Have you ever seen the movie Spanglish? There’s this scene where Fleur (the protagonist) encourages a young girl to try on clothes she thought would be too small for her by saying, “Just try it on” because she secretly altered the clothes to fit the girl. When the girl tries the clothes on and discovers they’re no longer too small, a smile of pure delight crawls across her face and her surprise is heartwarming and lovely.
I was reminded of this scene on Sunday when Wes and I deliberated whether or not to take the kids out for breakfast. We’d never tried to take both kids out for a meal before, because we dislike paying tons of money for food we can’t eat because our tiny humans are crying and need soothing or discipline.
Now, Aidan’s actually really well behaved in restaurants. We’ve worked really hard to teach him how to sit patiently at the table, waiting for his food and then eating in nicely when it comes. He’s still two, so some ventures are more successful than others, but for the most part we have no concerns about taking him out for a meal.
Lily, however, is an unknown quantity. Would she sleep quietly in her carseat the whole time? Would she realize she was in her carseat halfway through the meal, remember how much she dislikes her carseat, and then start hollering? Would we even make it to our table before she started crying and needed to be shushed and soothed?
We didn’t know. We just didn’t know. Would we end up paying $40 for a relaxed family breakfast or would it end up being a $40 investment toward stress and cold food?
Finally, we just decided to go for it. We’d never know how Lily did until we tried it, so we threw shoes on most of our feet and headed to our favorite breakfast spot.
And you know what? It was great. Lily fell asleep a few minutes after we arrived, she slept the whole time, Aidan was sweet and well-behaved, and Wes and I both got to eat our meals while they were still hot. We just tried it
on out, and it was great.
It got me to thinking about how we never know what we or our children are capable of until we try new things. Sometimes it goes really well, sometimes it’s a colossal failure, but it’s always illuminating. We have to make room for surprise, and in my experience the only way to do that is by trying new things.
And if this means I end up with red velvet pancakes in my belly, then so be it. I guess I’ll just have to live with that.