While we were there this family poured in. Six little beautiful children all with bright golden heads of blond hair. Something about them was decided different than other children. They were so sweet with each other and so all-around polite. When the oldest 12-ish year old girl saw Doodle her face lit up. Hiiiii, she happily exclaimed, which of course made me love her. He was trying to climb some stairs and he started to slip until she quickly caught him and stopped his fall. She followed him the rest of the way up the stairs and then looked over at me and smiled. Thank you for helping him, I told her. Are these all your brothers and sisters? I asked. We are cousins, she said. My Grandma and Grandpa brought us here.
I was enthralled by this little perfect family. I watched them play and interact; continuously polite and hilarious. The Grandma and Grandpa were funny and loving and stern. I wanted to be adopted. I wanted to be a part of this group of family and love. I wanted desperately for Greyson and Parker to have THIS. This sibling-ness. I wanted four more kids. It would be so EASY, I thought. With all these kids I would be so busy I wouldn't even have time to be tired! I reasoned. I want that so much my skin ached.
It's so easy to idealize other peoples lives. We imagine all that would be good about it without realizing that there is so much we don't know about. We easily assume that others have it easy and perfect and exactly like they had planned when really- we are all just creating life as we go along. Making the best out of the crap parts. Being aware and then grateful of the parts that are beautiful. We have to believe that there are so many details in our own life that we DO get to choose. So much that IS up to us and we have an obligation to create a life that makes us happy. It's not always easy but it is always important and it is always worth it. It's easy to compare our lives and feel like we are unlucky. Maybe we could compare as a reminder to be grateful too.
On Saturday I was dying for some of my favorite chewy chocolate chip cookies. We were cleaning and packing and it wasn't the best of times to start baking but I didn't care. Michael- will you help me for five minutes to make some cookies? I asked. You put all the dry stuff in this bowl. I'll do the sugar and the wet stuff and we will be done in no time. We both went about our portion, measuring, pouring and stirring.
I excitedly pulled them out of the oven and they were still hot and gooey as I grabbed one off the cookie sheet to take the first bite, already so excited. I waited for the familiar taste to flood my mouth and I was shocked when I felt- nothing. Blah. They didn't taste awful....they just tasted...wrong. It hit me almost instantly.
Did you put salt in your mix? I called out to Michael.
Was I supposed to? He responded.
Mmmmm-hmmmmm, I said. So that was it- the cookies were missing salt. I was SHOCKED at how weird, wrong, flat and yucky the cookies tasted to me without something as little and simple as 1 1/4 teaspoons of salt. Cookies- which by nature are sweet- are not very good without the contrast of salt. Just like life my friends. A good, easy, perfect flat life is never ever as good as a life with hard times, with contrast, with meaningful lessons and longing. Without the salt, we can't really ever appreciate the sweet.
I'm sorry I forgot to add salt- Michael yelled from upstairs. That's ok, I called back. I didn't have delicious cookies but I did have a small epiphany about life.
Some sweet scenes from the weekend...
Saturday night out with some of the most amazing women to celebrate my birthday. After we moved to this new city I prayed and prayed and prayed to find people who felt like home. People who showed up. I am grateful for answered prayers.
We all stayed in our pajamas until noon today.
"When I was 5 years old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down ‘happy’. They told me I didn’t understand the assignment, and I told them they didn’t understand life". John Lennon
I hope you create an amazing week.