On Monday I saw my thirteen year old daughter. No - this is not another story of loss; rather a brief touch of the clairvoyance every parent experiences from time to time...
En route home from the airport after a weekend away, I looked into the rear view mirror and saw a reflection of a sullen scowl that will undoubtedly make more frequent appearances in the years to come. The look matched the feisty attitude and defiance I had been battling all weekend long, and I breathed a weary sigh: I'm not ready for this...
Because while the creative, spirited soul emerging from my daughter more and more each day fills me with unparalleled joy, the challenging moments have never been more intense. Don't we get at least a few more years of sweetness before the eye-rolls, selective listening, and sass take over?!?
But as I stole a peek at her future self, I experienced a paradigm shift. The battles of will that are becoming more frequent are not merely the antics of a toddler, they are all part of the character she will develop and a hint of the independent woman she will become. And as infuriating as the behavior can feel in any given moment, my response will influence how she sees the world - and her place in it.
While I wish I could claim this realization transformed me into the model of patient parenting, I am at best still a work in progress. But that brief glimpse into her future self reminds me of the consequence of each moment and the opportunity to sew seeds of grace and compassion along the way.
Sometimes we are blessed to stumble upon a new angle, but more often we have to be intentional about shifting our point of view. Can you re-frame a challenge you are experiencing by seeing it in a new way? How might your perspective change?