As she walked through the front door, her head ensconced in a gray sweatshirt, I immediately registered two things: Sadie was in a rotten mood, and something was different about her bangs. "Did you get a haircut?" I asked, thinking she'd be pleased I noticed.
There were tears swimming in her eyes as she looked hotly out from under her hoodie and verbally shoved me away with an "I don't want to talk about it."
Uh-oh. That's the for sure sign that something isn't right with her. Normally all cycles of unsettled "ness" in her emotions result in a change of some kind, usually of a large scale. Once it was an uncomfortable (and not terribly attractive) lip piercing, another time it was a multicolored hair extravaganza (think bag of skittles), and this time it was an impulsive new haircut (following on the heels of a long and painful period of attempting to grow it out). From the look on her face it was obvious this haircut hadn't turned out like she'd hoped.
Two things hit me instantaneously: it wasn't really about the hair, and the things on my evening "to do" list were going to have to wait. Sadie needed me.
Sometimes truly living life means you have to deviate from your well-crafted plans. You need to allow life to happen. While I may have had a list of things I wanted to get done that night, I've learned the hard way--- they weren't what mattered.
The chance to connect with my almost daughter wasn't going to wait until I was done with my accomplishing. I needed to concentrate on her. So we sat. We talked. We may have even cried. In the end, we connected and that, to me, is the juice of life. Connection, caring, and conversation is powerful stuff.
Question of the Week #45: Are You Taking Full Advantage of Every Connection Opportunity That Comes Your Way?
All people, especially our children, need to know that we are willing to put them first, ahead of the do lists and the well-intentioned plans. As parents and mentors, our chances to lead by example pass quickly, if we don't take advantage of them when they are right in front of us, we may not get another chance.
These days I take advantage of every opportunity I can to connect with those around me, especially my children. How about you? Are you allowing time for those who need you?