Sometimes life gets in the way of the best laid plans. Even when you know a certain event is approaching and you think you’re prepared life has a canny way of turning things upon their head, leaving you somewhere you never thought you’d be. In such situations I find it’s always best to go with the flow. Don’t try and fight the situation, let go of your prior expectations and make the most of it.
Recently our daughter had corrective surgery on her hands. Both hands. At once. This meant more than a month of bandages, hospital visits, plastic bags to prevent water/dirt entering her dressings when eating or bathing, and outfit challenges (we certainly hadn’t predicted most of her t-shirts and jumpers wouldn’t fit over her bandages!). We knew it would be hard, we knew she would be uncomfortable, we prepared as best we could (cooking in advance etc) but what really took us by surprise was how she just got on with it. Our little one year old gave us a big lesson in going with the flow.
We expected to be spoon-feeding her and struggling to keep her entertained but our little lady had other ideas. Why she would be feeding herself of course! We provided food that could be grasped with the equivalent of baby boxing gloves, or we attached a spoon/fork to her ‘gloves’ with the aid of elastic bands and masking tape, and away she went. She didn’t appear to give it a second thought, she just went with it. It was the same with playtime, the toys requiring fine motor skills were put to one side and instead she focused on softies, large building blocks, her bouncy ball, swings, and walks in the park. That amazing smile remained plastered on her face the entire time.
There is an old zen saying advising one to be like bamboo- it bends with the wind and due to its flexibility, its ability to go with the flow, it doesn’t break. My daughter reminded me that resilience doesn’t have to be a struggle, we can simply go with the flow and continue to learn, laugh, and grow. What a little champion.