Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Empty Hands

"Some people think it's holding on that makes one strong; sometimes it's letting go."
-Sylvia Robinson

This morning, I peeled and sliced an apple for Clementine's breakfast and put the slices in a blue, plastic bowl.  She took the bowl in her little hands and started walking toward the living room.  I said, "Clementine, your milk is on the train table."

She said, "Oh, right, right."  Then she did the most remarkable thing: she put down her blue bowl of apple slices before walking to the train table to retrieve her sippy cup.

Perhaps this would be far less remarkable were Clementine not my daughter, but I am thirty-six, and I have to remind myself constantly! to empty my hands.  I swear, the only thing my mom told me more, as a child, than, "I love you," or, "Patience is a virtue," was to put one thing down in order to look for another, or perform a task.

Cade, bless his heart, has the same issue.  He thinks he can do most anything while holding a book, so he very often knocks over, drops, and breaks things.  It drives Jim wild.  How many times does a person need to have an accident before he remembers it's in his best interest to empty his hands?  I don't know.  I mean, I continue to forget.  It must be part of Cade's and my wiring.

And Clementine must be wired like her daddy, which--in this respect, at least--is a great thing.

I find Clementine's blue-bowl situation analogous of deeper ideas.  Like...
  • Sometimes, in letting go of someone or something, I make room for someone or something better.
  • Sometimes, in letting go of someone or something, I become capable of better grasping or caring for--or even moving toward--someone or something else.
  • Sometimes, in letting go of someone or something, I become less reckless around--and dangerous/hazardous toward--other people and things in my path.
  • I am limited in what I can do by myself.  Again: I am limited in what I can do by myself.  When help is offered, I should accept.  But help or no, I need to decide carefully what to carry, how to best accomplish my task(s), and--in general--how to best spend my energy.

Hey, nothing like learning from a two-year-old Wild Orange!  And I know there are many more lessons to come...

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