Life is really all about the choices we make. Or… maybe more importantly, once made, what we do with the consequences of those choices.
I was reminded of that fact this evening while on the phone with my boys. My husband put me on speaker phone as I had called from the airport in Washington DC, enduring a layover before the last leg of my journey home after a whirlwind business trip.
“What are you guys having for dinner,” I asked as loudly as I could without being obnoxious. I huddled in closer over the coveted charging station seat I had scouted upon my arrival at the gate earlier in the evening. Hungry iPhone addicts hovered nearby, waiting for me to move or blink or just simply prey on my spot.
“That sounds great!” A lady eyed me, and I turned inward even more, protecting my space.
“What did you eat for dinner, Mommy?”
I eyed the greasy napkin and leftover pieces of salt from the soft pretzel I devoured just moments before calling home. “I ate a pretzel.”
“That was a bad choice.”
I laughed. I suppose it really didn’t qualify as a good choice, though maybe it didn’t really deserve the title of bad choice either. Kids come at good and bad from a very black and white point-of-view. Unable to see beyond what they have learned, what they’ve been taught, what they’ve been shown by the actions of those who are charged with teaching them those rights and wrongs, they get tunnel vision, put on their blinders, and believe that their way is the only way to do it and all other ways are bad, wrong, and otherwise not to be accepted or tolerated. And, of course, if things don’t go quite as they think they should, kids have been known to throw themselves on the floor, throw a tantrum, stomp a foot, wail, gnash teeth, and generally make everyone around them question why on Earth they chose to be in the presence of this child, to bring this child into being.
I know a group of adults acting much like kids who can’t tell right from wrong, who throw themselves on the floor when they don’t get their way.
I don’t know how to fix a group of adults acting like a bunch of children who don’t want to share on a playdate and just took their government and went home. I do know that my husband and I strive to teach our children that while there are good choices and bad choices to be made, it’s what we do after we make those choices that matters the most. Our boys are going to make bad choices. I hope that by the time my husband and I launch them out into the great big world, they realize that one, two, or twenty bad choices don’t break you. You can stand up, act like an adult, own your actions, and move forward.
Hopefully tomorrow… I will make some good choices and move forward in my own journey: by setting good examples, by owning my actions, by helping others in their own journeys.
Hopefully tomorrow… others will too.