Letters to Eleanor: When you over-commit, fix it

Well darn if tonight you didn’t (again) teach me something new. I mean, something I know, but you helped me see it in a whole new light.

I love that our house is the place where you and your friends like to hang out. I love that everyone feels comfortable and welcome here, and fewer things make me happier than preparing a made with love supper for the Walden Walnuts and then some.

But we can’t do it all the time, for many reasons, not the least of which is it would be exhausting and it would encroach on our little family of four norms and weekday vibes. Those are more me-centric reasons (introverted, need my down time to be my best self reasons). Tonight, you reminded me ever so gracefully that it’s not all about me and my reasons.

Without asking you and in front of you, I extended a join us for dinner invite to one of your friends. No big deal, right? The more the merrier, and spaghetti squash boats feed a lot of folk.

It wasn’t until said invitee had been dropped off that you leveled with me about how un-cool it all was.

“What is the big deal about having somebody over for dinner?” I asked.

Your answer floored me.

Full of maturity and wisdom beyond your years, in a calm and reasoned voice, you told me exactly why, and I immediately realized how self-centered I’d been in my thinking.

We talked it out, and I thanked you for being so real with me about what you needed to accomplish tonight and why it would put undue stress on you to know that a social commitment was lingering over your head.

Thank you for being conscientious and articulate and awesome, girlfriend. And for reminding me that I’ve felt lousy from a cold so um, why would we invite someone over? Yep, ya got me two times. Maybe one of these days I will learn to stay ahead of my good intentions ;).

It also reminded me of a little affirmation I saw making the rounds on socials here recently. It’s the one that says “Some days you’ll move mountains. Other days you will move from the bed to couch. Both are necessary” (credit: @gladyourehereco).

Today was a literal bed to sofa day for me, and a figurative one for you. I mean, who wouldn’t rather be hanging out with their friends and swimming instead of studying? Yet you are making the responsible and wise choice (can’t say I would’ve when I was your age).

And then that reminded me of this pin that an industry friend gave me last fall. It reads: “Be the woman you needed when you were a girl.”

Lord knows I’ve given it my all to do exactly that, with puh-lenty of times that I’ve fallen spectacularly short of being what you needed in a particular moment.

But when I pause long enough from the laundry switching and dinner prepping and dog walking and plant watering to reflect on the chat we had in the car, and the un-fun choice you made for your evening, it makes me think we’ve done a pretty darn good job, you and me.

Here, here to the remarkable young woman you are becoming.

I love you to pieces,


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