her in the house by herself."

"Oh, ok." She disappeared into her room and emerged a few minutes later dressed like this...

She ran up to me, wild with excitement.

"Mommy! Hurry! Come see the snow!"

She dragged me to her room, and I instinctively turned my attention toward the snow covered ground outside her window.

"No, Mommy. Right here," She scooped a pretend snowball from her carpet and held it out for me to see.

"Come on, Mommy. Let's play in the snow! But, it's very cold so you better get your hat and gloves."

How could I argue with that? I went to the laundry room and dug out a hat and my warmest pair of gloves.

When I returned in the proper attire, she launched a pretend snowball in my direction. I staggered backward, "You got me!" Then I bent down and made a "snowball" of my own. She ducked behind the rocking chair, "You missed!" I couldn't help noticing that she giggles the same way whether she's throwing a real snowball or a fake one.

We chased each other around the room, throwing pretend snow and making pretend snow angels. We built an pretend snowman and slid down pretend hills on pretend sleds. When we were done, she poured pretend mugs of hot chocolate in her tea party set and we warmed our hands and feet by a pretend fire.

As the scene unfolded, I thought back to a few specific incidents where unexpected circumstances altered my perfect plans and the resulting disappointment hindered my ability to fully enjoy myself in spite of a few hiccups. When I told Reese that we couldn't play in the snow, she could have had a tantrum. Or she could have given up and found something else to do. Instead, she put her boots on anyway.

Kids have an amazing ability to refresh an adult's perspective on life. That morning, Reese decided that she was going to play in the snow and nothing - not even the complete absence of the one thing she needed in order to fulfill her plan - was going to stop her from doing it. She simply decided what she wanted and then she found a way to create it. Not only did she succeed, but she had just as much fun as she would have if she actually was outside.

It took a two-year-old in a t-shirt and princess snow boots to remind me that life is far too unpredictable (and far too short) for us to allow our circumstances to dictate the manner in which we experience it. In any situation, we see what we choose to see. With a little shift in attitude, our challenges can become our adventures, our struggles can become our gifts, and unexpected circumstances can become windows of opportunity.

Sometimes life does knock us down, rain on our parade, and derail our plans. I think we all know what it's like to be that kid looking out the windows of our lives at something we're told we can't have - the "snow" we can't go play in. Those moments come with choices. You can resist them with a tantrum. You can give up and move on. Or you can get up and put your boots on anyway.  

For the month of March, Bigger Picture Blogs is celebrating the change from winter to spring with the theme "Rejuvenate." Join in here for more rejuvenating winter/spring moments!


  1. Perfect timing Lisa, I needed this today! Thank you

  2. I need to get my boots on anyway, too. This is inspiring in so many ways. How do kiddos do it? How do they have such a wonderful sense of adventure and ambition? I wish I was a kid again. This piece was so uplifting. I needed to read it today. Thank you for sharing, Lisa!

  3. Awesome as usual Lisa. So proud I get to call you "daughter"!

  4. Oh, I love this: "In any situation, we see what we choose to see." And your daughter rocks! What a perfect way to "make lemonade out of lemons"! It really is all about perspective and how you decide to accept those unpredictable moments and altered plans.

  5. OMG that is the cutest story ever - and such a lesson too! Reese has an amazing attitude towards life. I hope, as she grows older, that she always faces challenges that way!