what the birds don't know...

don’t be afraid... i am not following up my “i don’t know about dating post” with a birds and the bees post. though that photo might have led you down that path and you eagerly began reading this post...

it also it’s a “i don’t know which came first the chicken or the egg” post. though that would be another assumption from the above photo. which might not have you reading so eagerly. or “eagle”y. ha.

believe me, you have NO idea the direction this post is going to take based on that photo. really, i hardly have an idea. which isn’t news to any of you...

Transient

yesterday i was wasting a few minutes of time playing “angry birds” on my ipad. last year i kind of got into playing one level of angry birds everyday. just one level. about 3-5 minutes. no big deal. BUT what i would do is go online and find a little youtube video tutorial that showed me exactly where to shoot my birds so that i could obtain 3 stars (the highest score) on that day’s level. i would watch the video then i would shoot my birds in those strategic spots (sometimes it took a couple of tries). the pigs would be destroyed. as well as their little wooden, stone, or glass structures. and i would get my three stars and i would be done for the day. this was the way i chose to play angry birds. and it was working for me. it was the way i thought you were supposed to play angry birds. this ONE right way. that had youtube videos to show you... 

then my husband made some comment to me about wasn’t such and such level really fun because it was set on the moon and the birds had no gravity. i had not even noticed that because i was so focused on imitating that video and doing it “perfectly” to get the three stars. i missed the cool moon effect of no gravity on the birds. i just did it the way i had been told to do it to get the three stars and check that off my list of “time wasters to do that day”. i was missing that different birds do different things and thinking about which birds i should shoot where for maximum “bird effect”. i just did it the way the angry bird video showed me. not a lot of cognitive thought on my part. just a lot of gold stars by my name.

then i stopped watching the videos. i stopped trying to get three stars. i just played the game. i learned about what birds do what and what birds are better for stone, which are better for glass breaking, and which shatter wood like nobirdy’s business. sometimes weird things happened and i earned the elusive three stars. mostly i obtained the wimpy one star. or i fail the round. and then i start again. but i notice things more. i enjoy it more. i use the bird weapons in different ways. i try new things. i fly by the seat of my pants. ha.

i have learned to wait on the power of the bird weapons. sometimes you shoot a bird and it knocks off one piece of wood. and then you go to shoot another bird not realizing that that one piece of wood set off a slow chain reaction. you waste the next bird because you don’t wait for the chain reaction to complete. now i sit and wait and watch to see if i even need to use another bird. because sometimes things happen slowly. 

another thing i have noticed is that the first time you play a level you think that you don’t have enough birds to complete that level. but after you complete a level you find that you had just enough birds and sometimes... if you are patient and wait for the chain reactions, you find that you had extra birds (thus leading to three stars). you always have enough birds. though it never looks like that in the beginning.

so why am i going into SO much extemporaneous detail about angry birds (and why are those birds so angry?) i think that at times i approach a lot of things like i approached angry birds. some things shouldn’t be approached that way (really, few things should be “angry birded” in life). parenting is not a game of angry birds (though that bird that explodes like dynamite does have some parallels to some parenting moments that i have lived through). i thought that if i did it “perfectly” (and too bad there isn’t one on youtube that i could watch for each level of parenting) that i would achieve 3 gold stars for each situation. then i would move on having conquered that level and watch the next video/ read the next book and achieve my three gold stars on that level as well. very formulaic. yet, my kids are not the levels on angry birds. they are not to be broken down and conquered.

i don’t just lob my pithy words of wisdom at them. well, actually i do lob pithy (and sometimes Biblical) words of wisdom at them all the time. but it doesn’t always do what i intend it to do. sometimes my words don’t hit at all. sometimes they do damage (and create a new game called “angry kids”. not fun. nor profitable for any level of the game.) sometimes a conversation hits and it does things that you didn’t intend it to do. sometimes you have to be patient and know that maybe a chain reaction is going off and things will happen IF you don’t lob another bird right away. i am learning to use different birds for different situations. and sometimes just to lob some love and a sympathetic ear over to the other side. and see if anything falls over there...

sometimes i just try to enjoy the game. realize that maybe this level is being played on the moon and that the gravity is different and that things are not going to go the way they have always gone. but that doesn’t mean that you can’t play this round with the birds you have been given. it just means that you are going to fail a lot. and that you are going to hit that little button that says “play again” a lot more often. and know that even though it seems that birds are scarce, that i do have enough birds to complete this level. after i have failed on average 58.9 times.

i don’t want to just follow the youtube videos for each level of parenting (now this analogy doesn’t hold for serious Biblical wisdom. there are issues in parenting that the Bible is clear on. there are areas that i am going to stand firm on as a parent.) but i know that you know that i know that. i want to meet each level without knowing the “right” way to do things. but with a spirit of adventure. and a love of the game to be played.

what the angry birds don’t know is how they helped me to be a better parent. what i don’t know is WHY AM I WASTING SO MUCH TIME PLAYING ANGRY BIRDS?????????????????? i could say that it was making me a better parent. but you wouldn’t believe that, would you?