Archive for May, 2009

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Look at everything as though you were seeing it either for the first or last time. Then your time on earth will be filled with glory. –Betty Smith

May 21, 2009

Look at everything as though you were seeing it either for the first or last time. Then your time on earth will be filled with glory. –Betty Smith

Yesterday Olivia lost another tooth. She now has seven holes in the front of her mouth, which makes for a convenient reason not to eat applies, carrots, or celery sticks. Chocolate pudding will do just fine, she says.

Losing a tooth is a magical moment. It’s both exciting and a bit nerve racking. Big kid teeth. Never again will tiny white chips fall out, unless of course, you play hockey. Losing teeth is a rite of passage. Say hello to grown up teeth and goodbye to the old. Life continues that way.

It’s a shame we can’t greet each goodbye, each hello, each experience with the same zest that a 6-year-old does, when say, writing a note to the tooth fairy. How lovely it would be if we could say all our hellos and goodbyes to people and possessions in our life with utter possibility.

“Dear Tooth Fairy, Will my tooth be put in you castle? Which room will it go in? I hope you set it next to the skis.” Love, Olivia. And magically, a reply and a dollar appear under a pillow. That’s glorious possibility.

Wouldn’t it be nice to say goodbye and hello in only the way a first grader looks in the mirror after losing a tooth, saying hello and goodbye to a whole new look? A new, magical beginning.

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Chocolate for Jesse

May 11, 2009

Find the good. It’s all around you. Find it. Showcase it and you’ll start believing it.”
–Jesse Owens

Does this mean that if I start finding chocolate I’ll get more? Like on Easter morning? My youngest daughter would like this analysis. Chocolate breeds more chocolate. Oh heaven, you found me.

I’ve heard about the law of attraction many times. And, I believe it. Not in magical chocolate appearing (wouldn’t that be great?!), but in getting what you give. Little kids constantly remind us of this.

Yesterday, a friend told me her three-year-old dropped her juice at Target and said, “Oh shit.” What happened to toddlers saying, “Uh oh.” Or “Boo Boo?” Our kids reflect who we are time and time again. And the times, they are a changing.

In a day and age when technology pounds us with stimulation, cars lock the grid, and people round corners from every angle, we do get a lot. A lot of junk.

How do we respond to all this stimulation? Can we find good in the face of buzzing idiots? Instead of flipping off the snowboarder who cuts me off, can I wave? For me, it’s hard to be kind to snowboarders, but I’ll give it a go.

Is it possible to give goodness in the face of it all? I hope so. While the outcome might not be more chocolate, I think we can find simple abundance at every corner. And who knows, maybe it will be just as sweet.

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Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgment that something else is more important than fear. –Ambrose Redmoon

May 4, 2009

Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgment that something else is more important than fear.  –Ambrose Redmoon

Last blog I blissfully recounted our family’s togetherness on vacation. Like any balanced yogi will tell you, it’s not all joy in Mudville. There must be sorrow to make sweet.

On vacation, snags happen. Lost baggage, terrible snowstorms, a dead car battery. While those happened, what’s worse was the annual Tye tale. That boy brings on stories you want to forget, frightening moments in time that you wish never happened. With Tye, a few paralyzing minutes take every muscle of courage I have to carry on. Believe me, fear’s always present, but like Ambrose says, courage is not the absence of such feeling. It’s the reasoning that something’s more important. Like our lives.

This year, my son and I ventured out on a small Hobie Cat. For you non-salty types, it’s a little sailboat shaped like two canoes linked together with a sail. It wasn’t a windy day, so while I made Tye wear his life jacket, I did not. I knew how to sail and swim. Wrongo.

We sailed far out in the bay, gliding along the turquoise water, when a sudden gust blew us over. Capsizing in an ocean is not an adventure one wants to have. I’ve capsized on lakes before. I’ve stood on centerboards and pushed sails up to right them. But, there are no centerboards on Hobie Cats.

After a few deep breaths I started screaming. Perfect. We were sailing in a bay near a deserted beach with no people, no boats, no nothing but the wide-open sea. Screaming helps in such situations, don’t ya think? Once I realized there was no white knight coming, I thought about the impending reefs. Sharks. The wind and the current rapidly pulling us out into the Atlantic.

Abandon ship? Almost. Except I had no life jacket. Could we swim back to shore? Instead, I swam around the boat and climbed onto one side of the boat. Using every ounce of energy that I had, I pulled. Tye pulled too. We were lucky, and it worked.

After catching our breath, and the wind in the right direction, we B-lined back to shore. By that time Dan had climbed into a real kayak and was paddling hard to save us. Mr. White Knight. We breezed right by him and waved. Relief didn’t really come until I felt the sand between my toes, but the moments had past. We had used our courage and saved ourselves. But don’t let anyone ever think otherwise. Fear is most definitely present in the face of courage.