Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Ask the Eight Ball

When I was a kid there was this awesome toy that a family friend owned and every time we visited, my brother, sister, and I would beg to play with it.  It was black, with a cool magical screen that displayed a tiny triangle showing words of wisdom and prospect.  That toy was the magical "Eight Ball."
This was such an amazing toy!  I can remember asking it if we were going to win our baseball game against Brussels later that week, or if we'd get to the beach that summer, or even if I was going to be able to see my Grandma anytime soon.  Silly kid questions.  Silly kid responses.

But, life without an eight ball is where it's at.  Not one of us knows what tomorrow will hold until we are knee deep into it, or sailing on top of a cloud through it.  

I make the knee deep reference because lately that's where I've been going.  Both mentally, physically, and even, if I dare say, spiritually.  Knee deep.  

It's so easy to get caught up in the latest gossip, about what he's doing, or why she's not here, or even what makes me a 'better teacher/parent/sister/friend/etc.,' than the person sitting next to you.  What's worse, is that I know it's wrong.

I call that negativity going to "Frown Town." Population: you, me and anyone else within striking distance.  I would like NOT to take up permanent residency within the boundaries of Frown Town, although I know I've had my stay there once, twice, or a few hundred times before. 

I think the key to not visiting and staying for any length of time is self care.  Now, I'm not talking about the "Me First!  I need to be pampered and pressed, massaged and manicured (although, those things are nice!).  

Rather, I mean that if I don't start by shaking my own eight ball and making myself see the responses I need to see, to be the type of person I'd like to be around; then I'm not going to be any good to anyone.  Especially those little people that need me to be authentically present.  Each day.  

Tonight when I arrived home, I literally came home to this:
At first, after taking off my shoes, dropping my bag, and checking the mail (just a banking statement), I was almost perturbed.  Quickly moving into thinking that, "How could my husband let my oldest make such a mess, when, low and behold, didn't he know that I had a busy day today, that I was tired, and that I really didn't have the energy to be baking a cake at this hour!?"

Then, THANKFULLY, before I even opened my mouth to address the clutter of Betty Crocker's red box, my son smiled, and proudly said, "What do you think mom?  Isn't this great?  I got all the ingredients and materials out all by myself!  We can make cake tonight!"  My heart melted. 

I promised this wee man a few nights ago that we would make a cake, do some baking, and then the busyness of life got in the way.  Late home from work too often lately, commitments that I should have said a firm "No" to, and then the ever mounting feeling of the end of the school year and all the awesomeness that it entails.  It has the potential to make me (or anyone else who's juggling tasks) feel like a Nascar race driver fighting all the way to the finish.

Tonight I am thankful that my son knew what to do to get my attention.  To make me stop, look, and take care of me, all through taking care of him.  I want to remember this moment.  I want to shake the Eight Ball and see that I might not receive the answer that I think I need to hear at any given moment or time right now, but that I can easily re-shake, re-shake, and even re-shake if need be. 

And, if I don't like the answer that I see, I can put the toy back into the play room, trust in all He does, and reroute around "Frown Town" while remembering that a re-shake, where from the ball or a small child is just what I might need.

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