I don’t know what was going on this morning with my girl cubs. For once, they didn’t wake up this morning in the same bed like usual. They did, however, have more playtime this morning than what they normally have. I messed up their normal routine this morning because I am volunteering at Cubs 2 and 3’s book fair each morning this week. Cub 4 was leaving out a little earlier than Cub 3 because she had to ride with PB to take Cub 1 to school. I took Cubs 2 and 3 to school.
When it was time to get prepared to leave, Cub 4 wasn’t quite ready to separate from her big sister and she became a little weepy. Cub 3 comforted her and they made plans to play together again after-school. As Cub 4 left out of the house with PB, she really started to cry and Cub 3 stood at the door, knocking on the window, trying to get her baby sister’s attention. Through her own tears, she attempted to tell her, “It’s okay! I’ll see you later, and we’ll play some more!”
Later this afternoon, Cub 3 sat at the kitchen table to complete her homework while Cub 4 finished up her nap. After dinner, they resumed their playtime together. I watched and listened all evening as Cub 3 did whatever Cub 4 wanted to do. They danced, they played church, they played mommy/daughter roles, they wrestled, they built tents, they acted out a play, they built an obstacle course that they ran and jumped on…they really jam packed their evening with lots of sister fun!
The beauty of the whole day was getting to witness them being with each other and enjoying each other while they were together. Their goal was to play together and play they did! From crying with each other this morning, to laughing with each other this evening, they were both determined to have a fantastic time playing together just like Cub 3 had said this morning.
Here’s what I learned from my girl cubs today: there is a difference between crying or laughing with someone and crying or laughing for someone. If I am crying with someone or laughing with someone, there is an understanding that we are on our way to reaching the same goal. If I am crying for someone or laughing for someone, our end goal is not the same, and I’m going to end up stressed out, frustrated, angry, or just plain tired! If Cub 3 had cried for Cub 4 this morning, instead of with her, she would have easily gotten mad or frustrated with Cub 4 this afternoon because perhaps her goals for the evening would have been watching a television show or coloring a picture. Cub 4 would have wanted to continue their playtime from this morning. Two different goals would have resulted in conflict, and from the Momma Bear’s perspective, I’m sure this evening would have ended with earlier bedtimes for both of them!
If you’re in a situation where you are doing more FOR the other person than WITH the other person, you have to stop. Take a step back and re-evaluate your role in helping them reach their goals. You can’t laugh with someone who isn’t ready to laugh, and you can’t cry with someone who isn’t ready to cry.
A beautiful relationship blossoms from sharing life with someone special!