By Lisa DiSciullo
Have you ever suddenly seen someone from a different perspective and appreciated them in a totally new way? One of my favorite songs is Andy Grammer’s Fresh Eyes. The first take on the song is that he is talking about his romantic partner. He sings:
So suddenly I’m in love with a stranger
I can’t believe that she’s mine
Now all I see is you with fresh eyes, fresh eyes
Many of us have had that experience or long for it, and what does it take? It takes a willingness to look at the person differently, notice what you appreciate about them, and welcome a fresh perspective. I like to think that he’s talking about his girlfriend that tried out for The Voice a few seasons ago and although she didn’t make it on the show, she exhibited so much courage, talent, and grace that maybe he was seeing her in a new light.
Could you have the same experience with your children??? I say yes.
We moved to a rural area when my son was in 3rd grade. He came home from school one day and said to me “I ain’t doin’ that.” Being a Jersey girl that grew up in a fairly prim and proper household, I got angry and scolded, “We don’t talk that way!” He started to cry and said calmly, “I thought that’s how they talk here.” I realized that he had gone to 2 years of preschool in Germany in a German speaking school. He learned to communicate with the other kids after a while and made friends through “talking like them”, i.e. in German. Suddenly I saw my son, not as disrespectful, but as an innocent little boy trying to fit in the the best way he knew how. I saw him with Fresh Eyes.
I had a similar experience one summer when my youngest came home from college, cooked himself a meal and cleaned up the kitchen better than I would have. I told him how much I appreciated it and he said, “Mom, I just finished pledging, I really know how to clean now.” I saw him with Fresh Eyes (and one huge benefit of joining a fraternity).
One day when my daughter was in 2nd grade she commented that a squirrel had “scampered” across the lawn. That was a word we had never used before and it hit home with me that she would be learning things in school that I wouldn’t be privy to. I saw her with Fresh Eyes.
Take this weekend and try to look at your child in a new way.
Maybe that relentless attempt to negotiate with you will look like determination that they will use someday when making a case with a teacher to round their 89.5 grade up to an A. You will see them with Fresh Eyes.
Maybe when you pause and observe a moment that they are happily playing with their brother, you will glimpse a kind, generous, loving relationship. You will see them with Fresh Eyes.
PS Andy Grammer’s official video takes the “Fresh Eyes” approach to a homeless community. Men and women are given makeovers with haircuts, manicures, new clothes and the transformation is incredible. They return to the street where they’ve been living and the world looks at them with Fresh Eyes. 🙂
See that video here:
Lisa DiSciullo is a Parent Educator with Parenting Matters in New Jersey.