Thursday, July 12, 2012

Monsters and Bad Guys

This morning I got up earlier than I usually do because my middle son announced that Bronson had left the hose on all night. As I walked through the kitchen I remembered that it is "My Surprise Thursday," one of the theme days I made up for each day of the summer. So I pondered what would be a nice surprise....and what would matter to the kids. (It would be a nice surprise for me if they all did the windows and cleaned the grouting but I concede that surprises are better when fun for everyone.)
I thought of Bronson not wanting to sleep in his own bed last night. When I asked him why, he described in adorable detail how a monster would try to get in his window and eat his "nosey". I agreed that that would not be nice. I just got him. Soon he was talking about how we made cookies and the monster was temporarily forgotten. But monsters and bad guys are a big deal of a child's life. Most often we parents negate them, shush the child and basically tell them all their fears are unfounded and frivolous. Rather than comforting them, we leave them feeling unheard, unimportant and unloved. Asking our child to tell us more about their fears opens up worlds, creates contentedness, fosters trust and acceptance. It most likely will melt the fears too and allow the child to move on into creativity and empowerment.

So this morning, in what took less than a minute, I grabbed the big roll of paper (inspired by my sister and her daughter's artwork they mailed to us and my brother's artistry of monsters) and unfurled it over the kitchen table. I grabbed a box of crayons and wrote "The Monsters in Our Dreams" and left to have a talk with Bronson about the hose and when we use water.
It turned out that Daddy sheepishly confessed he left it on, when taking out the trash he thought it would be nice to water my herbs...what a sweetheart! How could I be upset about that? It's just water...and money...I realize that no matter who left it on, neither my sons or my husband are the monsters or bad guys. They just want to play and make me happy.

We walk inside after the family talk on water conservation and the kids see the paper and title. As I make breakfast, they start to draw, and draw,and draw...and I join in and soon we are having the most imaginative and fun conversation about monsters and bad guys. I feel my own fears oddly real and then disappear as I draw my childhood bad dream of a windowless tower that I am trapped inside as I am being chased by a witch in circles. An alligator snaps in the water below and as I draw it out it becomes just silly and funny. They describe their Giant Frog, Puffy Muffy Monster and Mr. Alien Butthead. Our morning is delightful. The kids are empowered. We are creatively connected.
Then my reminder alarm goes off and it's "Time to Stretch!". So Bodee leads us in stretches and exercise and I am filled with joy from being surrounded by the good guys.

Zen Honeycutt

No comments:

Post a Comment