Last night I had the opportunity to enjoy a special parenting moment – and a great reminder for myself. After heating up a piece of chicken for dinner that had gotten cold, Matan exited the pantry exactly as Zeli was walking by.
In what appeared to me as a comedy of errors (but wasn’t funny at all to Matan), Zeli pushed on the pantry door and sent Matan and his chicken flying.
Matan was not pleased.
He stormed downstairs, leaving the chicken and all of the mess on the floor.
It was time for a parenting moment.
Requesting that he come back upstairs, I explained that I wasn’t mad about the mess. He wasn’t in trouble. What he was, however, was seeing the incident the wrong way.
Life, I told him, isn’t about the flying chicken.
It’s about how we react to the flying chicken.
As I explained this to Matan, I think I was trying to remind myself of this vitally-important message.
Life’s chickens are going to fly; at times, doors are going to slam in our faces.
The question isn’t how to avoid the flying chicken; the question is how to react to the poultry.
People get sick; bikes get stolen; homework gets misplaced (or not done at all); friends can be mean.
Life is full of so many small and terribly big moments where the chicken goes flying and where we seem to have absolutely no control over the incidents and events in our lives.
It’s not our place to control those events.
It’s our place to shape, control and manage our reaction to the flying chicken.
And that is what distinguishes us in life, and allows us to either live a full, interactive and pleasurable life or to be grumpy, frustrated and self-pitying.
Lesson learned for one 11 year old boy and a great reminder for his mom.