By @meriahnichols on December 21, 2011
Spilled milk, on the table
Moxie had been having fun, figuring out how much she liked her nan coated in the stuff.
At first, I looked at that spilled milk, all over the table. All over Moxie and myself as well, as that point, looked at the sternly unsmiling restaurant staff, looked back at the spilled milk and made the decision - the conscious decision - to just think it's pretty damn cool.
Mess, smesh. I don't care.
I'm just going to be all kinds of thrilled over the contrast of the white milk and the red table. I'm going to be all kinds of thrilled over the generous spirit of my Love Bunny, offering me her nan-dip-dip
I'm going to be psyched to the tip of my chinny-chin-chin that my kids are such happy eaters
Look at them, scarfing down that Indian food!
And I'm going to be awash in delight that my Mom chose to share her Groupon for the buffet with us. Yes! Thank you, Ma!
Sometimes I think it boils down to choice. Am I going to see the spilled milk or the contrasting colours? Am I going to see my Bunny generously sharing or am I going to see myself smeared with more gunk that I'm going to have scrub off later? Am I going to look at that pile of beans that we are going to eat and sigh and be *this* sick of them or am I going to be tremendously happy that we are full and bellies content?
Because it's hard sometimes, you know. And you do know; we all know. Sometimes everything is such a bitch. After rolling in the squishy trenches of Things Dark, I think it serves me better to get up and try and find some spark of delight to me lift on and out.
We have decided to not travel with our Prowler. After our last week-long trip to the hot springs, we realized we really don't need it. That Baja will be better with just a 4x4 that can go anywhere, not loaded down with a trailer. Plus, cheaper: the weight of the trailer will add a LOT to the gas bill.
Mikey thought it would be cool to make it into an art studio... and I fell in love with him again. That's exactly what we're doing: making it into an art studio and it's about as cool as a Prowler gets.
My boy and I went there and strung cranberries for our small solstice tree, which the Aunties downstairs are sharing with us.
Yeah, a needle and a 3-year old...
This was very closely supervised, I assure you (in between taking these photos, that is)
We had some music playing and the tiny space heater which Ma gave us was doing it's cheerful duty. It was cozy, warm and my boy was raptly stringing away, enchanting me.
I thought again of the beans - bleh - and thought of the fact that my choosing to eat a lot of them - to take the financial hit of quitting my job to stay at home - means that I am soaking up moments like this with my boy that others simply don't get. My choice is only possible because of Mikey's unflagging support and because we don't have much debt. We don't have a lot of money but we also don't owe a lot of money. I think the anxiety of simply not having much money is oceans-deep less than the anxiety of owing, so I'm grateful, very very grateful, that we are not in that horrible position.
I am also very grateful that I am able to raise these kids simply - so that they take the delight that they do in something like stringing cranberries. That the action of creating is magical to them.
That the bright colours and contrast of the red, the check, may make them happy. It's the small things we need to notice, I think, to find rich joy in all aspects of our lives.
And maybe sometimes it's a great thing to not have a lot of money as it trains one to really focus and see the bright. It's harder to do that when you are surrounded by a lot.
This is all so conditional though. Conditional on having enough money to maintain that sense of dignity, enough money to keep our chins up and not feel weighted. Enough money to ensure our kids are not hungry - nor ourselves. Enough so that dreams don't feel senseless, futile, unachievable. Enough to pay the internet bill so that we can blog and do something bordering the creative while the kids are still asleep. Enough to have kids. It's conditional: living simply is a good thing, so long as...
So long as the colours stay true, maybe.
Tomorrow is the Winter Solstice: longest night of the year. We're going to celebrate that, in our simple way. Probably with the turkey we saved from thanksgiving, most definitely with a ton of love. With community spirit. With family. With gratitude. And with photos that I'll share if we all look good enough, haha!
And in the meantime, we'll clean up, maybe string up popcorn to accompany those cranberries. Brine the meat. Collect wood for a bonfire. Enjoy today, 12/21/2011 with all of it's delightful collection of "2"'s and "1"'s in the date, lots of symmetry going on in there. And I hope you have a great one, too.
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