Monday, May 5, 2014

To Live For Whats Important

My hair brush went missing. 

For a week now.

The last time it was seen, the little guy with big blue eyes was running through the house like Bam-Bam using it as a small club, beating dust out of the furniture.

To. his. great. delight.

I've looked and it cannot be found. For some reason a comb just isn't the same on hair like mine. If you see me, be kind, you'll know why I look the way I do.

The whole week has been a little off the rails, but the way it began helped me keep in perspective what is really important.

In the night before my brush went missing, my phone was blinking that I had a text. I would not usually notice or read a text in the night, but this time I did. It kind of made me sit up in bed and think about running the vacuum. My daughter was just reminding me that three kiddos would be arriving clad in their jammies for a full day with their Nana. She had asked weeks before, but sometimes Grandma’s just need lots of reminding.

She did not lie. 

They arrived bright and early with their sleepy eyes and bushy little bedheads.  Parts of my office were carried upstairs to the kitchen table like a small command center. Goodness knows I needed a Command Center. Poor planning left me with no fresh fruit and few good options for breakfast. Avocado, raisins and almonds were received with mixed reviews for the first two rounds. Organic macaroni and cheese was served next. No one was impressed. Slices of homemade toast with almond butter and local honey were more entertaining than filling. Dabs of the sticky stuff go a long way when it is licked, dripped, and worn.

Less than an hour into the day, the little person said, they had to go to the bathroom and did not need any help, thank-you. I’m trying to capture the wonder of high winds and sideways-snow this time of year.

It was then, that I heard the voice say, "Grandma I think I need help."

I answered, "Okay, there in a minute!"

Three more pictures. Click. Click. Click.

The oldest chimes in, "Grandma, I think this is an emergency!”

Three of us stood in the doorway in awe, staring at one pajama footed child in the center of swirling water.

Water was flowing over the rim of the toilet bowl, kind of like a circular waterfall, splashing over the edges into the one inch of moving water that had already covered the floor, finding its way downhill, through the heater vent and every crack.

The youngest shrieked with complete joy at an indoor splash park, the tallest was wowed by the sheer velocity of water moving. 

It took a few moments before I came to my senses and moved into action. The kids were all a little disappointed when I set them out on high ground and grabbed a plunger to attack the toilet. Fortunately this worked and left me to throw every towel we owned on the ground to stop water from leaving the room.

In the end there were four loads of towels to be washed, minimal damage to property and, as one little person evaluated the situation, a happy bonus to the whole thing, was that the bathroom floor was now mopped. (Even though toilet water isn't what I normally like to use.) 

So our day unraveled with the wonder that children bring to this life.

There on the floor, I, in my yoga pants that have never seen a yoga class in their life, hair matted on one side, and the three bright-eyed wonders, we spent the day inside while the world howled out our window. 

And it looks like pajamas with dinosaurs, Mario, monkeys and moose’s, all spread out on blankets and pillows. And love wraps around my chest as they lay on their tummies making truck noises, playing dolls and shooting arrows that stick to the refrigerator. We talk about “what if’s” and “whys,” and “when’s.”

And then, more “whys.”

They use their imaginations to build cities, farms and use fist fulls of play money to buy more Tonka trucks. They have more questions and curiosity and the wonder of the world though their eyes makes me wake up to some wonder in mine.

They want to make cookies and everyone has to help and eat their creations before they are cooked. I just want to let them break eggs and pick out egg shells and figure life out without me controlling the quality.

Mostly I did not learn this as much as I wish when my own children were filled with all the fascination and mayhem of being young.

Albert Einstein, whose name is synonymous with being brilliant is quoted as saying this," I have no special talent, I am only passionately curious.”

When my day is rearranged by these precious hopes for the future, I want to keep my focus on what is really important. It can be letting just about everything slide, singing silly songs that get stuck in your head, rolling around on the floor that needs swept in a sea of Tonka Trucks, bows and orange tipped arrows and Polly Pocket pieces, making cookies that might have chunks of egg shell in them and making up new names for super heroes. 

Really, when was the last time I embraced how cool is it, to tug on a roll of toilet paper and just watch it spin like a top, unraveling beautiful folds of narrow white stuff?

What is most important is to love like the One who commands the waves and who loved us first. To allow space and time for wonder and to be curious like a child. In a world that says knowledge is the all, that ends all, to first know that we need to embrace the wonder of things which most grown-up smart people run by.

Today, in all that will happen, all that you and I plan and then the things we did not plan, may we remember what is really important.


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© Rhonda Quaney