It B’s Like That Sometimes

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

There are times when I need to remind myself of some basic truths. Tell myself—even out loud—those things that bear repeating.

An example: over the weekend I was in contemplation mode. Considering, weighing, trying to figure out the right choice for me. The decision was around a step I was about to take in my writing career—an important part of my identity, my story.

So in the midst of my mulling, I thought it best to go for a brisk walk around the neighborhood. I decided to stop in at one of those cute, clothing stores. One that also sells darling kitchen and home decor pieces. (Of course, skirts and salt shakers make natural pairing sense.) I spotted some fun mugs with initials on them. Perfect impulse buy.

Small issue: I couldn’t find the letter “B” anywhere on the two large display racks. A salesperson joined me briefly, scanning the shelves looking for the missing letter. Then I moved some random L mug and found it …

The last letter B.

The sales guy said something simple and innocuous, but it rang in my ears for the rest of the day:

“Sometimes the thing you need was there all along.”

I think that line could be applied to many areas of this life, but especially to our approach to parenting. We spend so much time second-guessing ourselves, checking for what the books says, for what that other mother does—because she’s clearly doing it right. We’re looking outside of ourselves, inspecting other shelves, trying to find answers on the “right” way to parent.

But the key thing to remember is this: they are your kids. You know what to do. Maybe it means moving a few things around to see that the answers are right there, in you. And they’ve probably been there all along.

I was able to apply this Dalai Lama of Salesmen’s words to my writing dilemma as well. And after a constructive confab with my ever astute writer friend Robert, I figured out what to do. I felt good about my decision, too. I was at ease and enthusiastic at once. All that was needed to sweeten the moment more was a cup of tea … sipped from my new B mug.

  • 1
    barneyabishop says:

    The more I read you blog, the more inspired I am to start another one. I love how you tied this all together B. P.S. I haven’t used “confab” in a minute ;-)

  • 2
    Eliana says:

    Sometimes what you need is hiding is the hustle and bustle of everyday life. The key is to step back, take a deep breath and look again.

  • 3

    Like so many things, it’s all about people being sure of their choices. And if a choice comes from a book or from a friend’s example, but it’s not “owned,” then we always feel a little insecure about it. If it comes from us, we feel good about *why* we’re doing something – whether it’s nursing or not, sleep training or co-sleeping, or letting them sit in front of Max and Ruby…twice.

    Love the mugs, by the way. Where are they?

  • 4
    Nailah says:

    This is a fantastic post! Whether we’re parents or not, we can all stand to be more secure in our own strengths and capabilities. It’s like the Wizard of Oz – the things we want/need most have usually been right there all along.