“Mind is everything. We become what we think.” Guatama Buddha Our life is what we make it…we can create our own reality no matter how far from what seems to be happening around us.

On a recent day off from school my four year old wanted to paint. I try to encourage creativity in my kids at every chance.

“OK”, I said. I thought I’d have a respite (first mistake) for a while and get in some writing. This old woman (almost 40) needed a new line of work (I’m a nurse). Writing seemed to be perfect. I could stay home with my kids and cultivate my love of writing. I spend a lot of time indoors anyway. With four children it’s hard to peek my head out the door let alone hold down regular job. I love being home with my kids for their safety, the interaction and the warmth of it. I like cooking homemade meals and having time to talk. I’m no novice. I really don’t care if my kids have mismatched socks or haven’t been to a museum in a couple of weeks. I’ve adopted the attitude that less is more when it comes to giving material things. Also, I’m a little burned out. So, when my son said he wanted to paint, I pictured an hour (ha) of quiet time. I told him to save his paintings and I’ll look at them when he was finished (to cut down on the interruptions).

I was actually feeling like I was accomplishing something. Some notes, outlines, etc… I was watching the clock because I had to get us ready. I volunteer at the older kid’s school library. I planned to take Antonio with me.

“Antonio, it’s time to get dressed”, I said. He appeared with paint on his hand and feet. He feet painted me a masterpiece on the rug. The white speckled rug we had put in the basement about a year ago had colorful footprints all over it. “I’m sorry, Ma Ma”. My son knew this was not a good thing.

My husband came home for lunch like he does every day. “What happened to the rug”, he said. “I wanted the color changed”, I replied. Noticing my son’s sad eyes & my distress he ate his lunch knowing better than to push the issue. I scrubbed the rug without getting it all out and went about my daily chores trying not to think about it. “It’s only a rug, I thought”. I told my son he couldn’t play his video games for one week. Without screaming & yelling, I explained that this was not acceptable and that I wasn’t happy about it.

At dinner that evening we all talked and laughed as we told the story to our other kids. Now, Antonio is referred to as Rembrandt. He is still punished. There is a mix of disappointment with “this too shall pass” attitude.

After having four kids, I’m either too dense to care or too experienced to let it get to me. When things do get to me, I try to turn them into a article or story so that a negative is turned into a positive. Sometimes it actually works!

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