Wednesday, May 30, 2012


Yesterday we'd planned a swimming play date. But I got a call from my friend, suggesting we wait until a different day. It was already uncomfortably hot and sunny, and I didn't mind changing plans. We decided to meet at Chick-Fil-A instead, where we could all have lunch and the kids could have fun in the indoor play area.

The problem was...I'd already told Zoodle about the swimming plans. I want him to learn that sometimes plans change, and that's okay. So I gently broke the news to him.

Of course, it doesn't matter how "gently" you break bad news to a four-year-old. He cried, and threw a little fit, and needed to be cuddled. "I don't want to go to Chick-Fil-A!" he told me. "I want to go swimming!"

Eventually, he calmed down, and realized that he did still want to spend time with his friends. We got in the car so we could meet them.

On the way there, he said, "I'm glad we're going to Chick-Fil-A! That's more fun than swimming!"

What an attitude change! I told him how proud I was of him, that he was choosing a good attitude even after he'd been disappointed.

I consider myself an optimist. But I don't expect everything to always go my way. To me, optimism isn't about expecting to never be disappointed. That's just not realistic.

Optimism is about choosing to make the best of situations, even the tough ones. As an optimist, I want to have the attitude, "Good will come out of this, even if it's hard right now."

And that's what Zoodle chose to do. He realized he could enjoy his day, even if he wasn't doing the activity he originally preferred. And with that mindset, of course he had a blast at the restaurant.

I hope optimism is a trait both of my kids have naturally...and if they don't, I hope they choose to cultivate it. Optimism makes life a lot more fun.

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Call Me Cate said...

Thanks, Beth. I needed to read and remember this today. We can only control so many things but our attitude is one of them. And it's a BIG one that makes such a difference! I'm glad Zoodle had an opportunity to practice his optimism.

Eternal Lizdom said...

On Facebook today, a friend of mine posted:

Attitude is your paintbrush: it colors every situation.

Your post reminded me of her post!

Annelie said...

I love this! Very good lesson, for everyone.

Unknown said...

Learning the lesson that life doesn't always go your way is a tough one. Once you can adjust your attitude things feel a lot better.

Tia said...

I am an eternal optimist. It's one of my very favorite things about myself.

I hope Ellie picks it up!

Sandra said...

Obviously, optimism is catching and Zoodle has the beginning of a chronic case of it. :)