This season is hard. I keep reminding myself of the cosmic AND. Life is hard AND life is good.
Our version of hard isn't about life or death or putting babies to bed without their stomachs full (or even without the best dance clases in town). All of our basic needs are met. We have love all around us - and still I struggle with frustration. I want to be able to keep everyone I love perfectly healthy and happy all the time.
No way - of course!
Danny is having vision problems which he (and we) hoped glasses would correct, but last week an eye exam proved him virtually blind in one eye (20-20 last year). We don't know what happend and he's on the waiting list to see a specialist, but the list is too long - at this point the appointment is in January. I have to fight not imagining something awful going on in his little brain - and I am fighting that concern. He is learning and growing, his usual happy self- gives the best hugs.
Ruth had a frustrating time with a football photo job that she knew wasn't a match - and I know she is a grown woman and can handle frustration - but she's my Baby Ruth and she shouldn't have to deal with anything hard. Ever. My rational self is very proud of how hard she is working to salvage this challenge.
As I am proud of James and Joanna for working as hard as they are to keep their little family thriving - and I don't want them to have to work so hard either.
AND, AND, AND
Bob is sick with a fever and too far away in Corpus and struggling with the fifth grade even healthy. He had grades due today and was behind. He was also up for evaluation this morning and has been struggling to keep the class engaged and listening, learning. He talks about needing to yell to get their atention and feeling guilty about yelling - about feeling a lack of personal respect from many of the kids. He does like some of the kides very much and sees that they like him. He was so happy in second grade, really feeling like he was making a difference and clearly doing so. Now I keep looking for silver linings - that his special gifts in math and science make fifth grade a good match- but it sure doesn't feel that way to him. I am afraid to just sympathize, to see the change to fifth grade as a bad thing and support him in face of a clear bad thing. I am afraid to respond with sympathy to almost any circumstance - to myself as well as to others. I think right now my need to find a way to make every circumstance good may be working against Bob's comfort, against what is best for us. I want to relax a little and just let this time be hard, but that relaxing scares me. Personal change is so hard!
On the other side of the AND - the grandkids are a delight. KK seems to have burst through her reading block, read me the last four chapters of Knight at Dawn yesterday with confidence and without struggle - just wanted to see how the story ended! I'm so proud of her. She is also of an age to ask questions like "What's a law suit?" in the context of a movie about protest, which is challenging and fun. Danny is so proud to be able to spell and sound out words, counting everything in sight, growing week by week. Zachy is a total trip. He and I walked to the park this morning and experienced fall literally - acorns on our heads, magnolia seed pods and pecans with the leaves under our fet. He was full of questions about all this cool stuff suddenly falling out of the trees. He keeps me fresh and curious. They all do.