Of course, our summer presented many fabulous moments. Dear friends and family visits, vacations, multiple beach trips. Our week-long family beach vacation presented tiny gifts in the form of undivided attention, which I drizzled and poured on my children. They rose, stretched and thrived.
My children felt this, because they house fabulous intuitions. They inherently know. They know that they've haven't really had my attention, save those rare moments during vacation. They see me nod, clap, hug, kiss and cook but they know that I'm going through the motions, even though they don't own the words to articulate it.
So, when Abby or Henry throw a rock of yucky behavior into our mud, it splatters. Their negative behavior brings me down, and I then bring them down, and then they bring me down. Splat, splat, splat. We all spiraled down together and I, as the adult, did not remain calm, nonplussed. I tantrummed along with them.
And, in a not unusual, ironic turn, we're all richer for the continual us-ness.
As I shake the metaphorical mud from our boots and wipe my brow, I look up from our trench of learning. I see the sun, brightly illuminating my lesson, once again: ups and downs, Denise. Ups and downs.
I don’t quite know why I force myself to reconcile these two realities because that’s what they both are: realities. Clean boots and muddy boots. Some moments blissful and others reproachable. The other day, after a long string of yuck, I sat in the driveway watching Hubby teach Abby how to play Lacrosse. The shade danced around me as the wind lyrically rustled the leaves. Henry played quietly. Abby’s and Hubby’s full laughter punctuated my thoughts. The sunlight illuminated Abby’s golden curls. I admired her long, lean muscles and quest to learn something new. My mind quieted and suddenly, I was exactly where I was. Thankfully, aware and still enough to realize this was an Up. And I'd better pay attention. I did.