When I was a little girl I had defiance in me. The world was not fair, and I was going to fight everybody in it until I felt all the wrongs were righted. I was a back talker and a know it all. Many times this behavior made my circumstances worse, thereby increasing my perceived unfairness. One example was being at the babysitters house. She had a son the same age as me. We were fighting about something and he used a bad
word as we argued. I couldn’t let him get away with it, so I used the bad word back, right as his mother walked in. I endured the time out in the bathroom after having my mouth washed out with soap, while my playmate didn’t even get a stern glance from his mom. If my life was a competition against the world, earth was up one, and I was down.
It wasn’t until I met Mike that I realized how wrong I had been. He has also handed this gracious and unruffled disposition down to my daughter. I see my little Amy and she is every bit as patient as her dad. She’s always shy when meeting new people; she clings to my legs, almost knocking me over and hides her face. Once she is warmed up to you though, she shows her sweetness and fun-loving side. She loves her preschool and she’s eager to learn. Her teacher has a son her ago who also attends the class. He struggles with having to share his mom and toys with five other three year olds. Amy has adopted him as her best friend and he has chosen her as his. When he gets agitated over wanting what is his, Amy has been gracious to him offering back the toy and finding something else to play with. She warmly gives up her seat so Andrew can sit closer to his mother, and she bakes tea and bread for him at the pretend kitchen. I love that instead of fighting against this situation and seeing it as an unfair personal attack, she’s thinking about how Andrew feels and how she can help.
Hunter seems to be predisposed with my disease of defiance. It starts with a gregarious nature, hopelessly unguarded comments and eagerness to be appreciated. He was taken with Mike to a side job. While there he took it upon himself to inspect the house alongside his Dad and along the way inform the homeowner that their house was a mess, this job was going to be hard, really expensive, and what did they have for him to eat?!? Mike was mortified. Where did he learn to expect that others existed to please him and at five years old think that he is the plumber with the expert opinion? When they left the house Mike let him know that he was not impressed with that behavior, to which Hunter replied “huh! Deal with it.”
I feel like he has a long and disappointing road ahead of himself if he continues to act like he did that day. I can relate to him though, the way it feels to think you are helping and then not feel valued. The three of us had a talk about it later after which he did eventually apologize. It’s too bad I can’t take the experiences I have had and the lessons learned and stuff it all into his head so that he doesn’t have to experience disappointment and frustration himself. He’ll have to be cured the same way I did, by one day turning his head to peer through the looking glass of time and realize the world was not against him, but he against the world.