On Tuesdays, I have my granddaughter, Taryn, for the day. It is my way to help with childcare and to spend some quality time with her. I am also “working” on these days and splitting time with my husband – he works the afternoon and watches her in the morning, and I watch her in the afternoon and work in the morning! Somehow, I often feel frustrated and guilty for not getting enough done for my paying employment as a professor nor am I spending the quality time with Taryn. It seems like a lose-lose situation. But with most things, I think that with practice and a bit of knowledge I’ll figure it out. Reflect and reframe, right?
This past Tuesday, when Taryn came in and wanted to go straight to my office to ‘color’ (use the watercolors) I worked at being fully ‘present’ with her; to observe her exploring with colors, practicing fine motor skills, developing language and expressing herself. I wish I could say that I didn’t feel guilty, I did. But I also felt like I had accomplished something. As a teacher, I live for ‘aha’ moments! Watching her mind at work and being a part of shaping her world is priceless!
She wanted to paint a ‘high five’ by painting her hand and then putting it on the paper. Then she wanted to paint my hand and review the differences. I stopped myself this time from ‘fixing’ where she hadn’t fully painted my hand, knowing it wouldn’t show up as a hand on the paper, and also knowing that is how she learns to paint the whole hand! A lesson I learned too late for my own children, it’s all about the process, not the product. Kind of a ‘do-over.’
And you know what? Our paintings of hands and thumbs are now a part of this blog as icon and logo! We did it! Just letting go of some things and embracing others. Whew – let’s hope I can do it again!