Raising Kids and Renovating Houses

photo credit Nolan Issac unsplash

“Release your attachment to how things ‘ought’ to be and instead surrender to how they actually are.”
Dr. Shefali Tsabary

My husband and I are serial house renovators.

We’ve owned four old homes and our kids have never known one without crooked doors or slanted floors.

Obviously, we love old houses. But the problem is, there’s always work to be done. In other words, the work is never done. As soon as one project is complete, we’re already looking forward and preparing for the next.

The other day, my husband and I were outside walking around the house when he said, “We have so much to do.”

And that simple statement stopped me in my tracks.

For a moment, I knew he was right. But then I looked all around and allowed myself to see all that we had done, rather than all that we hadn’t. It was time to appreciate that. And I asked him to try and see our house through those eyes.

And he did.

We stood in our yard, side by side, looking around like we’d both put on new glasses.

Rather than seeing the landscaping we’d hadn’t done, we saw the aluminum siding we’d torn down and the beautiful clapboard that now took its place. We laughed about the dark brown garages that were now clean and painted white, and as we walked toward our new front porch with the two rockers just waiting for us, my husband let out a big exhale. He was seeing the Magic in what we had created.

As I leaned back in my rocking chair, I started thinking about how we need to do the same with our kids.

In this busy world we live in, we tend to look at all the things they’re not, rather than all the things they are.

Our children are not their spelling tests, SAT scores, soccer games, piano lessons, play dates, prom dates or to-do lists. They’re funny, wondrous, beautiful, amazing beings growing and learning right before our eyes. We just have to slow down, let out a big breath, shift our perspective and allow ourselves to see that.

To see the Magic of who our kids really are – not who they will be someday, but the amazing beings they are right here, right now.

Because the reality is, we’re all renovations in progress.  And from time to time, we need to stop, look around and appreciate all that we’ve accomplished to get to where we are right in this moment. We also need to do the same with our children, so we can model for them, how to do that for themselves.

That’s where we find the Magic.

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