Occasionally, however, I am surprised by the wisdom of my children. In a fit of sorrow, as I cried inconsolably, my daughter patted my back and said, “Don’t worry mom, everything always works out.”
Although I continued crying, I was touched to hear my own words coming back to haunt me. Funny, they seem so much more conciliatory when I’m saying them, rather than receiving them.
My son recently began moving his Lego’s to our garage attic. He had previously used a small empty room in our basement for his Lego City, but found the confines of the room to be too containing. Often I would find myself tripping in the dark over helicopters, fire trucks and villains forgotten in the hallway.
During a momentary epiphany, I realized that we have an entire attic over our garage, mostly unused. There are a few boxes of Christmas decorations and some camping gear, but the bulk of space sits unused.
The older girls decided to make a craft room out of part of the attic, and hauled up tables, stickers, and craft supplies of all sorts. I think they finally realized that I am no help when it comes to things of a crafty nature, so they decided to find a place where I wouldn’t constantly hover over them, asking irrelevant “mom” questions.
Gunnar decided to recreate his Lego City in the attic, and to help him out, I swept all the Lego’s into a box. Much to Gunnar’s dismay, not all of his creations survived the sweeping.
I admit to being a little overly zealous in my endeavor. I am thrilled to get the Lego’s out of the hallway. I may have swept them just a little more vigorously than necessary. Some of the Lego creations may have come apart as I tossed them carelessly into the box. I’m not sure that had anything to do with it, but I am admitting to my part in the destruction of Lego City.
When Gunnar discovered his millions of Lego’s thrown haplessly into a plastic storage bin, he was less than enthusiastic about my help. He stormed out to the garage, insisting that he could get the work done himself.
About an hour later, he came into the kitchen, looking somewhat abashed.
He told me he was pretty mad when he found all his stuff broken. And he tried to devise a pulley system to pull the enormous box of toys up the attic stairs. As he hoisted the box overhead, he watched in alarm as it began to slant. Then, the box crashed to the ground, thousands of Lego’s covering the garage floor.
Gunnar said, “I was so mad when all my stuff broke. Then I thought that everything happens for a reason. So I figured I could make a bigger and better Lego City in the garage.”
With that, he happily bounded back out to the garage to begin the daunting task of sweeping up thousands of Lego’s.
I stood in wonder at the brief conversation. My eleven-year old son just repeated and applied something I preach to my kids every day. And he applied it much more quickly and cheerfully than I ever have.
Everything does happen for a reason. Whether it’s Lego’s crashing to the ground, a car breaking down, or your sweetheart breaking your heart. It is a waste of time to ask ‘why’ something happens. Instead, like Gunnar, ask yourself what you are going to create out of the situation.
You can’t control everything that happens in life. What you can control is your own response to situations. Your response is your responsibility. What can you make of the things that life throws your way?
Try looking for opportunity in the situations facing you. You might just find yourself with the biggest and best Lego City ever created.