aka The Frazzled Mom
Forgive my rambling thoughts…
At first, when I saw the word “grit” I thought of the hours of fun I had working on my parent’s camera. My mother had taken it to the beach. My father had attempted to clean it because the shutters had stopped closing. Unfortunately, with a few twists and turns, pieces fell out, which left him with a camera, lens cover, two microscopic springs and two shutters. And one inoperable camera.
Hoping to help them avoid costly repairs, I decided to take a crack at it. I have more of an engineer’s mind than a creative mind. Which makes me wonder why I bother writing at all. Anyway, I digress… Watching a few videos on similar cameras, studying pictures and reviewing the user manual, I was able to clean out the remaining grit and put the camera back together. Success! It works.
But the more my mind dwells on the word grit, the more I think of the characteristic, rather than the sand. Grit is something I hope to teach my kids, because it certainly isn’t something we’re born with. Grit develops over time and situation. It helps if our personalities already lean in that direction, but what if they don’t? For someone like me, it’s easy to say “if you put your mind to it”, but others might not understand that.
If there was a prize I wanted to win at the school jog-a-thon, I pushed myself to win.
If I wanted to play the trumpet at the Crystal Cathedral for graduation, I didn’t sit around “hoping” it would happen. I practice and practice, and pushed to prove myself worthy.
Grit is courage and resolve, a strength of character and will. It’s setting your mind on a goal and striving towards it, no matter the difficulty. Sadly, I find myself spewing out “parentisms” to my kids, like my parent’s had done to me.
“If it isn’t difficult it’s not worth doing.”
I’m paraphrasing Theodore Roosevelt’s quote, “Nothing in the world is worth having or worth doing unless it means effort, pain, difficulty… I have never in my life envied a human being who led an easy life. I have envied a great many people who led difficult lives and led them well.”
Funny thing is, I tend to forget that now, though I seemed to do well with it back then. It’s difficult to raise a child. It’s a pain. It’s constant and demanding and a thankless job. Is it worth the trouble and effort?
I say yes. In those little moments, unexpected ones, my son will come up and give me a hug. Or my daughter will say she loves me. It’s when I’m not feeling well and they take care of me. Better yet, it’s when my son holds open the door for a stranger at a restaurant, or my daughter finds $20 on the floor in a store and gives it to an employee rather than keeping it. When I see them thinking of others before themselves, that’s when I know it’s totally worth it.
Now if they can develop their own true grit, they just might be ready for the real world. 😉