Some of my greatest insights have come from my children. One of the most important of these lessons has been always remember to stop, get down on the floor and try to see the world through their eyes. What looks insane to us as adults is often very logical or even magical to children. My Payton, 8, is an inquisitive, sensitive and very bright child who asks things that often give me pause and wears her heart outside her clothes most days. She is easily bruised emotionally and a living reminder to me to tread carefully, buffer and protect. Ainsley, 5, somehow sees life with different glasses than all of us here and that too is a great lesson for us always reminding ourselves to stop and think about it as she might. Ainsley sees everything through lenses that are bent out of shape by Fetal alcohol spectrum disorder, amplified by sensory processing disorder and hyperactivated by attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. I choose to look at things with verbal lenses, so I write about them. I also choose to look at them often through a slightly rosy glass half full kind of filter. A survival mechanism, I think, or I would surely never get out of bed. My husband looks at things with male glasses. As close as I can figure the difference between his glasses and mine can be summed up by Google Maps. Google Maps, as you may know come with written turn by turn directions and a cute little button sized map. When you print the directions out you have a choice print the words or the picture map. Women print the turn by turn directions – the words. We process verbally is my theory. Men print the button-sized map. Neither way is better than the other just different. All of these various perspectives make life interesting to say the least. This summer we have had many opportunities to stop and think about the ways in which people look at things. When head lice chose to target my child for the first time our faith was tested and many mornings after endless hours of laundry, vaccuuming, Nix and combing and nitpicking with a medieval torture device, I felt like sleeping the rest of the day away, but I didn’t (well for the most part anyways.). Although I was on autopilot and falling down exhausted I kept on picking and exterminating those pests that had targeted my darling child’s locks. When one of my fillings fell out in the front of my mouth and I looked temporarily like trailer folk, well I tried not to smile too much, but I kept on plugging away. When I dinged the new van because my daughters were having a very loud sibling moment in the back seat and Mommy was losing it swearing in her head – well that was a glass half empty kind of day until I took a closer look and realized it was only a superficial scratch to the bumper. And siblings fight no matter who they are. And when my daughter fell at gymnastics and broke her arm – the same day I was having my tooth fixed – well there were moments for sure that I felt like throwing the rose coloured towel down and giving up. But the thing is, no matter how bad things get, I am still a parent and so really parenthood trumps all. Parents don’t get the option of throwing in the towel, no matter how tough life gets. So I wake up, put one foot on the floor and remember to breathe and in the process try to show my children that life is a gift. Lice, broken bones, damaged cars, lost fillings and all these various other daily calamities be damned. When you are the parent, in your better moments, you pause, even though the world may be raining down around you and think: wow the house is on fire, what do I want the kids to remember from this? Mommy freaking out, crying and yelling, FIRE, scaring the pants off the little people, or Mommy calmly scooping me up and showing me the way out assuring me in the process that we will all be okay no matter what life throws at us. Call it optimism. Call it survival. Call it resilience.