I received an honest to goodness piece of mail on Friday, a card from a good friend. Tears, people. I shed tears. She wrote such lovely things about our friendship, such good reminders to me of what really matters, and what really doesn't, and she wrote in an actual card, not in a Facebook post. Such novelty!
So the front made me laugh and the inside made me cry and all at once, she made me want to be better. A better mom, a better friend, a better calm (let's make that a noun, shall we?), a better presence, a better Lover of Life.
But then I woke up on Saturday morning and I. Was. Daunted. I was the very picture and definition of Daunt. I desperately wanted a lovely day, a love-filled day. I wanted to be grateful and peaceful. Oh, and I wanted to shop at Costco, do all the laundry, clean the bathroom, fix Little T's scooter, buy myself some new clothes, read my New Yorker, and take a looooooong nap.
None of that got done. Exactly NONE.
One small thing did happen: I took my kid and my dog for a hike, and tried not to let Little T's rastafarian hair (fine on an actual rastafarian) chastise me. We had a delightful time.
We ate apples.
She contemplated life with her dog.
I stared at her a lot.
Later in the day, I drove all over creation, to futsal games, and play rehearsal, and birthday gift shopping, and birthday party drop offs, and Awards Night dinner…and there were clashes at home over bedrooms not cleaned and plans not communicated and feelings being hurt. There were defensiveness and pride and laziness. There were large hair tangles and larger laundry piles and no moments to read my New Yorker.
In other words: family.
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Her rastafarian hair does, in fact, chastise me, and makes me cringe when she takes that head of hers out in public. But apparently, it does not chastise me so much that I actually do much about it, at least not as often as I should. This is an interesting lesson in chastisement. Because I think I chastise my children rather a lot, about those bedrooms not being cleaned, for example, and I freak the f*** out when the behaviors in question do not change.
What makes behavior change? What makes a mother better? What makes a kid do what his mother says?
I'm not sure about the kid. But for me, words written on a card and sent through the US Postal Service seem to work quite well.
I found a little slice of peace and gratitude this weekend, under the many layers of life that usually clamor for my attention. I hope this is the beginning of a habit of being peaceful and grateful. I hope I get many more reminders and that I pay attention to them. I hope to lose myself in reminders of what really matters.
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