There seems to be a trend between parenting and craving predictability. We crave knowing if what we make for dinner will get eaten. If today’s school drop-off will be easier. If the finger paint stains will come out of our favorite shirt. If our kids are being nurtured and challenged and fed and stimulated and rested enough to grow into happy, contributing adults. We are constantly attempting to tame the chaos.
Before we had kids, we used to let go more often. It wasn’t chaos then, it was just fun. One of my husband’s intentions is to teach the kids how to play in a world that doesn’t as often anymore. So we’ve realized that we are trying to find a balance between striving for that predictability, and allowing that wonderful spontaneous chaos to come up. Let go a little again.
We recently took a spring trip to Southern California. If you live in the mountains, the idea of sunny beaches, predictable weather, and above-zero wind chills is completely therapeutic. And for most people, renting a convertible during a trip like this doesn’t seem like creating undo chaos. But for some reason in my routine, predictability-craving brain, it was.
My initial instinct upon walking through the rental parking garage with my husband and kids and seeing a convertible sitting there was not what they or I expected. They were thrilled with stepping out of the norm. I was not. Their faces lost their shine. The thrill of the supposed-to-be-fun surprise was deflated. And it was my doing. My need for predictability had gone too far.
And so, we rented a convertible. Not any convertible, but a red convertible. And we all loved it. And memories were made. And that was the day I let go a little again.