We just finished up our very first Science Fair project. Well, Owen worked his butt off to get his project done, we just sort of helped him stay on track, organize and assemble all the pieces. The experiment was to see which kind of soil would grow the best sunflower between compost, potting soil, and earth. All bets were on either the compost or the potting soil, but I was rooting for good old earth which sadly seemed very much like the underdog.
And wouldn't you know, Mother Nature kicked butt. The girl knows what she's doing.
I know that this theory was tested in only a simple way, but the lesson learned is this... things are good enough just as they are. I forget this, a lot. Adding, adding, adding, trying to make things better, when more, is often tandem to overwhelm... and overwhelm in my house looks like nuclear meltdown.
When a huge mountain stands in the way, the capacity to think rationally and ask for any kind of help diminishes significantly resulting in either a very messy (and loud) plowing through with casualties very likely, or succumbing to the weight of it all and simply needing to check-out and stick our head in the sand.
We've all been there.
I'm not sure why it took me so long to recognize the signs, but when I realized that this was the roadblock we have been bumping into all week with this project, I also saw how un-empathetic I have been. It's sometimes hard not to forget my kids aren't just kids, they are human beings with the same human fallibility we all have just with a lot less life experience to deal with it. At a ripe middle age you'd think I would be a pro at managing my own overwhelm, but even for me it's still a work in progress. I know from being there so many times the meltdown is just the last cry for help, the last flair fired into the darkness hoping someone out there might see it and save us, or more accurately, help us save ourselves. Admittedly, I'm not the best example when it come to this but I'm getting better.
So we find our footing again by taking a deep breath, moving aside all of the extra drama a.k.a. getting out of our own way, and finding support wherever we can to lighten the load.
In Conclusion: less is more. By rooting in simplicity there is more room to breathe and ultimately, success. Even for little boys and sunflowers.