Barnes & Frances have grown into quite the little mirrors. With two almost-four-year-olds around, Andrew and I are quickly becoming aware of what is said and done often in our home. Our words, actions, mannerisms...these two mirror them right back to us. It's adorable. It's overwhelming. It's a glance into just how influential we can be as their parents and a reminder that we teach most effectively through our actions. And while there are many characteristics I do hope to pass to our children, there is one in particular that I don't want them to mirror.
I enjoy running. For me, it's like therapy and exercise rolled into one. And while I've been running for years, I am not a great runner. During one of my more difficult runs last week, I thought to myself that maybe I should just give it up. Stop running. I am not "good" at it, probably never will be, so perhaps I should put away my running shoes.
You see, I sometimes have a problem enjoying good. Perfect, or at least excellent, has always been the goal. And my fellow perfectionists know how paralyzing this can be. Not beginning a project at all because it's not perfectly planned. Playing into a diminishing return because you just know it could be better.
In this way, life with four under four has been so wonderful for me. I have learned to embrace good. Sometimes excellent is too lofty a goal, and good has to do. Good can be good enough. And here's the thing--good can still be fun and interesting. Good is still worth the time and effort. And...often, what started as good turns into great.
So while I want my children to try hard, I pray they can embrace the good. I want them to enjoy activities not because they are great at them, but because they love them. I don't want them to quit soccer because others score more goals, or decide not to do gymnastics because someone else gets skills more quickly. Because good is okay. Good is a goal in and of itself. May they learn from me to never let perfect be the enemy of good.