Today, my daughter and I went to a birthday party for one of her friends. It was at one of those places where they have an entire room filled with inflatable play structures. We had a blast! We bounced, we fell, we laughed. I found that keeping your center while you and a bunch of little kids are careening about on an inflatable slide is very challenging, but very fun.
When the time came to go home, there were several helium balloons. Of course all the kids crowded around them, hoping to take one home. (Fortunately, there were plenty for everyone.) My daughter, stood in the crowd, asking: “I want a purple one! I want a purple one!” When her turn came, a balloon was handed to her–a bright yellow balloon. I cringed inwardly for a minute, thinking she was going to get upset that it was not the color she had asked for. Instead, she surprised me–she ran up to me and, with a huge grin, said: “Look Dad! I got a YELLOW one!”
I thought that many of us, in an equivalent (if not necessarily balloon-related) situation, would have been quite irate. The fact that she blended with the situation so effortlessly was wonderful, and I told her so. She looked at me, with an expression of “Well, of course! How would YOU handle it?”
As we headed out, there were a few balloons left, including one solitary purple one. “Excuse me,” she said to the host, “could I have the purple one instead?”
At four-and-a-half, my little girl just demonstrated to me that if you roll with what life gives you, you’ll sometimes get what you want in the end–and you’ll certainly be much happier in the meanwhile.