“Please go comb your hair.”
The boy rolled his eyes. “Why? I like it just like this. I never comb my hair!”
Honestly? The boy’s hair didn’t look too bad. But, it’s precisely because he never combs his hair that I asked him to do it. As his mom, was I really asking that much?
He stormed up the stairs. Things banged around the bathroom and he mumbled (loud enough for me to hear one floor down), complaining that he couldn’t find the comb.
Another indicator in my mind that it was time to comb his hair. I don’t know. Maybe it’s just the mean mom in me that thinks a boy of ten should know how to comb his hair without being asked.
As I thought about this scene later, I realized his outburst wasn’t really about him having to comb his hair.
What he really wanted to do before we climbed into the car and headed off to school was build Legos for a few minutes.
Was my request unreasonable? No.
Was his response unfair? Yes. But now I understand it.
I interfered with his agenda. And because I’m the mom, he did it. Barely.
How many times have I had my own version of a temper tantrum because I had to do one thing when I had planned to do something entirely different?
Um, more times than I care to admit.
Life is full of interruptions.
I make plans, and I know how I’ll carry them out. Then something interferes with my plans, disrupting my day, my hour, my month.
How am I going to respond?
I can “put on a mad” and let everyone around me know I’m. Not. Happy.
I can ignore the interruption and work to fulfill my plans anyway (for the record, this doesn’t usually work very well).
I can try and get everyone to feel sorry for me that my plans got interrupted by someone else’s demand.
I can accept the interruption for what it is: a detour, or a bend in the road I thought I was traveling on.
I’ve learned that when I choose this option, unexpected blessings often wait on the other end of it.
It’s hard for this structured girl to embrace the interruptions life hands me. I don’t usually experience peace in the moment—because I’m working through the frustration of not being able to complete my agenda on my timeframe. But peace does eventually come when I accept the change in plans.
And oftentimes, I find that the lessons I learn, the benefits gleaned from the interruption were well worth “bending” for.
What happened the morning of the Comb Incident?
After combing his hair, the boy stomped to the basement for a few minutes of freedom. When it was time to leave, he was a happy boy again.
He still got his way, just in a different time frame. I think God often does that in our lives. He knows our desires. He often fulfills them in ways different from what we expect. Usually in better ways than we planned out for ourselves.
What about you? How do you view interruptions? What one piece of wisdom would you offer to someone who loves operating by a plan?