20 December 2012
14 December 2012
This Friday-Fun-Day hasn’t quite unfolded as I imagined it would when I stirred from sleep this morning.
“What will it be?” I wondered, still tucked away in the warmth of my bed after Paul left for the day; I vaguely remember his kiss goodbye. “Good morning, Mom,” Maya (8) peaked in, smiled, then rattled off a series of questions I no longer recall about our morning, our anticipated departure time, our plans for the weekend and for the rest of December. Cole (7) stood bedside shortly thereafter to greet me with a warm smile, a hug, a good deal of information about various Lego® ships and on his way to get breakfast he reported, “Mom, I have 62 items on my Christmas list this year!” Oh yay, oh good: December.
From bed to shower to already-sticky kitchen counter, I thought about the season and its speed, about simplicity and its complexities, and about the stray beads strewn around our house after last night’s ambitious (abandoned) Christmas projects. I thought about the family Christmas photo we still haven’t gotten around to, the fun-filled weekend with Grandma which lay ahead for my kiddos and the productive (quiet) weekend at home for Paul and me. But mostly, as I wiped down the counter, swept up beads and Kix® from the floor and asked for grace, guidance and inspiration, I thought about this letter.
This morning I was unsure what I’d write about except that we got to school early (to Maya’s relief), I finished the last of my Christmas shopping (to Cole’s relief), with both time and money to spare, I stuck to our lean Christmas budget like glue (to Paul’s relief) and to my relief and deepest delight, I danced today.
If only the rest was so simple.
This afternoon, on the way back from my dance class, I was in a traffic accident. Let me rephrase that: I caused a traffic accident. I was rushing to catch the 1:30 ferry home and Sarah, the girl in the other lane, was on her way to see her dad in the hospital. “It hasn’t been a great day,” she explained as we parted ways unharmed. Twenty minutes earlier I was thinking just the opposite.
And now I’m home. It’s dark out and Paul just left a bit ago for a meeting at school. Our kids are en route to their Grandma’s house and the good folks at USAA have confirmed that my auto insurance deductible exceeds my entire Christmas budget by 25%. The scent of pine and the glow of twinkly lights from the Christmas tree we’ve affectionately named Shorty fills the room, and apart from the periodic splashes and taps coming from the goldfish bowl on the kitchen counter, our house is silent.
Prior to Paul’s departure tonight, he and I sat together in this sweet silence. We exchanged stories and noted details from today that might have otherwise been lost. As this Friday-Fun-Day unfolded, we each did what we love in spite of some mistakes. Our children went to a school they love, and now they bask in the affection of a woman whom they adore. As we’ve said before, we have so much for which to be grateful.
Today, a man left home early while his wife slept-in, blissfully unaware. Two disparate lives intertwined at a downtown intersection while a man lay in his hospital bed awaiting a visit from his unexpectedly delayed daughter. A woman in a hurry missed the boat. A grandmother graciously listened to detailed accounts of a typical school day and meanwhile, in an elementary school on the other side of the country, 26 lives were taken. Tonight, countless parents sit in the dark stunned in silence.
No, today didn’t play out according to plan for any of us. Nevertheless, we continue. We live. We love. We cry. We pray. We come together. We laugh. We give thanks. We hope. We remember.
Sending love in the beauty and ashes of this holiday season,
Paul, Abi, Maya and Cole
Posted by Abi T. at 9:43 PM