A Horse or Unicorn & Choosing What Hill To Die On

by | Jun 19, 2010 | Animals & Pets, Lucy, Parenting/Family | 5 comments

unicornThis is Lucy.

She is my energetic & carefree 5 year old.

She is wearing a unicorn costume.

That is too small.

And no shoes.

At school.

(In my defense, once in the schoolhouse, the kids take off their shoes and put on slippers. So it’s not as bad as it seems. Or it might be…)

The thing is, as a mom… daily, hourly – even by the minute… there are decisions to be made. Some are more important than others. It depends on your bent and your commitment to safety.


I feel that preschool apparel does not fall into the “safety” category, and Lucy did not die from wearing a costume to school.

But you know who could have died? Me… had I chosen to fight the battle of the Unicorn.

And that is what I want to share. As moms, we have lots of decisions to make… important ones and not important ones. It’s hard to see the forest through the trees sometimes… the constant thinking, deciding, weighing… I sometimes start putting too much weight on the issues that are not really *issues*… Now that I have 11 years of mothering under my belt I am learning to ask myself a question more and more — What hill do I want to die on?

Sometimes it’s important to hold to an ideal because it teaches a larger lesson, but sometimes… it’s not worth the battle. If I say “no” I need to fight the battle. On that morning Lucy asked, “Can I wear this costume?” My knee-jerk reaction was, “No”, but before I said it I asked myself, “Jenny… if you say no… are you willing to pay that price? Is her wearing that to school a big deal? Do you want to die on this hill today?”


It can be hard to let go of our ideals. Our hopes. Our best-laid plans. Meanwhile… our children also have ideals. And hopes. And their own best-laid plans. And that is what makes parenting so hard. Learning to work together, letting these little wills have space to develop and grow… Letting go — figuratively and literally. Realizing that our way isn’t the only way.

I have no real conclusion… only this story. I continue to struggle with deciding what hills to die on. My selfish nature wants to rule all… I’m the Mom — THAT’S why. It’s good in theory…

And here is a sound clip of Lucy… pretending to be a horse. The girl loves horses. And unicorns. Clearly : Lucy the Horse


Keep up on the ridiculous, the insightful, the always digressive…

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