Little Miss Fix-It


“no matter how many maps you read, you must make the journey.”

—Cheri Huber

THIS. This is me. How funny it popped up in my reading for the day.

This is exactly why I chose the word “discipline” as my word of the year. The reflective and curious part of me, although fallible and in regular need of recalibration, does ok for itself. The follow through? Not so much.

This morning my spunky-sweet, semi-sick Iris woke up on the wrong side of the bed. Like I’m talking the distance between desire and utter desolation could be measured in centimeters. Cocoa? she asked hopefully. Yes! I said. As soon as we get fresh diapers and stop in the bathroom. Her face fell and the weeping, folks, was bitter.

Long story short, things did not improve.

And somewhere in all that messy morningness, I had to own up to my part too. She whines because it works. I hate whining. I want it to stop instantly, and yes, I’m that mom who once bought a $15 doll because I didn’t want to deal with the fallout in a quiet Barnes and Noble. Because I was flying solo. And my newborn had just blown out his diaper.

But this is the year of discipline.

This is the year I take a breaks when I need them. This is the year I pick my two year old up gently and say, “I know you’re frustrated. It’s okay to be frustrated. But I can’t help you while you’re whining.”

I set her in her bed, in a room full of toys and books and morning sunshine, and then I went downstairs and finished my coffee. And you know what? There were no tears. Five minutes later she came downstairs, totally chill, carrying Piglet and a book.

Reading about discipline is great, but you also have to implement it. Boundaries only work if you enforce them. And, for me, refueling mostly happens if I plan it.

Today I’m reading through a book of poems by Mary Oliver—so accessible and beautiful, a patch of much needed summertime in our -10 windchill. I’m powering down my lap top and iPhone for the afternoon. I am pouring myself a tall glass of water. I am pulling out the art supplies and crafting with Iris. And tonight I am changing out of my pjs, kissing the kids goodnight, and going out with Carl.

We don’t always get that much control over our days, but we can always find some small corner to claim.

What are you doing today to refuel?


2 thoughts on “Little Miss Fix-It

  1. Happily, I’m sitting at GRR, waiting to take off with Dad for a few days of work and sunshine, warmed and filled by a leisurely joint reading of the Psalms and prayer over tea followed by an early lunch at Panera WITH hot chocolate.

    As I pulled out my computer, the man across the aisle asked, “Work, or fun?” I smiled, “Catching up with my kids…what do you call that?” He nodded and pulled out Erik Prince’s Civilian Warrior. Refueling is a good thing.

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