I had a vision. It included two little boys water coloring their coffee filters to turn into beautiful butterflies. Each brush would be dipped into a color, blotted on the filter, rinsed in the water, and another color would be chosen. Rinse and repeat, literally. In this vision, we were all smiling and happy, my little blossoming Picasso's creating masterpieces at the ripe age of two.
In reality, the only part of my vision that turned out to be true-to-life is the fact that they are, in fact, two years old. They were so excited to hold a paint brush and dip it in the paint over and over that almost no paint made it onto the coffee filter. My brand new watercolors looked like this...... and I was left feeling frazzled and frustrated.
The worst part is that they were having a great time while I was too busy focusing on how they weren't doing it the 'right way' to have a great time with them. I missed out on an opportunity to build a happy memory because I was too focused on my own agenda. The thing is though, that there are going to be thousands of times in their lives when they don't do something exactly as I would. My job as a mom is to provide a safe and protected environment for them to make decisions, have fun and learn all about the world around them. Sure, there should be consequences for throwing paint or painting the table, but art time shouldn't be over for something stupid like mixing paint colors. Learning to push my silly expectations to the side will make me a better mom and make them more secure, happy and confident kids.
Have you ever had a 'watercolor moment' when you realized that you had to let go of an expectation in order to allow your kids to be who God created them to be?