Wednesday, May 9, 2012

10,000 hours

In Outliers, Malcolm Gladwell makes the point that to become world class successful at something, you need to practice for at least 10,000 hours.

That's a lot of hours.

I thought about motherhood though.  If I only count 8 hours a day (and that's a low count, I think, especially some of those years), on Braeden's last birthday, I had practiced being a mother for 43,800 hours.

It seems like I would be better at it.

I make mistakes, I say the wrong thing, I forget things, I let things slide that I shouldn't, I get too caught up in things that don't matter.

Why aren't I world class successful yet?  (Maybe because the subjects I am practicing motherhood on keep growing and changing?  Imagine if the piano got bigger and more opinionated every day.)

A day last week, Emma was at the orthodontist.  Mark and I went to Central Market.  I decided to buy Emma a treat (she was at the orthodontist after all).  She likes Cascade Ice.  I was perusing the flavors--there were about ten choices.  "What would Emma like?" I asked Mark.  He didn't care.  He wanted gummy worms from the bulk candy bins in the back of the store.  I landed on raspberry lemonade.  I decided that was what Emma would most prefer.

When I picked her up and she showed me that she now has to wear rubber bands stretched between her top and bottom teeth, I decided yes, it was a good day for a treat.

I asked her, "If you were to get a Cascade Ice, what flavor would you want?"

She thought for a minute.  "I think raspberry lemonade."

"That's what I got you!"  I was excited.  Small victories are victories just the same.

When we got to the van and I handed her the drink, she marveled that I had known the kind she would like.  She said, "How did you know this was my favorite?  You're like a ninja."

Well, I have had a lot of practice.


Olivia Cobian said...

Wow. Good work.

Marianne said...

You ninja you!

Enoch said...

Are you a "ninja"? That's awesome.


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