Photo: This is one of the gems that couldn’t fit into yesterday’s sponsored post. I love the colors and the wistful look off into the distance. It feels like a lifetime between those groggy days in that sunny apartment and now.
I loaded the boys into the van to whisk them off to a friend’s this morning. I needed 2 hours without my children so I could get to Wegmans and get the things needed to get us through the weekend. I could not be more grateful to my friend for actually agreeing to take my two little bits of embodied chaos. All I had to do was get them there and, Lord, that was hard enough. But I did. I got them dressed and in the van and we were on schedule.
Not a mile in, I heard a faint “ow” in the backseat.
Then a louder one. “Ow! How are you supposed to do this?” It was Minor. I turned my head for a moment to see what the hell the child was doing.
Ursa Minor had pulled out some of the free floss that he’d gotten from his dental appointment yesterday and was attempting to use it. The long cord was between his teeth and coming out of one side of his mouth and he was pulling and tugging on it. “Ow!”
“[Minor], you have to do it like I do it.”
That’s right, Major was doing the same thing. Two children flossing in the damn car.
“Boys! Could we not do this here? Could we maybe do this some other time at home?”
Did I mention that I was driving?
After convincing them to put down the floss and put it back in the bag (Lord, why do dentists give a goodie bag anyway!?), I couldn’t help but start laughing. I mean, really. What a moment. What a Friday of Vacation Week moment. I laughed and laughed and the music played and the boys looked at the back of my head like I was crazy and… it was great. It was just what I needed.
It’s the Friday of February Break, the end of a very long week. I will not pretend to tell you it was perfect or that there weren’t moments of frustration. Matter of fact, it was the moments of frustration that made today’s moment possible. If I hadn’t been so wound up, so ready for the next tug o’ war over whatever the children thought they wanted… I wouldn’t have been so relieved by the silliness and thus able to take the moment to laugh.
And that’s where my Quiet Thoughts are. My Lord, the world is so crazy, Dear Reader. Aside from everything and everything, it was 72 degrees here in Massachusetts today. Yeah, it’s awesome to not feel cold or dig out from another foot of snow, but… it ain’t right. It don’t feel right. The bones, the heart… they know this isn’t ok. There is an unease, a dreadful feeling of the impending consequences. So for there to be joy, pure and simple, here and now… laughter was necessary. Laughter was medicine.
I’ll confess that I’ve had moments lately of weakness and lack of faith. I’ve wondered out loud if it was irresponsible to have children. With the planet warming, even failing, and with the stability of society so precarious, I’ve wondered if I’ve set my boys up for suffering. I know it’s silly. I mean, it’s too late now, yeah? But I’ve felt guilty, because all we want and work for is the boys to have lives that mean something to them. It all feels so heavy, so helpless sometimes, but then my kid picks up floss in the car and starts cleaning his teeth without regard to any sort of context or norms. There have been many beautiful, small moments of simple and pure joy that have brought me back again and again. The rabbit hole is deep and dark, but joy is light and freeing. It anchors you to the here and the now. It reminds you to be here, to stay invested in hope instead of despair.
So take a moment, Dear Reader, and indulge in some joy. The small, the intimate, the moments only for you and your family. Be here, with open heart and clear mind, and invest in the faithful hope that all shall be well.
It’s a warm night here in Massachusetts, Dear Reader. The radiators have been silent all day and I suspect I won’t hear from them tonight. Tomorrow, the boys will enjoy one more day of good weather before the cool air returns and we get back to reality. On a night like this, clear and easy, sweet with thaw and warmed by southern breezes, I have plenty of wishes from you. First, I wish you birdsong. Have you noticed tweets and chirps lately? Old friends are returning and bringing wonderful song with them. I wish you time to notice who is back and nesting in your yard this weekend, Dear Reader. I wish you the sound of children’s laughter under blue skies. This is a false spring for sure, but that doesn’t mean the children shouldn’t be out and living it up! You too, Dear Reader! I wish you a blanket, a book, a few snacks and cold drink under the warming sun. I wish you roasted asparagus or brussel sprouts, gumbo over rice if you can get a bowl of it (that’s what we’re having on Sunday), blueberries and strawberries over sponge cake and whipped cream. Bonus if you whip your own cream, of course. This is the perfect time of year for a transition of the palate: hearty and warm for your meals, but fresh, light, fluffy and colorful desserts.Yum! I wish you the loving kindness of a friend, the sacred and loving words from a partner, and the wise words of someone who knows you better than anyone else on Earth. I wish you a time with your mirror with extra moments to stare. What do you see? I hope you see yourself as you are, perfect and beautiful. Yes, you are. You are infinitely beautiful.
I take the time to tell you every week because it’s true and we don’t say it enough: You are loved. What you do matters. You are worthy of the admiration and love you have earned from the people in your life. Keep giving your gifts in service to the people who matter to you. You are the brilliant light against the darkness for more people than you could possibly know.
Until Monday, soak up some sun, laugh merrily, dance it out, reach out to others and take care.