Tuesday, March 22, 2011
The lovely mom sitting across from me has a crisp coral scarf tied about her head. I see no hair. Her wiggle-jumping, I am guessing, six year old boy is with her passionately filling her end of the table with words that are important to him. Her face seems kind and placid but also tired and older than it should. Carefree, her boy plays with the small toys placed in front of him, sips his lemonade as his mom carries a weight that her now thin frail frame wonders if possible. The boy chatters doing what is normal to him as she moves around the table doing what a mother always does at a restaurant. Today looks normal but I bet, she knows it is not.
I look at her little boy with her and think of my own.
Today, I get to watch Brighton play his first game of baseball this afternoon. I am a little miffed that I can’t change a work training so I won’t have to miss a game in April. I wonder what she’s thinking she might miss.
Today, I will take him to the park to play with one of his best buddies. I can think of a handful of errands I could run. I wonder if she’d choose the park or Target.
Today, I dream of seeing him turn into a young man, even a dad and on a day of dreaming big, a grand dad. I wonder what her dreams are today.
Last night, we all got home late from a meeting. My kids entertained themselves in the next room for TWO hours while some dozen adults hammered through some details. During the bedtime routine, voices elevated from upstairs and upon my investigation I found excessive water on bathroom floors, clothes (now wet) that should have been placed in the hamper, BOTH bedrooms scattered with B’s toys, Science Etc. homework that still needed completing. I was aggravated and they knew it.
Today, this morning, two tired little bodies got out of bed, walked the dog, and made breakfast. After waffles, bananas and free flowing maple syrup, Brighton found his paper Texas Ranger “T” he colored slightly bent and was bent himself to blame his sister. He had no room for reasoning. No room for grace. No room for letting it go. And neither did I. Stern words, grown up fingers clamped on his bicep, I pointed plainly to his sin of selfishness.
And, gently, He pointed to mine. My grip loosened on his small bicep.
I wonder, would she have sweated the mess upstairs? Would she have even SEEN it behind the wonder of kids streaking pale and cold to find a towel? Would she have seen B’s toys in Julia’s room as a simple desire to be with his only sister? Would she have remembered to applaud them for hanging out for two hours so we could have a meeting and not hire a sitter? Would she have remembered to express her gratitude to them for not dragging around this morning, tired as they were? I wonder, would her words have been gentler, more patient as she tried to make her son understand his sin in blaming his sister? Would her kindness in the midst of irrationality have led him to repentance instead of excuses? I wonder.
I wonder what she has learned through world shaking news, chemotherapy and doctor’s appointments. I bet “today” is a big deal to her and wet clothes on a wet floor is not. I bet she knows expressing gratitude today is a privilege not knowing what tomorrow holds. I bet today with a stop at a park is better than a run through at Target. I bet today is a gift to her and proving a point in haste is not.
Today, I will pick my kids up after piano, take Julia to sewing, join Jeff at the ball field for B’s first game and figure out dinner as we go. They will take baths and inevitably soak the floor. We will read on the couch and Jeff will kiss them and tuck them in tightly.
Today looks normal but because of the lady in the coral scarf, I know it’s not.
264. husband taxi at airport
265. finding house much better than I left it
266. “youths” grown up, flying on faith to India
267. opera for kids
268. boy tallying squirrels
269. J and B having a secret handshake
270. kids making the best of it
271. fruit of discipline-- yet to be seen
272. sister helping brother sort a mountain of Legos
273. five around our table
274. wind reminding me of wide open spaces where I live
275. quiet Saturday morning house
276. friends on floor- “hiding” to talk
277. empty suitcases
278. smell of kids after play
279. homemade scones