Monday, June 4, 2012

On My Mind

These past weeks, as we have adjusted to our new routine, I have had plenty of time with my thoughts during my long "single-mama" days, ruminating on topics great and small. What path shall we take for our children's primary school education? How early do I have to leave if I am going to get to the faraway, early-Sunday-morning seaweed-harvesting class on time? (Answer: 5am. More on that in a future post.) What could I be doing to make our days go smoother, to nurture growth, to bring more joy into our everyday lives? What should we have for dinner? Did I switch out the laundry yet?

True, a lot of my mental wanderings tend to focus on my own little world, but recent tragic events in our community have also been weighing heavily on my mind. When it seems that the world is spinning out of control, it can be so incredibly hard not to become overwhelmed, and to keep feeling optimistic. I have to constantly remind myself that all I can do, really, is live a life that feels authentic to me, to work on building a strong community, to be kind and help others, and expect the same of my children. And, of course, to seek out and enjoy the small moments of joy and beauty that are present every day. Writing this blog helps me in this endeavor by giving me a space to appreciate the good things in my life. I don't mean to give the impression that our lives are perfect--they aren't--or that we are ignoring the larger problems of the world, but I have purposefully chosen to focus on the positive in this space.

So, that being said, let's return to our regularly scheduled programming....

This past weekend, we had one of C's good friends from school over for the afternoon. I am so glad that we have finally entered the stage when having another child over actually makes life easier--the kids entertained themselves the whole time (I just provided snacks and occasional emotional support). Even D joined in with their games! Everyone had a lovely time.

C and her friend, both totally rocking the "I picked out my clothes" preschooler look

D making "dinner"

One thing that really made me smile was to overhear C's little friend saying quietly to her, "Will you ask your mom if we can..." That statement really brought me back to when I was a little girl playing at my friends' houses. I think about how adults seemed back then: omniscient, kind but perhaps a little dull (what with their preoccupation with chores and work), their inner lives a complete mystery. At moments like these, I take a step back and think how amazing it is that, to them, I am that grown-up! It kind of blows my mind.

I've realized that looking at the world through the eyes of a child can be somewhat therapeutic. Through that youthful idealism we can tap into a sense of wonder about the world; we can more readily see the possibilities rather than focusing on hurdles that seem insurmountable. Holding these values within ourselves can lift us up and help to carry us through difficult times.

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