Why I Love Anne Lamott

I also learned that you didn’t come onto this earth as a perfectionist or control freak. You weren’t born a person of cringe and contraction. You were born as energy, as life, made of the same stuff as stars, blossoms, breezes. You learned contraction to survive, but that was then. You have paid through the nose—paid but good. It is now your turn to reap. -Anne Lamott

This makes me remember my indomitable toddlers and how they explored the world without fear. My son hung over the edge of his stroller to catch the eye of every passerby. Then he would grin and wait for them to smile back. The world was filled with friends.

When my daughter was three, she watched a bigger boy take a truck away from my son at the playground. “You be nice to my big brother,” she roared. The boy dropped the truck and walked away. My daughter felt powerful and righteous. The world was a safe and orderly and good place.

This was before the divorce.

We just spent a week with my parents, my children’s grandparents. I was struck by how quickly my mother raises her voice at all her little grandchildren – and how they tune her out. No one likes to be yelled at, especially for little things like running in the house or climbing up on the sofa the wrong way. I wanted to tell her to stop being so critical, so mean, and to enjoy these four little cousins before they get too old and want nothing to do with her.

As adults, its our job to build up our children, not tear them down. Life will try to tear them down enough, I am sure. There is no need for us to contribute to it. Let them run, let them bounce, let them throw a pillow. Let them be like the stars, the blossoms, the breezes for as long as possible.


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