Pieces of the puzzle
I believe as we go through life every person we meet or come in contact with impacts our life. They are the pieces that help to develop the people we end up being… At least this is my view on life as such. They sort of leave a piece of themselves with us and we of them, even if there was no words exchanged. Maybe it was just a look, or a gesture, it could have even been in the way we saw that person for that short length of time. I am a people watcher and I tend to notice interactions, facial expressions, and words being exchanged. Either way it all impacts us in more ways than we think.
As a child we watch the grown ups in our lives and we learn whether we want to or not… We learn the good with the bad, and we don’t even realize it. I think it’s these moments that impact us and help us to be the adults that we are… The small moments are the ones that impact us without us knowing it more so than the big ones. Maybe it’s watching how discipline is done… Maybe it’s the traditions of a holiday… Maybe it’s the preparation of when people are about to come over (these are the big ones) The little ones are watching your parents and how they interact with each other, how do your siblings interact with your parents, how do your parents interact with people around them. I think the biggest is watching how the adults in your life show respect… if they do.
Yesterday Chan and I went on a walk, he rode his Strider Bike, as we were walking on the sidewalk here came a lady the opposite direction as us. She was about to cross our path and Chan quickly got off to the side in the grass and that was before I could tell him to do this simple act of absolute kindness. He proceeds to say, “Mama was that a good choice?” before I could get a word out. I responded with great excitement and let him know that it was a great choice. In that moment I couldn’t help but think that he has learned that just by watching the way that mostly Josh is with people. He is very respectful in those situations… It was that moment that I realized it’s pieces of us that are building his blocks. Not only that but in that moment the look on that ladies face prior to her crossing our path was one of complete sadness, in a way, she looked drained and just absolutely worn out. After that moment she looked at us didn’t say a word, but the smile and sparkle in her face said it all. It was that little moment that Chandler gave her a piece of him that she will carry on with and share with others.
From the earliest memories of my life I remember pieces. It’s those pieces that have had a hand in shaping me. I think that it’s very important to remember that when we are children the pieces that impact us have great power. They have great power because it’s those building blocks that will help us to start to take shape. It’s kind of like building a house if you will. You must first choose a PIECE of land or a PIECE of foundation might be a better word. It’s that foundation that will determine a lot about the end result. We as parents have to remember to try and give the best pieces of ourselves. Not only in communication with our children, but communication and interaction with others. Are we showing our children and everyone else for that matter how to be goodhearted individuals? Are we showing them a strong foundation?
For me it’s my hope that I am giving them good pieces of myself to take with them. I hope that they see pieces of me and those pieces impact them in a positive light. I am sure that I fail everyday, and I believe that’s part of it, but I also believe that I win everyday… Does this make sense? I think that it’s important to show pieces of me that are real… sometimes those real pieces are ones that are me falling, but more importantly they see me getting back up.
As we venture from childhood in to adolescents we tend to absorb pieces at an exceptionally fast rate. It’s at this time that we are able to make friends that our parents didn’t choose for us… You know we get to make our own play dates if you will. These friendships are important pieces in helping to continue to shape us. It’s our job as parents to help our kids get rid of the negative pieces and really embrace the positive ones. It’s our job to help them find the right fit at this time. Because we know how much these pieces will impact us.
Jacob said something to me yesterday… So he was talking about his field day at school. I ask him if I can come in a joking manner… He was quick to respond with no because he would be ashamed. He was quick to say no no that’s not the word… I of coarse ran with this telling him to explain why he was ashamed of me… I made a quick statement like well Ashley would let me come to school with her… as the conversation continued he kept digging the whole deeper and deeper. Finally he responds with, “Mom, it’s because middle school kids are just meaner than high school kids.” I gave him a fist bump and just told him, “you right, you right.” This hit me like a ton of bricks after he walked away… “Middle school kids are meaner than high school kids” Why is this… Conclusion is that early on in Elementary school kids are just leaving the nest they are like baby birds escaping out into the world. They come in contact with other baby birds… These baby birds only have pieces of the adults in there lives at this time. (some of these adults have given these sweet kids bright colorful pieces and others have given dark and dingy pieces. We give these pieces…. We all show our kids how to behave and act… Now this is different that disciplining them… I mean giving them pieces of you that they see… How do they see you? Are you accepting of people from different races, places? Are you accepting of people that have different beliefs? Are you accepting of people that have different values and ideas? Once these kids get to school they start to give off pieces of them… The pieces that they have learned. Once in school they are now taking pieces from other kids and teachers ect…
Middle school is a hard time… because they are trying to figure out what pieces are ones they should accept… Do they throw away some of the pieces that the adults in there lives have taught them? This will cause disappointment at home… Do they throw away the pieces that the teachers and other students are giving them? This will likely disappoint those friends and teachers… That is a lot of disappointment to deal with. This causes “mean kids” I would be mean to if I felt disappointment from all spectrum’s… The point is to try and alleviate some of that by teaching and showing our kids pieces that are positive pieces… pieces like Acceptance and understanding. These pieces can go a long way.
Once a child reaches those high school years they are now more confident and able to distinguish the pieces they want to put together if you will. They still struggle because we all struggle even as “well put together adults.” They have an idea of who they are and who they want to be. This allows for the high school kids to be less mean than they middle school kids as Jacob put it. Ashley brought up a point about high school kids… She said they are more ACCEPTING. They are accepting because they understand how much it hurts not to be accepted. The important part about this is that this is hard for some parents because now our kids are at an age where they have been around and they are fitting more and more pieces and building a puzzle that is all there own. We as parents have to help to make sure that puzzle is one of good standings… We have to try hard to show them pieces of commitment, pieces of hard work, pieces of acceptance, pieces of love, pieces of discipline (NOT AT A CHILD, but FOR a CHILD).
As they get older and we get older we are all just adding the puzzle pieces of life… Our puzzle isn’t complete. Even being an adult we are still able to add puzzle pieces to our already beautiful piece of art work. A lot of people get older and think that they don’t have to learn new things or experience new things because they are “stuck in the ways that they have had for years”
Going through life we will keep accepting and rejecting pieces of the puzzle. The question is will you be able to accept pieces that are different than what you currently know… This is why at the college level these kids are able to be more accepting and free because they are at an accepting age. They want to experience different pieces of the puzzle. This is great. We all should keep this need to keep accepting pieces of the puzzle.
What does your puzzle look like? What pieces can we change out for better pieces? How can we show our beautiful puzzle the way that it is meant to be seen? What pieces are you leaving?