Getting Carried Away
September 13, 2009
On Wednesday afternoon last week, Bridget and I decided to pop some popcorn for “sisters’ after school snack.” We popped the corn, poured the butter over the top, and salted it with our popcorn salt. I set about cleaning the kitchen when Bridgie asked, “Could I just do one more shake of salt Mommy?” To which I replied, “Sure.”
Well, after doing a little clean up I sampled the popcorn. Man, was it salty! Like, painful-to-place-in-the-mouth salty. I asked if Bridget had really just done one more shake, and she sheepishly admitted that she had done more than that.
I have to be honest here. On a different day, maybe even a different hour of this day, I would have been aggravated by this. And that aggravation would have hindered the simple joy of experiencing what happened next.
I said, “Hmm… It looks like you got a little carried away. Let’s start over and make a new batch.” And we did. And as we did, Bridget queried, “What does carried away mean?” So I explained it. She seemed to like the concept and the way it sounded when she said it. “I got carried away with the salt.” Suddenly her eyes lit up with dawning understanding and she said, “Carried away…. like the mouse in that story where he gets the cookie and he cleans the house and he gets a little carried away.” (Remember If You Give a Mouse a Cookie ?)
Okay. Aside from the fact that my child must be some kind of genius to recall that book and remember that the expression “carried away” was in it, I was filled up with an unexpected and unforeseen pleasure of seeing her make that connection. It SO reinforced the need to be really present with my children. Not just physically, but that I’m there in the moment, paying attention, taking notice. Being slowed down enough to see. And not even totally for their sake. I mean, it was cool that Bridget learned a new expression and all that, but she would have learned that eventually, and we don’t need to attend every thought process made by our children’s developing minds. But when it happens, it is such a delight for me! Such a validation of – what? I don’t know exactly, only it was really cool to see those connections being formed in her thinking, before my very eyes.
The second batch of popcorn was much better, salted sparingly, and we all gobbled it up when the older girls got home.