My Learning Curve: You Are Fun to be Around

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Kalkidan continues to have great days, one after another. We want to grab hold of this honeymoon period and keep the positive coming, so we’re focusing on three points of encouragement. The first is:

You are fun to be around.

Last week Kalkidan’s glasses broke, so in the midst of the back-to-school flurry, we raced to the eye doctor to pick out new frames. It was a rare and wonderful day because Eby and Wogayu had been invited to go to the Snake River for a day of swimming with friends.  Claire was shopping with Mimi, and as always, Annarose’s day was packed with people and exciting things to do.

We had a lovely pocket of time open to the two of us, and I wanted to capitalize on it. Kalkidan loves food of all kinds, and I hadn’t eaten lunch, so we walked across the parking lot to Subway to share a sandwich. I let her choose what we ate, although I left the jalapenos off my half; that girl can handle some incredibly spicy food.

I wanted to remember exactly what the therapist had encouraged us to focus on, and thankfully I had my Moleskin notebook in my purse, so I ran to the bathroom to review my notes. I know it’s sort of silly, but I didn’t want to miss this opportunity by forgetting my goals. Number one on my list was to share with her how fun she is to be around. I couldn’t say it if it wasn’t true, but it is; she truly is fun to be with.

Interestingly, the therapist reminded us that when she was not fun to be around, we became parents who weren’t fun to be around either. How very true. I was not the mother I wanted to be when I was in survival mode.

I went back to the table, where Kalkidan had laid out our sandwiches and gotten us each a cup of water. We talked about lots of things, and then I said, “You know what, Kalkidan? It’s so fun being here with you. I’ve really noticed how fun it is to be around you at home too. You’re bringing so much happiness to us.”

If you could have seen her face, you would have gotten tears in your eyes like I got in mine. She beamed and even looked a little shy. It was so simple to meet such a deep need of her heart – she is loved and enjoyed by me.

Don’t we all want that? I want Russ to enjoy being with me. I don’t want him to spend time with me simply because I’m a task on his to-do list. I want him to desire time with me because I’m fun to be around. I want my big kids to come to Sunday dinner, not because they have to, but because they enjoy being with us.

The sun is up, the kids are waking, and it’s the first day of school. I’ll pick up with point number two tomorrow.

Have a wonderful day, friends.

Lisa

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Let me introduce myself. Russ and I are the parents of twelve children by birth and adoption, and sometimes more through foster care. I'm the creator of One Thankful Mom which has been as much of a gift to me as to my readers. In 2011 I became a TBRI® Pracitioner* and have lived and breathed connected parenting ever since. I'm deeply honored to be the co-author, together with the late Dr. Karyn Purvis, of The Connected Parent; it is her final written work. I love speaking at events for adoptive and foster parents. I'm also the co-founder of The Adoption Connection, a podcast and resource site for adoptive moms. I mentor and encourage adoptive moms so you can find courage and hope in your journeys of loving your children well.

20 Comments

  1. Sharon
    September 8, 2014

    Oh, thank you for this encouragement. Looking forward to the rest.

    Reply
  2. azambone
    September 8, 2014

    Amen.

    Reply
  3. Ruth
    September 8, 2014

    Thanks so much for this post. I needed to hear this today. With so many things to do every day, how do you not stay focused on the tasks?

    Reply
  4. Susan
    September 8, 2014

    Boy, I needed that today. Thanks Lisa!

    Reply
  5. ErinH
    September 8, 2014

    I didn’t even need to see her face – just reading your words on the screen brought tears to my eyes! Good work Mama. 🙂

    Reply
  6. M Wilson
    September 8, 2014

    I got tears in my eyes w/o being there. Probably because this is exactly what I need to to. Thank you for the reminder!

    Reply
  7. mannarae
    September 8, 2014

    Simple. Profound. Beautiful. Thank you for sharing!!!!

    Reply
  8. Isabelle
    September 8, 2014

    Wow, tears here too. So powerful!

    Reply
  9. Christy
    September 8, 2014

    Last week my husband looked at our seven year old almost adopted foster daughter and said, "I love you and I'm so glad you're my daughter." She ran away and cried. Poor kid. Somehow your post reminded me of that.

    Reply
  10. @Momofmunchkins
    September 8, 2014

    Thank you for sharing! That is such a great reminder. I know I don't always slow down and remind my kids that they are fun to be around.

    Reply
  11. Amy
    September 8, 2014

    Tears here too! I'm not sure if you've ever answered this question, and you, of course can choose not to. As hard as it was (and I can't imagine), do you ever wish that you had sent her to get this help sooner? I often wonder how bad it has to get before we will need to do the same.

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      September 8, 2014

      That's a really good question, Amy. Maybe I will write a post about that.

      Reply
  12. Emily
    September 8, 2014

    Oh my word.

    Reply
  13. Angela
    September 8, 2014

    Love this!! I have found that so true as well that when our daughter is not fun to be around, we aren't either!! We have been in "survival mode" for so long it seems that I don't even like the uptight, intense, stressed out mother I have become!!

    Reply
  14. Erika
    September 8, 2014

    Precious and beautiful!

    God bless

    Reply
  15. Anita
    September 8, 2014

    I remember reading something Maya Angelou said about how our eyes should light up when a child enters the room. I've always keep that in mind when I see my son after being separated for activities in our day. I want him to feel how he changes me for the better…

    Reply
  16. SleepyKnitter
    September 8, 2014

    I love this post!

    Reply
  17. Michele
    September 8, 2014

    I love this so much! And I love that girl! She is fun to be around and it's so great to read about you telling her that.

    Reply
  18. Paula Miles Spears
    September 9, 2014

    Love this for both of you.

    Reply
  19. Laurel
    September 10, 2014

    Beautiful!

    Reply

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