Filed under: Lessons learned from a Rap Artist, and Color Me Surprised.

It’s not that I dislike rap music. I get the inherent poetry of the genre. It just hasn’t been a form of music I consciously seek out for pleasure. I’m close to fifty-years old, and I think I just missed this art form.

Today I heard an artist speaking on the radio show Q, and he spoke to my bruised little mama’s heart. The artist is Shad, his new album is Flying Colors, and at 4:15 in this video, he starts to talk about Successes and Failures and the ideas behind his new song, “Remember to Remember.”

[blip.tv http://blip.tv/play/AYOYw1EC.x?p=1 width=”720″ height=”433″]

I had just dropped my boys back at home with their dad because I couldn’t handle them in the store. I was feeling frayed, and lost, and like a failure as a mother. The words he said in this interview caught me off guard, and changed the course of my day infinitely for the better.

He talked about how we are all doing the best we can do. Sometimes we forget our best, and we act in a way that is not according to our best. We can feel like we are failing, like we have failed, like we’re failures, and it can be really overwhelming. But if we can remember that we learn the most from our failures, which makes them not failures after all, but successes; we can hold judgement, remember that we know more about our best than we are acting, and we can turn our failures into successes in that moment.

I thought about how frazzled I get when the boys are arguing or just bugging each other. I thought about how I’m with them all the time, but not always fully engaged. Often they are starting to wear on each other’s nerves because I’m in the same house, but working on my own projects – cleaning, or folding laundry, or working on a work thing. I ask them to keep it down, and they start fighting more. I feel like I need a break from them, when really, I need a break to go Truly Be With Them.

I called their dad real quick to see if they’d already left to go on an errand with him. They were just leaving. I asked him to bring them to me, and we would have lunch together at Costco, and then do the shopping we needed to do. I wanted to give us all a chance to regroup and try that again.

We sat at the Costco food court and just had fun. I had no rush to be anywhere. I sat with them and mimicked them, which made them laugh, and also reminded them that I like to see them. I like to watch them. I like to be really aware of them and all their wondering questions. Ben was such a little gentleman – asking me sweet questions about things I like to do. Bean was just a ham, but we were relaxed and enjoying each other.

The rest of the shopping trip went smoothly without any problems whatsoever. I forget that they are little. I forget that they just want to play – that is their entire outlook on life. I get weighed down with pressure of all the things on my To Do list, and I’m bringing them with me for the shopping part, and suddenly I’m a giant stress case. That’s not their doing. That’s mine.

Today, I got to remember to remember that I knew better how to handle this situation, and it was to slow down and love them more, and listen to them more, and observe and regard them more, and shower praise on them more. They do so beautifully respond to positive encouragement – so much more so than a frazzled, harried mom melting down in the store.

Photo of a very serious Owl from here – Owls have excellent memories, Right? He will be my reminder to Remember.

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