Wednesday, June 18, 2014

lessons from a pink flamingo

It has come to this. I cringed inside when the kids asked. It seemed inevitable though. Every time we hit the garden center, they would run like a beacon pulled them. They always wound up in front of the pink flamingos. I should have seen it coming. It was only a matter of time before my limits and my need to control would be tested.

You see, I did not want a pink flamingo. Not even in the least. I couldn’t imagine having one of those in my backyard. It’s not that I'm against fowl feathered friends, we have six chickens after all. It’s somewhat of a stigma, isn’t it? I am not of the pink flamingo demographic, at least I’m not what I think of when I think of pink flamingo owners. I guess the bottom line is that I was way too concerned with what the neighbors would think. My Facebook feed confirmed it. When I posted a picture of our newest family member, one of my friends commented “oh, so your that neighbor now?” I could hear the italics in her voice. 

Yes, I am that neighbor.

I manage the way people think about me, because I want to control other's perceptions of who I am. 

I am also that controlling mom who really wants the yard to look a certain way. I find that it’s much easier to say no to most things. Even the fun things. All because I want to control. I want to hold on. I want to grip tight. 

Thankfully, I had one of those God moments. It was like he tapped my shoulder. Will you get so worked up over an eight dollar piece of pink plastic? Will you be too worried about the opinions of others as to deny your children some good clean summer fun? 

Maybe you don’t deal with this. Maybe you deal in slip and slides or mismatched flip flops and messy ponytails. Maybe your currency of choice when it comes to control is the type of flowers that line your front walkway.

I don't have to micro manage.

I really want to be the yes mom. The one who graciously flows from one unexpected thing to the next. Who says yes because it’s fun. But inside I am a micro manager. I want to do things my way, not because they’re better, but for no other reason than it’s my way.

So when they asked about the pink flamingo, my first instinct was to say no. That’s silly. Ridiculous. I’m not ready to cross to the dark side of lawn decor. But then I stopped myself.

There's freedom in letting go.

I realize I can’t control the look of my yard any more than I can control the seasons. I can plan what to plant and where to grow things. But I can’t stop Catmint from popping up everywhere and dandelions from populating the lawn. I can’t even make the seeds sprout. 

So I said yes. And Faye (or Florence, depending on which daughter you’re talking to) now lives next to the peonies. She’s a good reminder. She squawks to me to take it easy. To let go. To loosen my grip. That life is so much better when I can let go of my incessant need to control. 

1 comment:

  1. Yes, I have been the queen mom controller around here that it has been difficult to let it go, but God has greatly humbled me in so many ways especially with my children. I too, am trying to say yes more.


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