“It doesn’t matter if the egg breaks.”
I had to remind myself of that several times on the walk back.
“The egg doesn’t matter. It’s not about the egg.”
What matters is trust.
My 18 month old nephew and I had gone to collect eggs. And because I am the slightly irresponsible aunt, I had lifted him on to the huge hay bale, hauled myself up after him, and then supported his little body so he could reach out his hand and grab the eggs from the current laying place.
He reached out his little hand to grasp the first egg. And passed it to me. Then the second. Before we reversed the process and returned to the ground.
We had no bowl or bucket, so I had planned to carry both eggs back. But the kid was having none of it.
So we compromised. He would carry one. I would carry one.
Now the house is 100 metres away and I have no idea if my nephew can carry the egg that far. Will he drop it? Will he squish it? Throw it? Smash it into the ground?
In this moment I am worried about my breakfast. No eggs, no breakfast. And I like breakfast.
But as I look down at the kid fiercely holding this egg, I realise, the egg doesn’t matter. So what if the egg drops. So what? We lose an egg. Yes, it would a waste, but a waste of what? A few cents.
Right now he doesn’t need me to worry about the cost of the egg. He needs me to believe in him. To trust that he can walk the egg back to the house. To believe in him and his abilities. To trust his judgment.
He needs me to practice trust. To practice trusting him. Trust me. And trusting that it will all be okay.
So side by side we walk back to the house. Where he proudly showed his Dad (Dad!Dad!Dad!) the egg he’d carried.
The next day, he wants to carry the bucket of three eggs back to the house. Was I nervous? Sure. Was I really hoping to have enough eggs for breakfast AND to bake banana bread?
But that didn’t matter. Not really.
So side by side we walk back to the house. Every time the eggs crinkled I winced a little. But he proudly showed his Dad (Dad!Dad!Dad!) the bucket of eggs he’d carried.
(And the time where he wasn’t trusted to carry the egg…where there was a struggle of wills…well apparently, the kid threw the egg at the wall.)
Trust sounds like such a simple concept.
But as adults we get stuck focused on things that don’t matter as much as we think they do. We try to control the outcome or control other people. We follow the rules or insist our expectations are met and react badly when they aren’t.
A lot of this is a cover for our experiences as a child. When adults didn’t trust or believe in us. In a strange twisted way, I could have gotten angry with my nephew to protect him from the anger I felt from my mother. Which is pain she passed on from her mother. And so it goes.
And so to realise our own pain and to not pass that pain onto the next generation, we practice trust.
When I trust my nephew, I also stop trying to control the outcome. I stop worrying about breakfast or fearing being yelled at (by my mother…who isn’t here).
I stop trying to control the future or other people or all the variables. I trust myself. I trust my nephew.
I trust everything will unfold exactly as it’s meant to, even if it’s not how I imagine.
I trust that whatever happens, good or bad, everything will be alright.
And my nephew was first in line when my excessively chocolatey banana bread came out of the oven.