“I can’t,” she says.

…get ready for bed.
…keep my voice down.
…eat my breakfast.
…take a nap.
…pick up my stuff.

And inside, I seethe. Yes of course because it’s an outright lie – she can obviously do those things. She’s five, for heaven’s sake. But more so because I don’t want those words falling from her mouth, feeling comfortable on her tongue. I want her to walk through life with an “I can” at the ready, to enter situations with confidence, hope, the gumption to give anything a try. And the honesty to say “I don’t want to” if that’s what she really means.

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5 thoughts on “can

    • I have just been talking to her about being honest and telling me that really she just doesn’t want to, since we both know she can. And we’ve tried to encourage her to persevere at things that are hard, and to try new things, and believe in herself – and reward/praise her when she does… But it’s hard & I so don’t know if I’m handling it right!

  1. i get it too. and all of these things, so many many things,that we want for them to know and live…I find myself even now saying “I can’t” when maybe I’m just so tired and so I really mean “I don’t want to”

  2. i just re-read that and realized it sounds terribly hopeless. heh. Then I thought about how often I want to say I can’t and then I still try and motherhood is all about just keepin’ on, huh?


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