Tuesday, January 22, 2013

A Refresher Course in Perspective.

A fresh wave of perspective has hit me like a tidal wave today. A tsunami that has knocked me to my knees and put me on my face with emotion. A realization that was as close as my next breath a few weeks ago when 26 people were taken from their lives in Newton, Connecticut- but sadly a perspective that was easily forgotten through the day to day shuffle of naps, homework, to-do lists, diaper bags, and dinner time rushes. Today, my perspective is back. But that perspective has come with a great price.

Within the last week, two local families in our area have met great tragedy. Two families have lost spouses and children through horrific car accidents. On two very separate occasions, two families went about their normal days and suffered irreversible blows to their core by sundown. Two families are torn in half and trying to figure out how to breathe without their loved ones nearby.

And I was complaining last night about what exactly?

Abi's tangled hair that she (yet again) failed to brush thoroughly?

The fact that my van needs a vacuuming out something horrible and I had no time to do it?

The whimpering that my son does sometimes at night that doesn't require us to go in there but wakes us up nonetheless?

The ache that comes and goes in my right knee?

The fact that I am stuck at a weight that I wish was 10 pounds less?

A cranky baby who was fighting his nap like a champ?

The purpose in life that my daughter has apparently discovered in picking at her almost one year old brother until he snaps a twig?

The fact that I threw an opened container of Greek yogurt across the kitchen and missed the trash can?

Was I really complaining about that?

Because as I look back over those complaints, here's what I see.

Signs of life.

Signs that there are healthy, vibrant, living, breathing people who love each other, love me, and love life, all in my house, warm and safe. Signs that though my life isn't perfect and certainly isn't what I imagined it would be, it's far better than I dreamed it would be and more than I ever hoped for. Signs that I have a safe place to land every day, surrounded by people handcrafted to walk through life with my hand in theirs. Signs that we are living. Signs that life is good.

This blog will be a short one. It's one that doesn't require much explanation or any eloquent words. It doesn't get any simpler than this.

Hug your kids. And often. And look them in the eye. Listen to them when they speak. Touch them on the face. Hold their hand and breathe in their scent. All around you there are parents that would give all their earthly possessions to hear a whine or a shriek one more time--- give their health to answer one more question about ladybugs or what Power Rangers eat for breakfast. Parents who would sacrifice their careers and college degrees for the chance to get up and feed a baby in the middle of the night one more time. Who wish with all their hearts for their child to have a broken arm instead of a debilitating illness or incurable disease. Who see me frustrated and tired with two unhappy children in Wal-Mart and long to go back and push a buggy with a grumpy child or two one more time. Husbands who don't know how to go on without her presence in their home. Wives who regret the morning rush that cost her that goodbye kiss.

My point is this succinct. Stop complaining and live your life. You only get one. And if you're constantly complaining about the messes and the chaos, and you're constantly waiting on the life you always envisioned to begin, it could be that you can't see the forest for the trees, my friend.

Soak it all in. These are the signs of life.

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