Missy M and I have been experimenting with the responsibility: always a fun and hair pulling out exercise. Could she play in the communal gardens, with friends, unsupervised?
Note I said ‘experimenting’? First I went downstairs to check if all was well, as I could no longer hear her playful screams from the balcony. Unbeknownst to me, Missy M et al had decided it would be hilarious to hid, triggering a search of the gardens, car park and apartment block. Now a little hotter, wearier and madder, I kindly requested that they play within sight of the balcony. Hauling myself back up 4 flights of stairs, a made a cup of tea. Where they playing below? Nope.
I flew down the stairs seeing red. I told myself that I would haul her little behind up those darn stairs and she would have to play in the apartment, without her friends. I was seething. I was tired. I was about to act like an idiot and have a very resentful child on my hands. That’s when I had the thought –
This is not going to go well. You can turn around.
It just took one thought for the anger to leave. Just one. I realised I did not have to act on these thoughts of indignation and exhaustion. I could turn it around. I stopped and climbed calmly back up to the apartment. I poured my tea into a travel mug, picked up my Kindle and picnic blanket and tumbled back down the stairs again. Spreading the blanket out on the grass, I informed Missy M that as she was not showing responsibility that afternoon, she would have the embarrassment of me watching her play up close.
I drank my tea, read my book, and watched 4 little things tumble and scream all over the grass lawn. Despite all odds, the afternoon ended peacefully.
A turn-around is always possible, no matter how angry you become, or how far down the stairs you have walked. Just because you have started, doesn’t mean you can’t stop. It just takes one thought to re-gain clarity and find a peaceful solution.