Friday, January 1, 2010

Mistakes and Lemonade

Sometime last year I changed the name of my blog. I felt that “Making Lemonade” illustrated the daily attempt our family makes to turn challenges into something sweet. Some days the lemonade turns out sweet, others, more on the sour side.

Yesterday, on the last day of the decade, I made parenting mistake 55,498 of my parenting career. I’m not proud of my mistake, but I had to document it because I learned from it.

(Oh. And it had to do with lemons.)

We have a great little lemon tree in our backyard. I love it. I love to send the kids outside to pick a fresh lemon for a meal I’m preparing. It makes me feel so fresh and organic.

We used up the last of our lemons towards the end of summer, but I’ve been watching the new ones develop and looking forward to a tree full of bright yellow lemons.

Apparently Ashlynn has been eyeing those lemons, as well, because she walked in with a huge salad bowl full of half ripe lemons, proudly showing her harvest. She had picked the tree almost bare, and every lemon in the bowl was half green.

So what did I do? Instead of processing the pleased look on her face, I cringed at the thought of an entire crop of lemons wasted.

As soon as her little face fell, the Mommy guilt set in as mistake 55, 498 registered to me. Why did I care more about my lemons than my one and only daughter’s feelings?

I started back- pedaling as she started asking what she did wrong. I immediately apologized and tried to distract her with the prospect of making a big batch of freshly squeezed lemonade. This helped some, because who doesn’t like to use an electric juicer?

Because I had just done a number on her self esteem, there was some smoothing over that had to be done once we were in the kitchen and she realized that she hadn’t picked one solid yellow lemon. However, once her pile of lemons started growing, she seemed to forget all about the child abuse that had just occurred (please note the self deprecating sarcasm).

I learned a few lessons yesterday. I’m not sure that I can even put into words what those lessons were. But I know that next time my daughter presents me with something, I’m going to look at her face and try and think about what she thinks she is presenting to me.

I also had some really good lemonade. Maybe half green lemons make the best juice after all. Maybe it’s the three cups of sugar that was added.

Maybe as parents we are always going to be half green. But I have plenty of sugar in my pantry to make up for that greenness.

Here's to a whole new decade filled with parenting mistakes and Lemonade.


Lisa said...

A beautifully written reminder of what parenting is really about!

Grandma Caroline said...

Horray for Lemons and Lemonade. You are ahead of the game because you 'saw' your mistake in time to recoup the feelings that you had just hurt. Horray for Kate!

Annessa said...

Absolutely love that post and the comparisons you write!