Today did not come gently, it clattered down over me after the riotous exit of the disaster that was yesterday. I vowed not to let myself give into the temptation to be forcefully bitter and resentful. While my fingertips aren’t bloody, they should be for all the clinging to positivity I’ve practiced. I snapped at the girls on the way to the sitter, they were thrusting artwork over the passenger seat as I drove.
Fin: “Look’t this one mama.”
Ave: “And here’s this one.”
Fin: “And look at this one.”
Ave: “Mom, grab my shell. My shell! It fell.”
Bri: “Hey, Ave that was cool, that rhymed. Did you hear the rhyme, mom? Shell and fell.”
Fin: “What shell?”
Ave: “My shell! It fell! Please get it, mom.”
Bri: “See, you are rhyming still. Wait, does that rhyme? Still, shell, fell…”
Fin: “Can I see the bell?”
Bri: “Oooh, another rhyme.”
Ave: “What bell?”
I snapped at them, wildly waving an arm in front of me, “Do you see this girls? Do you see all the cars and people I need to watch? It’s too much.”
They were silent.
“Listen, I’m sorry. We are just having a bad day at work. I shouldn’t get mad, but I do need to concentrate on the road. I’ll look at your stuff when we stop.”
Fin: “That’s ok, mama. We did anything they asked us to at school because we were so good. You don’t havta worry about us today.”
They were quiet the rest of the ride. Why does the quiet always distract me more than the noise they make? When we got to the sitter’s Briar asked if she could show me her artwork. I said that I didn’t have time as I took her hand and walked her in to the house. They quickly shucked off any bad feelings as they began playing with Uno cards. I walked out to the car feeling defeated. I tried to shake it on the drive back to the office.
I parked my car beneath the shade of a tree and leaned back into my seat. The stack of art projects beside me shone against the grey upholstery. I decided to look through them so that I could rave about them when I picked up the girls. No sooner had I unfolded the first one that the color of the day shifted. Yes, there are some things I need to slog my way through, but I have three luminous, little girls who worship me. When I read them stories they trace their fingertips along my skin, they lean their heads against my body and murmur that they love me.
They see shapes and colors in different ways, offering perspectives that remind me of how much magic there is to experience if only we get out of our own way.
I sat with their pictures, photographing them to show to Sean and counting my blessings, of which there are more than I deserve some days.
Magical creatures, these children. It’s as if they know and can fix it before we even get there. I wish they could keep their innocence and open minds forever.
Was reminded of this post today. Coming her and seeing your comment was another ripple of positivity. Thanks for your friendship, Dawn.
The quiet always gets me more than the noise, too.
Beautiful paintings, beautiful girls.
Partners in remorse sometimes, no?
Feeling much the same way as you are. Trying to get past myself to just enjoy what I have and not worry about anything more than being present. So much is out of our control, yet we fight like crazy to try and control it. Thanks for sharing this beautiful art.
We are lucky, most of all when we are least aware.
Love this! Made me remember days like that with my eldest who’s now a teen. Oh to have that “worship” again, I didn’t treasure it nearly enough. Thank you – I look forward to the days of sharing projects with my younger 3 girls and holding on to those special moments. They truly go so fast.
When they are older and 1 week from leaving for college you will be glad to for the memory you pulled over and looked at their art work first. They might not remember it… but you will.
I know this more each day.
Love the vibrancy and joie de vivre of these pix – the sun, and tree, and rainbow, and birds, and happy house – what else is there? And, is that a belly button in the 2nd picture? We all need to be reminded of how connected we are. The belly button does that for me. Thanks for sharing.
Belly buttons, daughters also teach you not to hate your own as they worship every bit, soft or taut.
It’s such a treasure to revisit this post fresh the morning after and seeing these tender echoes of my emotions. Thank you for coming back again and again and for being such dear friends.
And yes, Peggy, that is ind eed a belly button. I showed it around in the office yesterday and we all giggled. “A belly button for Pete’s sake, how can you not laugh?”
Moments like these are the best and worst…
They are and I love that other people like you get them. And me.
I wish I could, in this case, insert a video of me nodding as I read your words instead of writing a comment. Our children: purveyors of fine simple moment cultivation.
I can see it.
Amanda, you write so beautifully. Gentle, weaving words that bring to life your story.
Children – they truly are our hearts.
And now you have another, magic mama 🙂
Captured so much in this post. Love the art. All the times I didn’t take the time…
You did take it though.
“Today did not come gently” caught me immediately.
Beautiful. I loved it.
–how do I subscribe?????????? am i a dork or what?