Parents: When Life gives you lemons can you really make lemonade?
My lemon of a day started out at 6:30am with a snake on the floor in my bedroom. Did I make lemonade from this, you bet I did.
Now, let me tell you why this was a significant parenting moment. For as long as I can remember I have been terrified of snakes. I skip the reptile house at the zoo, I have never seen the first Indiana Jones movie – I hear he’s afraid of them too. Just writing this blog with the word Snake in it is an achievement for me. So my parenting thought was this – Which do I choose – Tell my two daughters, who are 14 and 20 years old, there was a snake in the house, so they can be aware and make any necessary adjustments? Or get rid of the snake, don’t tell them at all, and hope none of his cousins are waiting to come it too. I must admit the second one was quite appealing.
But because the goal for me as their mom is to give them practice making decisions for themselves, I knew I had to tell them. Parenting decision #1 – done.
Now the follow up was probably more difficult – How and when to tell them. But I did it and here comes the lemonade. My younger daughter, who is usually more dramatic in her reactions, said “How big was it mom? Oh just a little skinny one? These things happen in the desert where we live, I’m OK with it.” Wow that was totally not the reaction I expected. But I’m glad she was so calm about it. My older daughter who usually doesn’t show a lot of emotion said – “What! Why don’t you guys close the doors! How could this happen! What are we gonna do now!” Needless to say, this was not what I expected from her.
The result – My neighbor got the snake out of my bedroom, took it outside and put it in the desert. We sealed the doors with weather stripping. Now no more slithery friends can come in. (Yeah, I’m getting over my fear)
The moral of my story, your fears do not have to be your kid’s fears. Tell them truths in a balanced way so they can come to their own conclusions. And expect the unexpected.
Parents, what are your most memorable lemons to lemonade stories?
Enjoy your lemonade!