“This is how I do it?”
It’s seems like a simple enough question most of the time. Except when it isn’t.
I’ve given some thought lately to the ways this question — Am I doing this right? — often expresses deeper doubts and concerns. I see in some (my oldest child for one) an almost crippling disappointment when things aren’t working out the way they were planned. Confusion reigns: I thought I was doing it right! Why is it going wrong?
Other times it leads to frustration and impatience: Gah! Why don’t you do it the way I would do it? Just let me do it for you. Move out of my way! (I have been on both sides of that one.)
The worst and most common for me is when “Am I doing this right?” really means “Do you approve of how I’m doing this?” Do you approve of *me*? Do you like me? Heavy stuff to add to an unsuspecting listener. Woe to the one who takes the simple question at face value when it’s loaded like that. (Sorry, honey.)
In some contexts I’ve learned to relax — I delight in giving my kids freedom to create (even to create a mess), to go at their own pace, to ask questions. But I’ve still got a long way to go in so many areas. So many.
Today, though, no need to overthink it. I’m pretty sure our little friend Lumae just wanted to know how to make the camera work. I didn’t have the heart to correct her, and — bonus! — it was a sweet little photo op for me.