Step, Step, Slide

As I wrote about in Life Patterns, our four year old has a new fascination with patterns. Her face routinely breaks into a smile as she spots a series of colors or shapes and gleefully shouts, “I see a pattern, Mom! A pattern!”

Yesterday during one of our afternoon dance breaks, both of us swaying to the “Grease” soundtrack, she said, “Mom, do you know our step, step, slide dance is a pattern? Step, step, slide.” (Better she focus on our dance pattern than the words to “Beauty School Dropout,” one of her favorite songs.)

As I danced with my daughter in my arms, awed by her wonder and joy, I mused on the patterns I pray she develops, ones that will sustain and enrich her life, like the patterns of believing she is beloved and of accepting herself flaws and all.

Step, step, slide.

I found myself wishing I could warn her future self to look out for patterns that will hurt her, like pleasing others instead of herself and attaching to people who don’t treat her with adoration and respect.

I considered making her a video of patterns good and bad. Or perhaps a vision board detailing my hopes for her. No pressure.

Step, step, slide.

I felt a momentary rush of fear, aware that lecturing her on life will be easier than witnessing and supporting her as she grows, develops her own patterns and finds her way.

As I breathed in her just-out-of-the-shower scent, I prayed for guidance on our journeys and acceptance of ourselves along the way.

The best I can do today is show her through my actions how to embrace all the patterns life offers, ask for help around the ones that don’t serve me and trust the process of life, love and joy. I can model reaching out my arms for love, and letting the world unfold its beauty in front of me and inside me. Gifts await. For all of us.

Step, step, slide.

Patterns For Life

Patterns For Life

What patterns do you hope your children embrace and avoid?

27 thoughts on “Step, Step, Slide

  1. Oh patterns. I like the ones you mentioned– people pleasing rather than figuring out what they want for themselves. I want them to value the things they have and not always want more. I think of this as my Neimans v. Old Navy mentality…I am just a volume junkie, and I want them to have fewer niceer things that they take care of of instsead of stuffing themselves with more (food, tank tops, hoodies, flip flops).

  2. This was a fabulous post. You’re so right. All we can do is model as best we can and hope those other patterns don’t get a foothold with our little ones.

  3. Really sweet post. I likethe image of the 2 of you dancing as you think of her future when she will inebitably step away. I hope when shr does she wil learn the patterns that you strove to convey.

  4. Is it sad that the first thing I thought of was “Millie has….PATTER POWER!” ?

    my kids notice patterns all over the place, but I assume it’s from watching Team UmiZoomi

  5. This one makes me want to cry. Step. Step. Slide. And I do mean cry. What a beautiful pray and vision for us all. What a gift you are to your children and to me. Step. Step. Slide. Repeat. Xoxo

  6. Oh, I love this! Will you teach me how to dance and what patterns to look you for in this dance so that I can in turn teach my kids? And like you said – showing them through actions – isn’t that the most powerful way?

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