Reflecting Our Flaws

by Kimberly on April 10, 2009 · 0 comments

I’m not much of a rule breaker. There are people out there who push, bend, or out-right break the rules, but I am not one of them. Never have been. (Case in point: As a teenager, I snuck out of my house once. I was so scared the whole time of being caught that I could not have fun. I never snuck out again).

Luckily, children exist. Children sometimes act as little mirrors, showing us our flaws, imperfections, and humanity. Here are two examples taken from two stories about two very different boys:Reflection

1) My son. He’s 2.5 years old right now, old enough (already!) to be able to climb into his car seat by himself. That’s what I had instructed him to do a couple weeks ago, climb in his car seat. I leave for a minute, come back and he is climbing in the front seat. The “mean momma” in me begins to emerge (for all those with kids – you know the “mean mama”). Then he looks at me, presses the button on the garage door opener, then hurries back to his car seat, sits down, and, smiling, waits for me to buckles him in. He just wanted to open the garage door. I laugh, kiss him, and buckle him in.

2) A client. “Billy” was 9 years old, small for his age, Hispanic and diagnosed with, among others, Fetal Alcohol Syndrome and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Billy had a hard time following rules, was often impulsive, and needed extra time to process directions and follow through on tasks. Although sometimes difficult to work with, I found him endearing. He’s also the one who looked at me when I was 12 weeks pregnant (not showing, mind you) and asked: “Are you pregnant?” (I looked him straight in the eye and said “No, I’m not”).

There was a rule at the house, no going “off limits” without asking. I walk down the stairs and what does Billy do? Open the door and run outside. Clearly “off limits.” I go after him, getting ready to send him to the “quiet area” (a.k.a. “time out”) for breaking the rules. But Billy had stopped. He was looking up at the sky, pointing, and said “Look Kimberly!” It was a rainbow. A big, beautiful, vibrant double rainbow. Then Billy looked at me, smiled, and walked back inside.

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I need these reminders, these little mirrors to remind me of my flaws. These boys reminded me that bending rules can sometimes lead to beautiful, spontaneous moments.

What about you? Do you have your own “mirror” stories? What have the children you work with taught you?

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