As a procrastinator, although I put things off, I was bent on getting things done. Because I did not do what needed doing when it needed doing, I constantly had a backlog of work and a great deal of inner pressure. Then add other things in life that create pressure‚Ä¶
That “pressure pile” on top of me squeezed the fun out of life – and out of me.
Enter our otter daughter!
She infant-style bebopped into our lives with laughter and playfulness. As she grew, she became a young lady otter full of humor and fun.
According to Gary Smalley’s personality descriptions, an otter personality loves to play. I’m more a beaver, a worker type. I had become too much that way due to pressure and a misplaced sense of responsibility.
You can see I needed our otter daughter! God lovingly put us together. To be honest, she has a wide streak of beaver in her, too. But it was the beaver in me and the otter in her who frustrated each other.
“Mom, why don’t you want me to sing while I work?” “Because when you sing you slow down so much the work doesn’t get done.” Who tells a child not to sing? We could’ve worked that out. “Mom, may I go to Susie’s? We’re planning a party!” “Pay attention and do your English.”
Yes, work needs to be done. So does play! Sometimes we can even mix them.
Just chatting, my sister-in-law mentioned her mom would put on the Supremes, turn up the music, and they’d all clean house while singing. I almost cried right there. I wish I’d been like that.
We couldn’t do it every time there were chores, but we could’ve done it SOME! Though sometimes play isn’t appropriate, neither is constantly shutting an otter in a box. She’ll be bumping up against the lid because she NEEDS to pop out.
I tried to overly control our daughter’s otter traits. I left our girl feeling constricted, disrespected, sad – maybe unloved at times. It was as if I didn’t recognize and accept who she is because I didn’t give her enough room to let that play out.
We moms can be safe places where our children can be who God made them to be. We can recognize and appreciate the God-given traits in our children, husbands, colleagues. Let’s enjoy the otters in our lives. Their merry hearts are good medicine for them and for us!
What joys have come to you through children or others not like you?