Last night at dinner, one of my kids sat at the table and looked down at his bowl full of green liquid.
“What’s this?” he asked
“Zucchini soup” was the reply.
“Oh,” he said, in a rather neutral tone.
I stood there stunned thinking, “Did he just calmly say ‘Oh’ at the sight of zucchini soup?”
Here’s the brief context. Zucchini soup appears on our dinner table once a week. And every single time, you’d think we just given our child a bowl full of cyanide. Then, after 10 or 15 minutes of sounding like a dog choking on a bone, and eventually he eats it. Because honestly, it tastes better than you might think. Anyway…
After I got over my few seconds of shock, I asked him: “Did you just say ‘Oh’? That’s it? What happened to going crazy and throwing a big fit?”
He looked up at me as straight-faced as can be and said, “I’m the guy who’s changing.”
I laughed hysterically at his matter-of-fact expression. And we’ll see how that one plays out over the next few weeks.
But in the meantime, I’m wondering: If he can be the guy who’s changing his attitude towards zucchini soup, then all of us can be a lot more optimistic about our capacity for change.
Everything is in flux. Anicca, as the Buddhist say.
So if your kid has a food they can’t stand or a chore that always leads to a struggle, try to persist patiently. They’re capable of being “that person who’s changing” too.
And if you have things that you can’t stand or always slink away from, be open-minded and stay curious. Because you too are that person who’s constantly changing. Whether it feels like it or not.
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