Yesterday in yoga the teacher pointed out that genetics determines how much flexibility you have. You can improve it with practice, but to a great degree you can only go as far as your genetics will allow. Those are musical words to my completely inflexible body. There's nothing more discouraging then seeing other yoga-mates bend themselves into pretzels while I'm still trying to forward fold without bending my knees.
Flexibility in life is a completely different subject. With a family like ours, flexibility is essential. However, it is a trait I learned with my first child and I would say it's a very important trait for any parent.
When you are able to be flexible you can enjoy those spontaneous moments when your child finds a butterfly and marvel in it's uniqueness or drop everything and just sit and read the book your child came running into the kitchen to bring to you.
I remember when I was a young mom and another mother said something to the effect, "you know when you just can't go to bed knowing there are dishes in the sink?" No, I don't know anything about that - partially because I'm not a neatie I'm a messy, but also because the dishes are probably there because I chose to help my kids with a project or sit in their room and just talk and by the time I finished that, I was just too tired. Guess what - the dishes were still there in the morning, and they eventually got done.
I'll be honest enough to say that after parenting as long as we have I really relish every new helpful skill my able body kids learn. I'm thrilled that Ella can now assist in lifting Shannon and help Callie pour her juice. The more capable hands the better in this house. I also know every new skill she develops brings the day of her autonomy ever closer and I am not anxious for that.