I spend a lot of time reading to my children, so today I am going to give a lesson for kids and moms both. Part of this may have to do with the fact that I long ago decided that I’m a horrible “get down on the floor and play with my kids” type of mom. My brain is far too analytical and I just don’t “play well”.

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But what I do well is read. Even my middle school and elementary-aged sons want to join in when I am reading to their twin sisters.

Last night we read a book that was new to me: Pete the Cat I Love My White Shoes. The girls loved the repetitive story of Pete the Cat who really, really loves his white shoes. He loves them so much that he sings a song about how much he loves them . . . until he steps in a pile of strawberries, and his white shoes turn red. “But did Pete the Cat cry? Goodness no! He just walked along and sang his song.”

You can see a video of the author, Eric Litwin, telling the story live here:

After I read the book to the children, we had to watch the video no fewer than ten times.

My older sons were excited that I chose this book to read to their sisters. You see, their teachers at two different schools had chosen this very same book to read to them in their fourth and sixth-grade classrooms.

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Eric Litwin is teaching a very valuable lesson: we cannot always control our circumstances, but we cannot let what happens to us get us down!

If this is a good lesson for our children, it is an especially good lesson for us as mothers.

We often have plans or ideas about how things will go. We picture our ideal birth, we envision a newborn who takes instantly to breastfeeding.

We never anticipate a child with special needs, or a less than positive birth outcome. We don’t anticipate an out-of-sync child who never really does sleep through the night and we never really plan on raising a child who is still in diapers at age four.

As mothers, we paint fairly rosy pictures of our future lives. And we love how things are going.

But sometimes, we step into the proverbial pile of strawberries, and everything changes.

It is the part that comes next that makes all the difference.

How do we handle change and disappointment?

There is one reaction in which we become the victims of our circumstances. We see ourselves as cheated of the perfect birth experience, breastfeeding relationship, or even our perfect child. This thing leads to creates strain in our relationship and we forget to love or forgive each other.

OR, we can choose to embrace the changes that occurred and love our red shoes just as much as we loved our white shoes, and have an attitude that in the end, it is “all good”.

Which attitude presents a better picture of a mother for our children? The victim, or the roll-with-it Pete the Cat?

I’m going to encourage you, moms, today to embrace the changes that come along in your lives as “all good”. I encourage you to view your unplanned course changes as simply a shift towards something that can turn out better than you could ever imagine.

And lastly, I hope this lesson for kids and moms I shared will help you build a stronger parent-child relationship.