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Posts Tagged ‘life’

soul-level sighs of satisfaction

Yesterday mid-morning, my three-year-old son and I went to meet up with some friends at a family event in Newport Beach. Littler J, who usually naps in the early afternoon, was so beat that he ended up falling asleep ten minutes into our drive.

By the time he’d finished napping, our friends were on their way home. The event was nevertheless a joy. It was full of small, sweet moments, individual and collective.

Individually, I especially enjoyed watching Littler eat his pizza. First, he strips off the cheese. After he’s eaten all the cheese, he plants his face directly in the center of the triangle and begins gnawing down. As if watching him savor a piece of pizza in this way weren’t adorable enough, this inefficiency leaves him with a greasy orange beard that makes me giggle. Read more…

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full and messy life

This morning, I’m thinking about a recent conversation with a friend.

In our current world, where companies and governments alike designate “citizens”  mere “consumers,” meaningfully different only in what and how they consume, people are told they are “brands” and to behave in ways that build their brands.

What kind of life is that?

I don’t want to be perfect. I refuse to limit my life to pursuit of brand-building, instead of being fully immersed in something raw, real, messy, and wonder-full. Life.

Why? The way I see it, trying to live someone else’s (whose?!) idea of a perfect, perfectly branded life is a recipe for late-life sorrow at halfway connections with people, little life-changing learning from important mistakes, countless adventures missed.

While I’d usually rather leave aphorisms than take them, I’d boil this pursuit of a full and messy life down thusly:

If you’re always careful,
you’re barely living.

little boys laughing

I awaken at 3:30 each weekday morning, do an hour of work, and then spend one rushed hour getting ready with my kids. I’m then in traffic for an hour or so before beginning my full workday.

Yesterday, I had an early doctor appointment. Instead of rushing out the door, I spent two and a half hours hanging out with my kids. I helped my older son, Li’l D, scramble an egg before snuggling with him on the couch and reading Charlotte’s Web aloud. I walked him through homework corrections and then, after my three-year-old (Littler J) was really awake, laughed at the sounds of my little boys racing through the house while hollering their mirth.

I grinned the whole way to the doctor’s office. It was just such a perfect morning!

After my appointment, I called my husband to tell him how it’d gone. It turned out he was at the grocery store on the same block as the doctor’s office, so I met him in the store. I savored the weight of Littler’s hand in mine as my husband pushed the shopping cart. Littler made an adventure of even a shopping trip, so that I beamed the whole way through the trip. 

As we parted ways in the parking lot, I told my husband that the morning had been absolutely perfect. I said I’d have to make a point to do this more often on the weekday. Once a month, maybe?!

I grinned as I began my late drive to the office.

Nine years ago, before I had an inkling I was on the verge of parenthood, my perfect morning involved a couple of hours of World of Warcraft and then a six- or seven-shot latte en route to work. On the very best mornings, I’d spend a little time staring at the ceiling and daydreaming about the weekend, too. 

My perfect morning is so much different now than it was then. It’s busier and louder by far now, but, oh! It is ever so much more full of love, and–best of all–little boys’ peals of laughter.

good company

D’s 5th birthday

Three years ago,
my oldest son celebrated
his fifth birthday
with friends.

I was
so thankful
he didn’t know
what it meant to be
one of the odd ones.

Today,
he celebrated his
eighth birthday, still
side-by-side with
the little boy
from his 5th
birthday
pic.

He’s lost touch
with the little girl,
but:

It’s okay.
He’s not
keeping
track.

He’s here,
now, and just
so happy to be
here, now, in such
good company.

Categories: Family, Parenting Tags: , , ,

quality

As I watched
my little boys wrestle
from inside one of
my favorite shirts,
I was certain
I’d never
wear the shirt
again.

Lo, it was not so!
I’m wearing the shirt today,
and it fits just the same
as if it hadn’t been used
for a wrestling match.

That, my friends,
is quality.

Categories: Family, Parenting Tags: ,

a happy-enough ending

A year or two ago, a friend told me a real-life story that broke my heart.

The story began with one woman she knew saying, “Man, that lady is so lucky!” and the women around her replying, “Say what?! You’d only think that if you didn’t know what she had to endure to be where she is now!”

In this case, “that lady” lost just about everything–everyone–she loved in a single night.

With the terrible space that created, she eventually made room for other people who had suffered greatly.

Now, they fly together, all of them having lost so much … but all of them also having found each other.

It doesn’t make their story happy, but it certainly makes it less lonely and more full of love.

Maybe that, when it comes right down to it, is its own happy-enough ending.

Categories: Love, Uncategorized Tags: ,

my riches

Last week, I wrote about coming to understand how:

my siblings
and i are rich in ways 
others probably wish
they were, or
would if they
understood
such riches
are even
possible

Our riches aren’t in cash. Poverty started us in a money-pit, so that the three of us will be paying student debt for another couple of decades for the privilege of climbing halfway out of that pit.

No, our riches ran deeper than that. I just couldn’t figure out how, or begin to imagine explaining it.

And then … I found a book.

Near its entrance, my neighborhood library has a little table of books for sale. It’s been there since I started visiting this library, but I never bothered looking at it. I figured it had too few offerings for any to be up my alley. Read more…

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