For whatever reason, my four year old sometime has the tendency to dwell on the negative. “I never get anything.” “I didn’t have any fun today.” “Adi always bothers me.” As a mom, comments like these cut right to the heart and nerves at times. There are days that I feel like my entire life is devoted to my kids’ happiness and there are days I give it my all only to end the day with, “Everyone is mean to me.” I’ve learned not to take it personally. It’s usually her over-tiredness talking. But nevertheless, it is something we are working on.
Before bedtime, our last interaction before our final “goodnight” and “I love you” is always “my favorite part of the day.” But I have found I need to sometimes pull the light in throughout the day. During bouts of darkness, I’ve started to encourage Wren to think about the “bright sides” of her day. This often leads to me naming small moments from the day that were positive. On a good day, she’ll chime in with some of her own noticings, while other days she might roll her eyes and listen to me go on and on, with a scowl on her pretty little face.
Then there are moments that come out of nowhere that absolutely surprise me. Like last night, we stopped by Grandma’s house for a quick visit, a little too close to bedtime, after an already busy day. But we know how much Grandma loves these visits. Of course we stayed a little too long. We knew because the departure took about twenty minutes as we wrestled little girls into their coats and then finally into their carseats. I braced myself for the five minute ride home- the crying, the terrible comments, the rough start to bedtime. Only, I was surprised to hear Wren declare, “I’m going to choose to look on the bright side.” She then proceeded to rattle of her list of gratitudes for the day. “We got to go to dance class. We got to spend time together-our whole family. We got to go to a restaurant. We got to see Grandma…”
The rest of the night was a breeze. That’s what happens when you look on the bright side.