From Frustration to Contentment: Letting Go of the Little Things
by Melissa Fisher
I had just purchased some of that “nice” soap and had it shipped, especially for me, from the states to our overseas location. I had small children and went through tons of soap each day, so “nice” soap was something I brought out for special occasions. We were having guests over, so I put out a new bottle of Coconut Lime and set it next to my nearly-empty Mango Mandarin.
A few days after having guests at our house, I walked into the bathroom to find soap, the nice soap, dripping down the sides of the container. I realized that my son had decided to pour my Coconut Lime into the once-empty Mango Mandarin container. It was quite funny, really, considering I didn’t even think to ask why he had spent so long in the bathroom earlier (a good mom should have known better!). So I left it that way, threw out the empty Coconut Lime bottle, and told him not to play with the soaps. Lesson learned.
Or so I thought.
A few weeks later I was having guests over again, so I put out a new scent of soap. Within only a few hours, I found the new Vanilla poured into the Mango Mandarin bottle which, remember, has Coconut Lime in it. Then, probably to hide his mischievousness, my son had filled the rest of the nearly-empty Vanilla bottle bottle with water. Water! Mixed with my “special” soap! This time I was perturbed. Didn’t he realize I paid extra for this soap and that I had to order it from the states?
I caught myself as my frustration built. Why on earth was I so angry over soap? Is that fair? Can I really expect my three-year-old son to understand the value of things at such a young age?
I decided to release my anger and felt suddenly foolish. Yes, I had told him not to play with it. Yes, he knew better. And yes, we might even need to talk about it again. But it was ridiculous for me to get angry over such a minor, silly mistake by my three-year-old boy. I was dealing with major life issues with my husband away at war and personal matters that stemmed from that.
Suddenly, I realized that soap wasn’t such a big deal. So, I simply asked him to give me a few coins from his reward chart and calmly explained it was to pay for the wasted soap. Then, putting my pride aside, I left the bottles the way they were—even with guests coming—as a reminder that I only get to smile at these silly little habits for so long.
Besides, I think he’s onto something with this new scent.
Melissa Fisher loves traveling, running, working with teen moms through Young Life, and is currently working on a master’s degree in Counseling. She lives with her two young children and her husband who is an active duty member of the U.S. Air Force, and they have just
started a PCS from Phoenix to Las Vegas. Her blogs can be found at http://fourfunfishers.wordpress.com/ and http://www.teenmombiblestudy.com.