We say kids are resilient.
Maybe that’s what we just hope. It’s surely what I hope. As my own kid bounces between two houses, multiple grandparents and step-family, resiliency is what I hope for and will be thrilled if we miss that and land at only mildly screwed up.
This kid is my hero. The young man started building his firehouse with his favorite grown-up friend. I was mean and made him go to sleep, so he had to return to the construction days later. I know. Mothers are the worst.
Fabrication started calmly. Until he asked for help. He never asks for help. Legos are not for the feeble minded nor for mothers. But there was a problem. Giant problem. They had come up missing. Four blocks. We needed twos and greens. There were none. Absolutely nothing in site. Butts were lifted off floors, boxes were moved, instruction manuals shifted. Not a thing.
I would have lost my shit.
I would have screamed and stomped and yelled all the curse words. The big ones. The one made with several nouns and messy adjectives to keep them company.
He said, ” Hmmm.”
I’m sorry? Hmmm? Is that a new swear word? Is that what the kids says when things are really lit? Hmmm?
No. That is what stable, reasonable, resilient kids say when they are solving a problem.
Solve the problem.
That course had never even occurred to me.
Yet, there he was. Snooping through the bin of extra blocks to find a substitute. Ready to simply carry on.
I’m not saying the boy is a genius. But he passed me years ago in the brain department.
Something so simple. Dealing with a problem. Finding an acceptable solution, that might not be the ideal configuration, but one that lets you just get one with it.
Why is this so hard for grown ups? Or at least for this grown up. Ok, for this petulant adolescent brain in an adult body with the grey hairs, the crow’s feet and the bum knee? But it’s so hard for me. I can be weak and wavering and floppy. I am not built resilient.
Right now, I have some adult-type problems. We all do. Money. Security. Health. Wishes. It’s all hard. Why does it not occur to me to just address my troubles as they arise and as well as I can with what’s available to me and get to it? No. My first thought is that I should whine and bitch to my fantastic boy, send out cryptic, depressive tweets and eat a bunch of chips. None of these things will get the Lego Firehouse built any faster. And isn’t that what it’s all about?
I tried tonight. I quit bitching and sat down at my computer and did some work. Using what I had available to come up with possible solutions for problems. It was sticky and ungainly. But, it was something.
It wasn’t quite resilient.
It wasn’t the green blocks that I needed.
But it was a step to keep building.