“Mom, why isn’t anyone perfect?”
My son often asks me things from the back of the car as we race to some activity.
I ask him to explain a little more what he is asking. “Well, you always tell me that I am perfect just the way that I am and that I’m not supposed to try and be perfect. It confuses me.”
(My son is 5 and is a philosopher just so you know.)
Well. Hmmm. I’m glad you asked Sebastian because sometimes mom talks in bumper stickers.
Okay, let me try and explain.
Yesterday you said you wanted to stay home all day. Remember?
And we did. Was that an example of me being perfect?
“Yes, mom. Because I got what I wanted.”
Good. Now let’s say Mom instead of doing what you wanted, took you to a roller coaster and you had the best time of your life. Is that an example of me being perfect?
“Yes Mom. Why didn’t you do that yesterday?” (Grumpy mad face from Sebastian.)
Sebastian, so perfect is a little tricky isn’t it?
“I am more confused now.”
Let me try another example. Let’s say we stayed home that day and I didn’t take you out. You missed something that could have happened. Right?
“Yes, and i am mad at you for that.”
I pull the car over.
Honey do you see why perfect is not a good thing to strive for? Me keeping you at home because you asked is perfect in one example and makes you mad in another example. the ACTION is the same, it is how we perceive it that makes us happy or sad. Living a life trying to be perfect can be painful and cause us to waste a lot of time not living.
“Mom, I still think we should stay home more.”
Even with roller coasters out there that we could be riding on?
“Well, aren’t we going to Disneyland soon?”
Yup. 10 days.
“Then I think it is perfect to just stay home more.”
So, what about gymnastics today?
“I really want to just go home Mom.”
As I turned the car around I wondered if the lesson I am teaching him is to not stay committed to things… am I teaching him to be a hermit… am I teaching him to….
I think I likely teach him to over think everything.
Perfect. Just perfect. Sigh.