Tuesday, January 18, 2011

'Cause its Fun

I believe it is important to help the girls learn about thinking through their decisions and to learn about consequences. I also believe it is important to take care of our possessions so that they last a long time. I often put these ideas together as I talk Mary Jane through why it is okay, or not okay, for her to take a specific action. We had an interesting opportunity on this very point this morning.

We had been playing for awhile and Mary Jane was already dressed for the day. Well, dressed and then somewhat undressed - she will often pull her shirt up as if to take it off and then leave it at the top of her head like a turban. She then pretends that her shirt is hair...and she LOVES doing this. It was time for me to take a shower so I asked her if she would like to shower with me or keep playing. "Yeah, shower with you," she replied. I headed off to the bathroom to start getting the shower ready. About 30 seconds later Mary Jane came into the bathroom and said, "I changed my mind. I want to shower by myself." Now, I have learned how to tell when Mary Jane is planning to do something that she thinks I will not approve of and I could tell that there was something behind her change of mind. "Why do you want to shower by yourself?" I asked. With eyes turned toward the floor and half turning away Mary Jane sheepishly said, "I want to shower with this on," referring to the shirt on her head...her 'hair.'

At this point my mind went straight into parental teaching mode. "You can't let her do that," I heard my mind say. "That isn't being responsible. And if you let her do it today then you set a precedence and she'll want to do it every day and you will have to fight with her to keep it from being an every day occurrence." All fine and seemingly valid points. But before I spoke something inside me, something deeper within, urged me to ask a follow-up question, "Is that why you want to shower by yourself? So you could shower with your shirt on your head?" She nodded . Again, my mind jumped to action, "See, she is being deceitful and manipulative. You have to take action to show her that she cannot trick you into letting her get her way."

As my mind told me what I "had" to do I could feel that sense from deeper within coming up again. It is a softer urging, in terms of volume, than is the demanding chatter of my mind. At the same time, though, this deeper sense is stronger, less forceful and more confident...knowing. I paused and asked, "Why do you want to shower with your shirt on your head?" Mary Jane smiled and said quite matter-of-factly, "'Cause its fun." My heart nearly exploded with love and joy as we laughed together. "Okay, Mary Jane," I said, "you can shower with your shirt on."

Today Mary Jane reminded me that sometimes "'cause its fun" is reason enough. What would my life be like if I did more things 'cause they're fun? Just asking that question excites me and gives me a sense of freedom and joy. Imagine a life lived outside the boundaries of justifications and air tight reasoning. Imagine the freedom of simply choosing to follow my heart and do! I have both excitement and trepidation around this.

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