Friday, April 28, 2017

It's Okay If You Spill The Milk. Just TRY.

My house is quiet. A rarity indeed.

I took the kids swimming this morning and then dropped them off at gym daycare for an hour so that I could dash home and get some work done in peace. Naturally, "work" meant that I loaded all of the swim clothes into the washer, checked on dinner in the crockpot, loaded the dishwasher, wiped down the counter where I was to be working, and then finally sat down with my computer only to have my mind go blank. At exactly the same moment my focus waved goodbye and flew out an open window into this glorious spring breeze.

No prob. I'm guessing this edit work will just do itself!!! Obvi.

I've been limping a bit through this week. It's Spring Break for the kids, so no school for A, C, or E. I love them dearly, and I love getting to plan day-long adventures, but I'm not gonna lie- it's exhausting to haul four kids around town with no help. Also- Addison doesn't do well with change and tends to revert back to a lot of old behaviors as a result.

One day we tried a Living Social deal and had horseback riding lessons, another we tried a new walking trail so Carter could practice his bike moves, I taught two afternoons of violin lessons in there somewhere, yesterday was packed full of doctors appointments (by "packed" I mean 2 but somehow it felt like so much more when I multiplied this 2 by the 4 kids I hauled to each of them), and this morning we went swimming.

When people see me out and about with all 4- alone- they call me lots of things. "Brave, supermom, crazy, adventurous, daring, WOW!" I used to not venture out much. Especially when Addison was bolting away far more often and I had to buckle her down in order to keep her safe. But now that she is more trustworthy we get out as much as possible. The boys are extremely high energy and I'm trying to keep those "high on life and dancing on the counter" moves away from my new kitchen as much as possible.

But I will say- I am none of those things on that list (except "crazy"). I am just doing what I have to do. My husband has entered his busy season, and I can either stay at home and have the kids tear up everything here...or we can go out and adventure and then come home and continue the profitable vibe with reading, schoolwork, and quality play time.

Anyhoo- back to the topic at hand (I warned you that my focus was out singing with the birds).

I wanted to share something here that I shared on my facebook page yesterday. It seemed to really resonate with a lot of people, and it was requested that I make it accessible to those who might not be on facebook.

This story happened during another exhausting but beautiful day, and I loved the way Addison brought things back into focus for me even in the midst of all of the craziness. She has that gift.

Story what story? This one:

Yesterday Addison said that she wanted a glass of milk. My first instinct was to jump in and get it for her, but as I got distracted with the baby, I saw Addison just do it herself. First she pulled a stool over to the fridge, climbed up, and then got the milk gallon off the top shelf. She brought it over to the counter where she had already set a cup and a straw for herself. It was then that I was able to get back over to help her, but since she was doing such a fab job, I just stood by her and watched. She picked up the gallon- which was maybe 1/5 full- and started to pour, just as I admonished, "Don't spill!" thinking that I was being helpful. Her hand shook as soon as I said this. "Okay. Don't spill," she repeated. But then she set the gallon of milk down- all done. "I can't. I can't," she said. At first I thought she meant, "I can't pour my own milk." But then I realized- she COULD pour it herself. She just needed my permission to spill. She needed to know that it was okay for her to make mistakes as she learned new things. That perfection wasn't required of her. That she should only have to worry about pouring that milk to the best of her ability, knowing that it was okay if her best included some milk dribbles or outright spilling on her path to independence. Realizing this, I amended my advice. "Yes, you can do this. And it's okay if you spill. I will clean it up- it's no problem at all. Just pour your milk." She stared at me carefully, picked the gallon back up, and poured her cup like a pro. Not spilling a drop. As I watched her sip her cup of milk that she worked so hard to get for herself, I felt a bit sheepish. Being allowed to make mistakes- this is something that I struggle with  myself. And the fact that I put limits on her abilities because of my rules that intimidated her into not even trying- this caused me to stop and ponder. We are all going to make mistakes. We are all going to spill a LOT of milk. But should this stop us from living? From trying? The other day I posted about my chalkboard in the kitchen. I think my new saying will be, "It's okay if you spill the milk. Just TRY." This thought is very freeing to me. And helps me remember not to set limits on my girl. #inspiredbyAddison #downsyndrome #nothingdownaboutit

Just got a call from gym daycare. Apparently I forgot to pack any Morgan diapers in the gym snack/sock bag. Because of course.

This is me signing off. Headed off to pick up the kiddos and continue on our day.

But even in the midst of the chaos- the exhaustion- there is so much beauty and grace to be found as I learn from my kids.

Motherhood is inspiring. And humbling. Exhausting. And I do clean up a lot of spilled milk.

But I wouldn't have it any other way.


  1. Deanna!! Today 2 of my kiddos made egg tacos. They didn't have the skillet all the plugged in so when they went to put the eggs on they just slllliiiiiidddd down the skillet. And my reaction?! Not impressive. At all. "You wasted 2 eggs??!!" actually came out of my mouth. Blahhhhh! We fail. All of us. Especially me. I hate that I forget this in regards to my kids. I certainly wasn't making egg tacos for myself at their age. Permission to mess up...there is so much freedom in this. Convicted and thankful for your words. Amen.

  2. I love this!! "It's okay to spill the milk." This truly IS freeing!


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