April 27, 2011
I’ve been working with lots of kids lately doing workshops, camps and a fun afterschool Girls’ Collective. We craft, talk, explore and craft some more. Each week is something new and each week seemingly a new lesson too. And I don’t mean the lesson FROM me. Rather the lesson FOR me.
I was working with my afterschool Girls’ group yesterday making a flag for our Collective. It’s a pretty simple process of cutting the fabric and laying it out on the banner and then ironing it into place. Really quite fun. Unless. It’s not.
One of the girls was really struggling with the process of cutting the fabric. Partly because it was a teeny-tiny piece. Partly because it was windy and we were outside. Partly too because it was 4:00 in the afternoon and she was tired. I could see she was getting frustrated but let her go a little bit thinking she’d figure it out. I never want to intervene too early. Too late I realized it was too late and she slammed her scissors and her fabric down on the table and burst into tears. “My fabric’s too small and these scissors are wrong and my nose is driving me crazy and this is just too hard!” (you know that feeling don’t you?) We hugged. I held her. She cried. And we talked about how in the problem is the information needed. She laughed when she realized she had stated all the problems she was having.
She hula hooped for a couple minutes. She got a new piece of fabric. She found another pair of scissors. She wiped her nose. And was right back at it. Cutting and crafting.
It made me wonder how often the problem and solution are so simple and yet we make them somehow complicated. It made me wonder how if I just tuned into the feeling of frustration I would actually find the tools for solution. I don’t know for sure yet but something tells me it just might work.
Did I learn this lesson already? Probably but it won’t be the first lesson I’ve had to learn again and again.