There was a morning not too long ago where things were just, well… shitty. I was exhausted. The kids were extra whiny. The baby wasn’t happy in one place for more than five minutes at a time. Everything was off-kilter. I spent the first half of the day trying to keep my head above water, all of my patience and parenting guile strained to the nth.
Slow things down.
Give them what they need.
Remember to be kind.
As midday started to roll around I began to get some relief. First, my son Rocky gave up the ghost. That’s right, he died ;). Then, my daughter got settled in for some quiet time. One more bottle feeding to go and I had whipped the worst of it. I put the baby down gently in his crib, gave him his binky, and slinked out of the room like a ninja.
On days like these, that first exhale standing outside of the nursery could blow a house down. All the tension, worry, and frustration comes rushing out of you in a tempest.
I took a deep breath, then went into the kitchen to get a bite to eat and recuperate a bit (full disclosure: there was probably a fist pump and an F-bomb in there somewhere). I made a sandwich, cracked open a soda pop, and had just sat down when I heard it…
This is how the world ends, not with a crash but with a click. A seismic shock of disappointment rippled through me as the sound of baby Boston’s pacifier reverberated off the hardwood floor. I braced myself for the impending wails that would follow.
This is the space where courage fails…
These are the moments where you’re not sure if you have anything left in reserve to give…
[lead]This is how you lose heart and hope- all because of a nearly inaudible trifle that almost no one else would catch.[/lead]
There is much of Life in this. We all know these sounds, the ones that cue our disappointment. For me, it might be the sound of a pacifier falling or the premature pitter-patter of little feet the morning after a sleepless night. For others, it’s a text-tone that signals trouble, an email alert at a time that can only mean more work, the snap and pop of a trick knee bereft of its old glory, or a dull hum under the hood of a car they can’t afford to repair. Softly as sneak thieves, these sounds slip into our daily lives and rob our peace of mind, disquieting our souls.
So, be kind to one another. What sounds like an innocuous click to you might seem more like a dropping hammer to your spouse, co-worker, or friend. Don’t be too quick to judge when folks “overreact” to apparently small catalysts. And, listen. When you’re able, keep an ear out for those quiet cacophonies that are happening in the lives of those around you. You never know when your simple and sincere words of consolation might echo unto them as…
[lead]”Peace. Be still.”[/lead]