When DH and I were on our honeymoon in St. Lucia we took a day tour around the island by boat. We were part of a large group of vacationers on the tour, about 30 of us. It was a lovely day to be out on the water, with the sun shining, music playing. Laughter and chatter all around us.
We stopped at midday in Soufrière, a quaint fishing village, for lunch. The lone hotel in the village served us a delicious meal of fish, chicken, rice and vegetables. Simple, local fair but oh-so-yummy.
After lunch, DH and I clamoured into the van that would take us back to the boat. Some other tourists had made it back to the van before us, and as we settled into our seats, one of them turned to us and said, “Can you believe that meal?”
We were immediately enthusiastic in our reply, thinking she was as blown away as we were by the tasty fair.
She quickly explained that she found there to be – and I quote – “too many bones in the chicken.”
I think my jaw might have dropped a bit when she said that.
Um…lady…guess you weren’t aware? But chickens have a skeletal system. It’s what allows them to run around all cockamamy clucking and flapping their wings to the world at large.
Yes ma’am, them chickens have bones.
Caught up in what she felt was so appallingly wrong with the meal, this woman couldn’t (or wouldn’t) enjoy the beauty of the experience.
An absolutely gorgeous, tropical sun-shiny day.
A leisurely lunch on a covered veranda overlooking the water.
A lunch we didn’t have to shop for, prepare or even clean up.
Our sole responsibility was to enjoy the experience. I guess she couldn’t.
Actively seeking the good
To bring this story to present-day relevance, I’ve been thinking a lot the past few days about how much I’ve complained about DD’s temper tantrums, her power struggles with us and sudden lack of interest in sleeping in until a reasonable hour. (These 4 a.m. wake up calls are killing me.)
I need to stop and remind myself of the good times between all of these trying moments. Games of hide-and-seek, giggles while DD sits in her Cozy Coupe playing Tim Horton’s drive-though (ya, for real), dinners of pretend soup. You get the idea.
If I let myself think of these challenging moments as pesky chicken bones, I’ll lose sight of the bigger picture: these struggles are a natural part of life with a toddler. A part of DD growing into herself and her autonomy.
When all hell is breaking loose and DD is not at her best, I want to focus on the truth of those moments.
She’s tired. She’s hungry. She’s frustrated. She just wants to see how far her boundaries stretch.
I want to remind myself to actively seek the good. Because woven in between all of those less-then-stellar moments are some incredibly sweet moments.
Pesky chicken bones be damned.
* Chicken image sourced via terriskitchenuk.wordpress.com