Traffic Jam on the 5 (3)

The Grapevine (I-5) leaving Los Angeles

First things first, I apologize for not posting over the weekend but I was in Los Angeles. enjoying my girls’ weekend. However, my trip did not leave me void in the area of ideas for this blog and this blog post will prove it.

I had a very interesting weekend. This trip was for me to take alone so my family could miss me for a change. However, I took our child with me because of my husband’s work schedule but that actually proved to be a blessing in disguise. Throughout the trip, I was not entirely happy with her behavior but why would I be? She’s four!  When I talked to my husband, I often complained about her behavior and how I was supposed to take this trip alone. He took it all in stride as I spouted off instance after instance of how she was being uncooperative with my instructions.

Bordeaux on the Ferris Wheel

The Kid

I could go on and on about her behavior but I won’t. I don’t need to because it’s an unnecessary action. If anything, I should thank her for the lesson she taught me. Before she was born, I remembered telling anyone who’d listen to me that I wanted to raise her to have high self-esteem, to be independent and to respect others. She does all of these things. However, sometimes she goes a little too far in her independence and that means she doesn’t listen when she should.  But I digress. She’s taught me more this weekend than I ever thought. How do I know this? Because I had the opportunity to reflect as I went two miles in two hours as I was stuck on the Grapevine on I-5 while leaving Los Angeles.

Here are the top three lessons I’ve learned from our daughter this weekend:

3. Look for the reason why things happened and learn from it.  Our daughter wasn’t supposed to come but I learned more about her during this trip. We are raising her to feel that her thoughts and words are important. We’re raising her to believe she can do anything she sets her mind to do. What better way of proving this than to have her be there to witness her female role model do what she set her mind to do. She needed to see me live my dream and that meant she had to be there.

2. Allow yourself to feel your feelings but then find solutions. Often times, our kid would cry about daddy not joining us on the girls’ trip. She would also cry about how she couldn’t get the shirt over her head. She didn’t have the She would cry about not eating the very thing she picked out for her to eat. She cried about everything. I got tired of it so I helped her find solutions. I asked her “how can I help you solve this issue” and she told me what she needed me to help her with at that moment.  I used this lesson later on when I was sitting in traffic on the I-5 feeling all the stages of grief at midnight. I felt so many emotions but then I had to find a solution to my issue. Case and point: my issue is why am I and all my fellow I-5 campers sitting in traffic and no traffic radio channel that will tell us what’s going on. I felt all my feelings ( denial, anger, bargaining, sadness, acceptance) and then I found a solution. I called my husband to ask him what was going on and he let me know that there was a turned over tractor trailer that closed down the interstate. I felt better about why we were stuck and was able to make the best of the situation.

1. You won’t be prepared for everything and that’s okay. Earlier in the day, my friend, the kid and I went to Marie Callender’s for breakfast and the wait staff accidentally brought out two banana loaves. Our lady waitperson asked us to if we still wanted it since she brought it out to us and we accepted. Little did I know that the loaf would be the only food we had in the car as we were stalled in traffic. However, my kid would not eat it. That’s all we had and as hungry as she was, she refused to eat it. She opted to hold my hand as she fell asleep.  How did I get in this predicament? Well, I was thinking that we would get through the grapevine, stop in Bakersfield to stretch our legs and get something to eat since I could not stop beforehand. It would only be an hour and a half before we got to Bakersfield from our point in Lakewood so I figured it would be okay. I was wrong. I was unprepared. I was scared. And I had to calm a very emotional child who couldn’t understand why mommy couldn’t get her anything she wanted to eat. But I had to prove to her that we would be okay. And we were. Sometimes, you just have to be okay with being unprepared for these unknown situations in life. Sometimes, you have to trust that you will come out okay regardless of how it looks in the beginning.

Traffic Jam on the 5 (2)

The I-5 at midnight and .2 miles later

Our daughter had a wonderful time on our trip but it was me who had a wonderful growing pain. Not everything went my way. Not everything was as easy as I had originally planned. Not everything was meant for me to do. But if it all had gone as I planned or had I done everything that I wanted to do, would I still have learned the lessons I did? I’m so glad I don’t have to find out because if I had to find out a different way, it may have been worse.

Until next time, look over any situation that wound up being less than than ideal for you. What did you learn from it? Look deeper than just the surface for the lesson that you were gain. It might just surprise you!