Friday, 3 May 2013

Learning the Art of Disappointment From My Four Year Old

    For the last week all Elly could talk about was her class trip.  Her class was going to go on a school bus!  For Elly the bus was much more exciting than the actual trip itself.  They were going to go to the Madoc Skate Park and have a picnic, and then they were going to see DINOSAURS!  "and you're coming too, right Mommy?"  "Yes, Elly, Mommy's coming on your trip."  We're going to sit together on the school bus... right Mommy?"  "Yes, Elly, Mommy's going to sit with you on the bus."  "Daddy, Mommy and I are going on a fun trip.  We're going to sit together on the school bus, and we get to go to the park, and have lunch together!"  "Wow Elly, that sounds like fun!"  The whole time she spoke, her eyes were huge with excitement.  

    Yesterday afternoon I went into Belleville, Old Navy had a great sale.  I bought Elly a comfy little dress to wear for her trip.  It was white with navy stripes.  Unintentionally I bought a similar dress for myself.  When she came home from school I showed her the new dress.  "Daddy!" she was too excited "Daddy, Daddy, Mommy and I are going to wear matching dresses!!!!!"  She was almost nearly shaking with excitement.  Just for the record, I had no intention of us wearing matching dresses.

    When the kids were tucked into bed, I pulled out my hot glue gun.  I had picked up a bag of plastic dinosaurs at the dollar store when I was in Belleville.  I hot glued dinosaurs onto hair elastics, and then hot glued a dinosaur onto a large safety pin.  As I burned my fingers, I smiled thinking about how excited Elly would be to wear my dino art.  I would give her adorable pig tails topped off with dinos.  I ran my burned fingers under the cold water, still smiling (that may have been a grimace from pain, but I was smiling in my head).
    This morning Elly climbed into our bed.  She was burning up.  I got out my bright yellow thermometer, and looked at those digital numbers, 102.  I was not looking forward to telling Elly that her trip was off.  I stalled.  Finally I just bit the bullet... "Elly I'm sorry sweet heart, you have to stay home today, you're sick".  She did not flinch.  I expected tears, but there was not one.  "Can you make me lemonade Mommy?"  That was it.  After the week of build up, I thought that she would have been devastated.  She was o.k with it, she just wanted lemonade.
   Turns out I could learn a thing or two about disappointment from my four year old.  She lives in the now.  It didn't matter what she was missing out on, she had lemonade.  I'm not sure I can do that, I just wish I could.

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