Donna Weston, Founder and Executive Director
I danced with Ryan in the kitchen at 5:45 this morning. I woke up earlier than usual and came into the kitchen while my husband and our son, Ryan, were getting ready to leave for the gym. Ryan, as usual, was streaming a cappella music on his music app. If you have never heard the song “Sing” by Pentatonix, I highly recommend that you watch their video of it on YouTube. The song just evokes joy. I dare you to watch it and not smile! Well, this morning I could not listen to it and not dance! Ryan saw me and couldn’t help but join in. When the song was over he gave me an exuberant hug. Even remembering it now fills me with joy.
Have you ever heard the expression, “It’s the little things in life…”?
They can also drive you crazy.
Maybe for you it’s someone leaving dirty clothes on the floor. I had a professor in a marriage and family life class in college who called them “tremendous trifles”. I’ll never forget one of his examples because that became me and my husband. I squeeze the toothpaste from the bottom. He squeezes it from the top. My professor said that these tremendous trifles – little things – can cause silly little arguments. One spouse becomes critical of the other, and voices it…often. The little things can become big things.
For toothpaste, there is a simple solution: each person has their own tube. Simple. Other tremendous trifles may not have simple solutions. However, often in the midst of the tremendous trifles there are the wonderful little things.
You walk into your child’s room where there are clothes and other “stuff” strewn all over the floor. Maybe you cannot even see the floor. But then, your toddler sees you and comes running in for a hug.
Your elementary aged child sees you and says, “Mom, come see what I just did!”
Your middle schooler looks up, sees you and gives a huge grin.
Your teenager looks up, gives a small smile, says
“Hey mom” then puts their head back into their book or phone.
Some of us are really good at recognizing these little things for what they are – wonderful! Others of us can only see the results of the hurricane that hit the room, we hit the roof taking one more step toward damaging our relationship with our child or spouse. Inadvertently we train our loved ones to not feel pleasure at seeing us.
So, how do we turn this around? How do we handle the “tremendous trifles”?
By putting relationship first.
It takes recognizing our patterns and disciplining ourselves to find something – anything that is positive, and focus on that.
There was a significant time in life when Ryan was in such a bad place that learning was torture, and he wasn’t handling it well. It affected, infected, the whole family. We were not dealing with tremendous trifles, but major life issues.
When we are in a place like that, it is even more important that we do not let the tremendous trifles become building bricks in the walls of our relationships. It is even more important that we…
Look for the little things
Create the little things
Maximize the little things
Invest in the little things
These little things can bring light into the darkness, joy in the midst of pain, breathing hope that relationships will endure, grow, even flourish. The investment is so worthwhile.
Since I was a child I have loved to dance - Ryan chose to enter in and enjoy my little thing.
I am still filled with joy.
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