OF TWO MINDS

OF TWO MINDS

From Chicken Soup for the Mother of Preschooler's Soul

Of Two Minds

Just like a seeing-eye dog to a blind person is a child to her mother.

Rachel Ryan

Mothers step cautiously around the mud and dutifully check their soles. Children stomp in the puddle and freckle their world.

Mothers look at the blistering sun and moan about the heat. Children drag out the hose and dance under the sprinkler.

Mothers polish their possessions and judiciously store them in their rightful containers. Children lose their toys and sometimes even give them away. For keeps.

Mothers invest and save. Children trade a dime for a penny because it’s larger.

Mothers frown at the beat and turn down the volume. Children gyrate and hop, spin and twirl, then amplify the song with their own harmonies . . . and their own lyrics.

Mothers walk by a flowerbed and comment on the choking weeds. Children pluck handfuls of dandelions and weave them into a crown of gold.

Mothers cry accusingly to God, demanding, “Why?” Children just keep praying, “Please bless Mommy and please bless Daddy . . .” and simply blame everything bad on their brother or their sister. Or the dog.

Mothers squish spiders and crunch crickets. Children catch grasshoppers and collect worms.

Mothers look to the future with concern and doubt. Children anticipate Sesame Street at 11:30 and remind us about our promise of ice cream this afternoon.

Mothers avoid risk. Children jump from their beds and the top of the stairs.

Mothers shift their eyes from the less-than-perfect. Children boldly ask, “Did God forget to make your other leg?”

Mothers act like the grownups they are. Grownups who have lost the motion in music and forgotten that a crown of dandelions is worth its weight in gold. Grownups who have let their spontaneity rust.

And children act like the children they are. Finding magic in the moment, wonder in the weed and perspective in the puddle. They are earthy and earthly emissaries sent to remind us daily to seek the joy in life.

The joy in living it.

The joy in loving it.

Carol McAdoo Rehme

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