I Told You Your Head Wouldn’t Fit Through Those Bars
Linda Wechter-Ashkin PhD NCSP BC-TMHC ADHD CCSP
When Rikki was about 2 we used to go with Dave to his overnight shifts at Hollywood Memorial Hospital. She would go with dad on rounds, play with the children in the children’s unit next door, and basically, she walked around like she owned the hospital. She had a special friend Minnie who used to try to get her shifts when Dave was there just to spend the day with Rikki. One of her favorite things to do there was to go to the Doctors Cafeteria to get her meals. Everyone loved her so she got what she wanted when she wanted it. For some reason whenever we were in the cafeteria Rikki felt the urge to try to stick her little head through the metal bars on the divider between the seating and the food area. As all parents know our children often consider us background noise so she would wait until I turned my back for a second and try to stick her head through the bars and one day, she was successful. The problem is she didn’t really think this through, and she did not have an exit plan for her head. We had to have maintenance come and loosen the bar so she could wiggle her head out. Lesson learned, but the hard way for sure.
This makes me think about how often I keep trying to stick my big head through bars that it doesn’t fit in either despite God nudging me in a different direction. At times I learn my lesson early, but often I don’t learn until my head is stuck in the bars, and I have to be bailed out. Now I come to God all ears, and I’m sure he is thinking there was an easier way to do this Linda if you just listened the first time. Many parents ask me why their children don’t just listen the first time. They just often don’t. Just like us they think they know better, or they just want to see how it feels, or they are following the advice of someone other than you. I tell these parents that it is not always an act of disrespect, sometimes it’s just their way to figure it out on their own. As soon as she was released Rikki ran into my arms and said quietly through tears you were right. I can’t tell you how many times I too have run into God’s arms with tears streaming down my face and said God you were right. He has never gloated or made me feel guilty, he has just helped me onto the right path again. I pray that when your children veer off a little and come running back that you will comfort them with no I told you so’s. Let them feel your love rather than your judgment and take the moment to talk to them about the power of unconditional love.