Lessons from My Son: Why Settle?

Aleksander has developed a funny little quirk: he won’t eat broken food. Cut-up sandwiches, pancakes, meat, etc. are all fine. But a Big Bird cracker with the beak broken off? No way! This morning I watched him take a cracker from the container, thoroughly inspect it, and then carefully put it back to select another, whole, perfect cracker. And I had a revelation.

Why do we settle?

Aleksander has always known what he wants (or doesn’t want) and does his best to let us know it, too. I’m terrible at asking for what I want. I don’t want to put someone out or look silly or  –  this is the big one  –  be judged. So I all too often go along or just don’t say anything.

Lately I’ve been looking for a new sitter, so I can continue going to yoga. I’ve had a few women come to the house to meet Aleksander and me. I knew the first was a definite no as soon as I saw her dirty hands (yikes! keep them off my son!). But the others? There’s really nothing wrong with them. They have experience. I’m sure they’re perfectly capable and responsible. But I didn’t get that feeling. The feeling that tells me this is the right person to care for my son in my absence. For whatever reason, they’re just not exactly what I’m looking for. So why do I feel guilty? I feel bad that I don’t want to hire them (even the one with dirty hands!).

I think I’ll try to be more like Aleksander. When I know what I want, I’ll ask for it. And when I know what I don’t want – after careful examination – I’ll politely put it back in the container and reach in for another until I find the one that’s just right.

Question: Is there anything you find yourself settling for that you’d like to change?


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Patsie McCandless
    Mar 02, 2011 @ 15:33:40

    I’ll ask for just what I want!
    And put back what I really do not want!
    Such a novel idea!
    And even better that it came from your attentive observance of your darling baby boy!
    Thank you Aleksander – and thanks Kate!

    I am looking for a house – I think I’ll wait for just the right one – the one that gives me that feeling … YES!


  2. Trackback: Elmo vs. Big Bird « My Mother's Tiara

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