WHITNEY CAIN, PHD

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pushing and pulling

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I have spent the largest part of my time with a certain kid for just over 12 years now.  She lives in my home and uses me as her primary chef and driver.  I’ve nursed her when she was sick, seen her throw some wicked temper tantrums, and watched her do her adorable little thing in countless school plays and dance recitals. 

She can incite a fury in me I never knew I had.  Then on a dime she evokes a fierce and total love.  She’s all of my best parts and, alas, a few of my worst ones.  I know her completely one minute and she’s fully a mystery the next.

During the holiday break I saw her perched – yet again – at the computer.  Just as I was ready to launch into a stern and informative talk about the perils of screen time, she said, “Mom, I wrote this.  Think you could use it for one of your blogs?”  I could.  I am.  She’s our guest blogger this week.


Louise Gray Leonard.  Photo by Amy Fullbright

Louise Gray Leonard.  Photo by Amy Fullbright

"I had a lot of incidents as a little kid.  One time I was locked in a bathroom.  Mind you, I was only four, but I thought the world was going to end.  It seemed like payback for sneaking candy when my dad told me not to or sassing my mom when she wouldn't let me do something. I was banging and banging against that door for what seemed like hours. (My dad said it was like 2 minutes.)  Feeling defeated, I sat against the bathroom door hugging my knees and trying to figure out what to do.  When I resumed my ferocious banging, the answer came from the other side of the door. “It’s a push door, honey!”  Sure enough, I pushed and it opened.  I walked out, hugged my dad, and went back to my four-year-old self.  I learned something, however:  When pushing doesn’t work, maybe you need to pull."

Whitney Cain