I opened my computer this morning after a weekend of mostly avoiding the Internet, to the usual flood of semi-bad news. A dear friend from High School is in the throws of a cancer battle with her 3 year old daughter. She is, like me, a stay at home mom of four kids, all under the age of 10. My alma mater, that Baptist beacon that has been celebrated in recent news for finally fielding a winning football team and cranking out the beloved Chip and Jo-Jo, is all over the national news for potentially sweeping sexual violence under the proverbial Big 12 rug. Ironically, Trump and Hilary didn’t cross my newsfeed this morning, but I know they are still there, looming in the political horizon I refuse to gaze at anymore.
Meanwhile, Eliott was in my room first thing discussing the EOG review packet that is “huge” and “due Thursday.” Then, we hear Avery calling from the first floor. Her sing-song “Mom-my! Mom-my!” floated up the stairs and I asked John if she was still stuck in the high chair. He said he had let her out a while ago and I assumed she wanted me to see something she had destroyed. Eliott went downstairs to investigate, and took almost five minutes trying to find her. The toddler had shut herself in the small downstairs bathroom and the light was off. She wasn’t crying or panicking, just calling me patiently, waiting for the door to open.
We’ve discussed our plans for the day (as I lay in bed at 10:35, still in my PJ’s, nursing a lukewarm cup of coffee) and it has come down to the choice between cleaning out a barely used basement room, or taking the chainsaw to some unsightly bushes growing around our mailbox.
My life is rough.
This is a fact which is not lost on me, as I seek to teach my children the art of gratitude and contentment. Every night this weekend ended up on the porch of one neighbor or another, where in the light haze of these early summer evenings, the usual banter of back-and-forth picking on each other was comfortable and familiar.
I am thankful for friends and neighbors who can laugh at themselves, and who keep us humble.
Friday was the last day of preschool, and I got a little teary-eyed, hugging the women who have been twelve hours of love for my babies each week, all year. I am thankful that when the ages and stages of four children feels constantly out of balance, there is one hallway on this Earth that looks and smells like comfort, consistency, and unconditional love.
I see the American flags and I’ve read the sentimental Memorial Day posts this weekend, thanking those who have served and died to give us our freedom. And I’m thankful for that too.
My little sphere of existence is currently turning a million miles an hour, but it is still very little, and arguably, pretty mundane. Today I am sincerely comforted and comfortable in the boringness of my life. I wish I had the ability to channel this sense of calm in the midst of the upsets that are inevitable coming one day. I wish I had the ability to give it to those who need it right now.
The most exciting plan for my day includes trying out the new dehydrator my mom impulsively sent me last week, and I’m not being facetious with my use of “exciting” as I debate which fruit I’m going to try first.
There’s some porch-fodder for the neighbors.