Trash cans and Skinned Knees

You may wonder what the two have in common...but, if you live in my house you know, the two go together because on trash day, Mallory takes out the trashcans, and she falls down, and skins her knees.
But, still, there she is every Tuesday morning, while I walk the dog up and down the street, struggling and pulling those big ole Rubbermaid trashcans as far as she can down the driveway. I shake my head, and cringe and sigh and still there we are letting the same scenario play out every Tuesday morning.
- "Mallory, let someone help, you."
-"NO, I can do it myself."

"I can do it myself"... a favorite quote of those little people in our lives. My how I admire their perseverance, and their will. I wish I had it...just a spark of it. I wish I would keep pulling on that trashcan, even when it seems its got me totally pulled under.

And what about those skinned knees? Does that make me a bad mom for knowing the outcome and letting it play out anyway; Tuesday after Tuesday, there we are, putting a princess bandaid on a cut she will forget about the time we get to school. Being a few minutes late for work because this time we cried just a little bit longer. I don't know, I guess when we see the young woman Mallory turns out to be, we will know which affected her more, the Trash cans or the skinned knees.

My favorite song by Gary Allan says: "But the struggles make you stronger, and the changes make you wise." How true. What would make Mallory more wise? To struggle with the trash cans and to figure out for herself how to get them to the street? Or for me to jump in everytime and to make life easy for her? It's a constant conflict for a mom, a teacher, parents, and grandparents. Easy or Hard? Help or Hinder? Live and Learn? Which one builds more character? The struggle or the outcome?

I often joke that I am MUCH better with others people children, then I am with my own. With my own children; the behavior modification training, the patience, the calm voice, all seem to fly out the window, and I am just a mom, doing the best I can; like we all are. Juggling ALOT of trashcans...and sometimes I just leave them in the driveway, or just "forget" to take the trash out. But I think, what I should be doing, is to make myself keep on pulling, just like Mallory does.

But for now, I will keep watching from the street at my 5 year old pulling the trash cans, falling down and brushing herself off, and trying again. I'll keep my comments to myself and let her keep trying, because I'm one who believes that the struggles make you stronger. And i'll secretly wish that I had the perseverance of a 5 year old, that I didn't give up so easily. That I kept on getting up, and brushing off, everytime something bigger than me knocks me down.

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