I live in house with a husband, 2 kids, a pit bull and a room mate. Given that we have 3 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms, this does not give us a lot of space. (I admit it. I’ve peed in the backyard at times. No one knows this but a few close friends. And, well, now everyone who reads this blog. Don’t judge.)
I’m completely aware that people in other countries live 8 to a room (heck, the kids I assist at a Title 1 grammar school one city away live 8 to an apartment) so I try not to complain. Each day I write gratitude lists.
“Thank you God for the giant oak tree that shades the
cramped dining room poor excuse for a bedroom sacred space I share with Rex.”
“Thank you God for our fridge full of vegan hot dogs and gelitin-free food for my
entitled/have no idea how much it costs big-hearted teenagers whose sweet souls are always thinking of animals.”
And, speaking of teenagers, “Thank you God for my beautiful daughter who today is 13. Today.”
My round faced china doll girl of yore has morphed into long legs and curvy hips. Her Betty Page throw back hair style has been replaced with long brown locks. She has zits near those gorgeous dimples. And, as much as I grieve the few stains on her lovely face, I pray sometimes that, to borrow a similar statement from Farmer Stacey, ‘May God keep her pimply and humble.’ I’m not ready for what comes with the other.
Today I picked up my son from the train station. He had just returned from five days of visiting his best friend who lives 4 hours away. I swear, he stepped off that train and I didn’t recognize him.
Stink: (Low Man Voice) “Hey, Pipsqueak.”
Pip: “Hi, Stink!”
Miss L: “Give us your bag!”
And so he did. My girl, her bestie and him. They walked side by side to the car, talking the pros and cons of the Hogswart Express vs. Amtrak. (Yes, there’s delicious food. Unfortunately no chocolate frogs or magical playing cards. Darnit.)
I often wear headphones, like the ones below, to get some space from the constant noise and chaos that surrounds this busy home.
But when I stay in gratitude, I am so often overwhelmed with how it’s also a happy home with all its clanking, banging and raucous laughter. And I will miss these days when they are gone.
Quiet is good to calm the mind, but when push comes to shove, I don’t know if I’d have it any other way.
As my sponsor often tells me, “You don’t need anything outside of yourself to be happy.” And while I often want to
punch her in the face cringe when she says that, she’s right. I am learning, slowly, that there is a lesson in everything.
And today, the lesson was clear yet again: head phones can give me a little breathing room to find myself amongst the dog barking, the door bell ringing, the Jehovah Witnesses preaching, but always remember I am my best self when I am surrounded by people I love.
And so, I will be taking off these suckers in a moment. I will be saying prayers with my kids upstairs. I will crawl into bed next to Rex, and I will once again say thank you to a God who I don’t always understand, but I know gives me everything I need. And I don’t need to find him outside of myself.
And neither do you.
Until next time,