“The soul is healed by being with children.” — Fyodor Dostoyevsky
My daughters are remarkable. There are so many reasons for my saying that… After my run tonight, my daughter Caitlyn told me, “Mom, you run super duper fast… that’s so awesome. Let’s eat popcorn, and tacos, and drink chocolate milk.” Of course. She keeps it in perspective for me. She knows I run, in her world and at her speed which is 1/8th the stride distance I can cover I am, to her, “super duper fast” but that is matched with equal zest for her wanting popcorn, tacos, and chocolate milk. I love it.
My nine-year-old Taylor got home from her dad’s college graduation and hugged me and said, “How was your race mom? I was thinking about you when I was gone. I hope you had fun.” How beautiful those words were when they hit my ears. I hope you had fun. And she meant it. I did have fun.
I told her I got 10th place and she smiled and said, “That’s great mom!” and she hugged me, and with only a slight pause she continued, “The milk in the fridge expires tomorrow, can I drink it tonight? We don’t have any carrot sticks or apples left… can I have a piece of peanut butter toast? Are you getting me from dance Monday? I think I have a meeting about my costume.”
I smiled in spite of myself. They are, in and of themselves, two of the most perfectly created people for me to have in my life at every moment and in every capacity. They balance the things that need balancing. They shower me with love and grant me constant perspective. And when I am down and out, when I am at the bottom and don’t know where to turn, they are there to remind me why I need to keep moving forward and if there is no outside wind for my sails, they inspire me to create it.
I don’t talk about it a lot, but my role as a single parent is challenging but ridiculously rewarding and the time I get to spend with my girls undiluted by anything but just our being together is appreciated by all of us. I’m a thinker, a thoughtful analyzer and as I have mentioned before, this year has made me certain, just certain that if I became reflective and lost in the depths of reading and listening and observing I would find something that would bring the events of my life together into a perfectly packaged reason. But there was no need for searching in the first place. Irony, as it appears, has a way of completely effing with me.
“You will never be happy if you continue to search for what happiness consists of. You will never live if you are looking for the meaning of life.” — Albert Camus
I have tired of intellectualizing my life away… There is a time for everything… this time now is about feeling. I need to live in the most primal sense of the word. Healing comes in the form of all things physical… laughing – belly laughs so hearty and complete my side nearly split and my cheeks were sore and ached to the touch. Watching Catey work diligently to rub her belly and pat her head seamlessly this morning may have actually added YEARS to my life.
”Happiness is to be found along the way, not at the end of the road, for then the journey is over and it is too late. Today, this hour, this minute is the day, the hour, the minute for each of us to sense the fact that life is good, with all of its trials and troubles, and perhaps more interesting because of them.” – Robert R. Updegraf
How often do we just live, do we just feel, do we just let life happen to us without trying to figure out what it all means? Maybe that’s the trick… finding the balance between what is and what we envision…. realizing that maybe what we hope and plan for is a shadow of what’s real? Relinquishing control, letting what we want and what is become one and the same… because what we are given is often more than we need and far more than we deserve. I am reminded through my girls that what I have is so much, more than I could even process moment to moment. These two beautiful girls are my compass, my physical connection to so much more beyond myself and I needed to be reminded of what that feels like. Because feeling is real, feeling hurts and scars and beautifies and reminds… feeling is living.
So, to my beautiful, fragile, and graceful daughters – thank you for the reminder that life is something I have to embrace, enjoy, and experience without a filter… I am still nothing without you… and in your reminders, I am able to become all that I am capable of becoming. Thank you…