Why Are You Holding Your Purse Like That When I Hate Italy?
Linda Wechter-Ashkin Ph.D NCSP BC-TMHC ADHD CCSP
When Rikki was 16 we decided to take her to Italy. She had been asking to go for some time and we finally were able to plan the trip. When we got there Rikki became very aware that Tie Dye Shirts and Sofie shorts were not the in thing and she decided to shop for proper attire. She bought some sundresses and shoes and a purse that she fell in love with. Rikki had a great time on the trip going to museums, trying all types of Italian cuisine, and taking in the culture. Alex on the other hand hated it. He saw Italy as hours of walking in the heat uphill, lots of boring artifacts, and lots of people that he didn’t understand. He did like that they were willing to serve him alcohol at the age of 12 but when he tried limoncello he reported that it tasted like lemon nail polish remover. The icing on the cake for him was the Montezuma’s Revenge that started with him and made its way through all of us. I think he actually skipped on to the plane when he knew it was time to go home.
It was so interesting to me that my children were having the same experience and yet they saw it much differently. Rikki saw Italy as a new experience, and she loved everything about it, and it created a love for travel. Alex had difficulty seeing anything good about it after a while and vowed not to travel out of the country ever again. A few years back during a family dinner Alex shared with us that when we were in Italy Rikki tried to hold her purse in the same way that the Italian women did, and it made him so angry that he wanted to punch her. I hadn’t even recognized that, and Dave didn’t either. It made me think about myself though and how I can become hyper-critical when I am frustrated. Children are a blessing, but they are also messy, at times mouthy, and occasionally moody. As a parent our job is to teach and guide them but not to be critical of them. But when were tired and frustrated and overwhelmed it becomes really easy to notice their missteps and comment on them. I know for sure that Rikki had done much worse things to her younger brother than holding her purse like an Italian woman but in the spirit, he was in it was too much for him to handle. I pray that when you see yourself developing a critical spirit with your children that you will catch yourself. Change the lens on your camera so you can see them as God sees them, even if they are carrying their purses the wrong way.