Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Deconstruction Work

Grumpy mornings begin in benign enough births, small circumstantial upsets that, alone, mean nothing. Yet pile them one on top of another - a precarious wooden block tower - and life feels unmanageable, hard, and IRREPARABLY BROKEN if we're going for drama.  (And I do go for drama.) A potty training accident.  Crumbs on the floor when I just swept.  A fussy four month old. Baby junk that has completely taken over my living room but that I can't quite find the courage to boot because darn it, the vexing teddy bear swing does work magic.

My words get sharper as the block tower grows.

A tiny voice asks, "Mama, my play on couch?"  I nod, and she rolls along the cushions, burrows herself into the corner.  She's so little and so big all at once, and my heart is struck with tenderness. How many days do I have to watch her play on that couch?  Not as many as I think.

The catchphrases for times like this are many: Choose joy.  Be present.  Live in the moment.  They're good reminders, but sometimes, a little skeletal.  What do they really mean, anyway?  It looks different every day, and I've got to flesh out that bone each new morning.  So, I take a deep breath, and I

smile at her.

Take a picture because I will want to remember her, like this.

Move the teddy bear swing out of the center of the living room and into a corner.

Ask her if she wants to make muffins.  And of course she does.

I often get tricked into thinking that a grumpy day must have a complete reset in order to be rectified. Call Aaron home from work, give me an hour to meditate, and why don't I change into a new outfit to seal the new start?  But that block tower can be dismantled just as it was built, one block at a time, and it sure makes less noise than toppling the whole thing over with flying arms.

In the spirit of honesty, this still happened.

Where does girl get her drama???

Oh yeah.

So we'll do this again and again.  Add a block, take a block, slowly, slowly, knowing all the time,

there's grace in every bit.

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