I'm not exactly sure what I'm commending on this post, so I'll just describe the situation that illustrates it and see where it takes us.
One summer evening, my husband's sister was in town and we decided to take a walk after supper. We asked the two girls who were home and who had nothing to do, to go with us. They initially declined, expressing a desire to stay home and watch a movie.
That didn't sit well with me. They were passing up time with real people for time with fake people. So, they changed their mind (with a little help) and came with us.
They were less than thrilled about it. They weren't super pouty, but the relationship vibe going on was less than optimum.
We decided to drive a short distance to a neighborhood with pretty houses and manicured yards. Upon arriving, we started our walk. The girls were good by now, making the best of what their mom had made them do. Easy conversation ebbed and flowed. About 20 minutes in, we approached the house of some people we know - who had children the same age as ours. Their children happened to be outside sliding away on their homemade slip'n slide. Those wet kids didn't waste any time inviting my two girls to join them.
Of course, my girls were in walking clothes, but we all decided it was too fun a moment to pass up. Off to slip'n slide they went. My sister-in-law and I continued on our walk and the girls ended up staying until darkness stopped the sliding.
I couldn't help but think about the fun they would have missed out on if they hadn't come on the walk with us. It was a moment that none of us could have predicted. But this moment was one we talked about later.
We talked about how real people and real life trump recorded movies!
We talked about how you have to be living life (as opposed to watching life) to have completely spontaneous, unplanned, delightful moments happen!
And for me, I was glad I followed my gut that evening and made the girls do something they didn't want to do. I did it because I knew it was the better choice. When the girls balked, I doubted myself briefly, and almost let them do what they wanted. But then, I summoned my parental courage, and stuck to my guns. I was glad I did. They were glad I did.
This isn't a blanket endorsement that it's best to always make your child do what they don't want to do. That's not what I'm saying. We need discernment for each situation. But it is a post encouraging us all to have courage!
Have courage when we know we are doing/requiring a good thing even when our kids balk.
Have courage when the relationship vibes aren't ideal because of a decision - a right and good decision - we made.
We never know when a completely unplanned, delightful moment is right around the corner of that courageous decision!