Last weekend I was highly motivated to just stay home, do laundry, clean my house, play outside and enjoy our time at HOME (my absolute favorite place to be with Cole). Imagine my surprise and sadness when both of our bathtubs backed up, filled with nasty water, because I had to clog somewhere in the system. Not only were my plans thwarted to do allll of that laundry, but I was also gonna have to fork over the money for a stinking plumber. Not that plumbers are not very good, capable people, but my goodness could I just once leave my money in my emergency fund for something other than an emergency? 😦
My dad’s recent cancer diagnosis has thrown all of us for a tailspin, I do not realize how much I depend on my parents until they simply cannot do what they were able to even a few weeks ago. Just hearing that nasty C word was enough to throw my dad into a depression, and my mama has that caregiver fatigue. I guess I had been holding on to that, because my plumbing backing up pushed me right over the edge into a crying, sobbing mess. I am raising a mini me, so he stopped dead in his tracks and reassured me (so now I have the guilt of my child thinking our world is falling apart and it is NOT) that “we” always figure things out. You will remember a few months ago when my car window got stuck down and I was upset, he reminded me that I always figured things out, and he knew I would today. I am always amazed at how much faith my child has in me. When I feel like I am just worn out, dog tired, broke and broken, he still sees his mama as bulletproof and able to just get things done. His little man wisdom always stops me in my tracks and puts things into perspective for me. He is something else, I tell you.
The teenagers in my office every day come in with a variety of ills and worries. One may be so upset about an Algebra II class, and then the next one might be facing homelessness because their family got evicted yesterday. I have the wonderful opportunity to talk to them each day (and myself) about the great value of perspective. If your friends are leaving you out at lunch, talking to you rough, or just not really your friends, maybe you need to take a step back, focus on your family, focus on creating some healthy habits in your life, like diet, exercise, sleeping and hugging your mama, and not put all of your eggs into that fragile high school friend basket. If a child is angry with their parents for taking their phone, we might talk about how they were focusing so much of their energy on that dang phone, maybe they need to take the hiatus as a blessing for their state of mind. *If a child is facing homelessness, it’s hard to put a positive spin on that, but we do make plans so that their adult life does not look like that, and put a safety plan into place for where they’re living now.
I have had many wise pastors preach about the goodness of God, and even more who say that simply because you are a Christian, you are not guaranteed an easy life, a full bank account, a perfect immune system, and children who never sass you (in words you have said before, they are never quite that cute coming back at me, whew). I personally believe that bad things happen to good people, and really bad things happen to everyone. It’s truly how you reframe those bad things. Stopped up pipes meant that I had to stop what I was doing and go outside to play with Cole. Were we mildly inconvenienced? Yes. Are we homeless? No. Since I am a single mama, people think I have all things divorce and coparenting figured out (I do NOT. Sometimes I still lose my mind over nonsense). They will often ask me “HOW HOW HOW do you do that? How do you get along? How do you sit by each other at soccer and school stuff and church?”. While it’s not always easy, I can always point to Cole. That little human with my face (my sass) I grew in my body observes every single little bitty thing I say and do. I am pre-loading him for life with all kinds of lessons about kindness, grace, attitude and hard work. What kind of life lessons will he learn if I am always yelling and screaming at people? Or dealing with mild inconveniences by shutting down and rocking in the fetal position (I truly considered it)? He will learn to get mad about everything instead of pausing and thinking, and that the smallest thing is the worst thing. That is not the grown up Cole I want to know.
Tomorrow Cole and I are headed off for a “winging it” adventure and my heart is overwhelmed with happiness. The plumber, a very nice man who threw the giant stick over and over again in the yard for my big dog, Rhino (such a guard dog), is coming back next week to repipe a section under our little historic home. So we are taking off a few days to disconnect, reconnect and laugh….a lot. You have got to learn to flip that perspective and count your blessings or you will never move beyond the big, ugly stuff that life is gonna keep on throwing you.
Happy Spring Break!