It was a bad day. I started off with a spring in my step, discovery and new possibilities at my finger tips. Why not an experiment?. Tra la. I chopped up a cup of raw Swiss chard and threw it in my muffin batter. Zucchini, cooked spinach, applesauce, oatmeal, and all kinds of leftovers do just fine in muffins. Raw Swiss chard it turns out does not. They weren’t inedible, but the song they were singing failed to make the family set down their weapons, call a ceasefire and dance. With our worst foot forward, we picked at each other with all the God given skill available.
The morning worked like a giant search light. Illuminating the absolute pointlessness of what I do. The stupidity of even trying. It was a gym day, so no pulling back for a quiet day to reboot.
In P.E. Child X ran for the usual hug upon seeing me. Not a big fan of sports (in her perfect world, we’d all stand around hugging) she was joyfully tagged out and came to sit by me. Glancing down, I found her with a finger so far up her nose, I wasn’t sure she’d be able to retrieve it.
Obviously, I told her to stop. Nose picking, particularly at that kind of depth, was not part of the game and therefore not allowed, I explained.
A second later, she reached up to hold my hand. Naturally, I recoiled.
She was six and dumbfounded.
But I was 42 and unmoved. Another teachable moment. Most people (that includes me) prefer not to hold hands with boogers. No doubt that goes for ear wax and a few other things but I kindly only mentioned the boogers.
It was a giant metaphor. Almost everyone I ran into yesterday had boogers of one kind or another and was trying to touch me . . . despite my obvious need for space (on account of the worthlessness of everything I do).
So yes, a bad day. But it ended in unexpected mercy and by morning’s light, that really seemed the more important part of the day.
A friend came for dinner last night. I love when she comes. She helps the kids with French. I feed an audience that swallows and says thank you no matter what I serve. To my surprise, she arrived with arms loaded. A mammoth package of ribs, baguettes, and a container of my favorite salsa (not available near me and usually reserved for special occasions). No reason for the gifts. She gave her usual excuse: they were on sale. But on sale, just means she buys lots and lots until she’s spent as much as she would have spent if there hadn’t been a sale.
I was too grumpy to let it fix me for good last night. But this morning, it’s hard to miss Love’s little fly by of mercy with the unexpected dumping of grace. Maybe an extra hug for my young friend is in order the next time I see her.