Two nights ago I turned my ankle (again) and promptly eliminated any running plans I had for the next week or so. I resolved to stop wearing the shoes that are partly responsible for the problem – they’re too big, offer no support, and evidently were made to keep me off balance. But the damage has been done, so for the next few days I will just think about how I should run more when I’m not injured, and regret the runs I’ve missed.
Sigh. Grumble. Cue thunderstorm clouds. I sip my coffee.
You know those days when you can’t catch a break?
In an attempt to redirect myself, I read a prompt from a few weeks ago for inspiration.
I begin to write.
It was an ordinary moment at the end of an ordinary day. I had two kids in car seats, each vying for my attention. I was tired and bedraggled from a day’s work. It was drizzly and I hate driving. So I may have been a wee bit short tempered with my little ones.
My eldest is learning to read, and frequently asks about signs we pass on the road. Stop signs are a favorite, and so are blinking neon signs at motels, gas stations, and restaurants with karaoke. He asks me what they say, and practices spelling.
On this particular afternoon, my nerves were on edge and I had little patience for back seat spelling bees. The boys were fussing at each other, and the youngest began to cry. I pulled up to a red light near the entrance to the freeway. A man stood a few feet from our car, and he was holding a sign.
“Mama, what does that sign say?”
His question, the same question he’s asked me multiple times during the past ten minutes, gave me pause. But then his baby brother started wailing again, and it was really raining now.
I said, “Miles, hush! That man doesn’t have a house!!”
Or something like that.
Ahhh. Silence again. Moments later we arrived home and settled in for the evening. It was an ordinary night, and I quickly let the memory of the commute home slip away.
Later, Miles stood at the window watching the rain. It was dark. Leaves were beginning to turn crimson, orange, yellow, and the night winds were brisk. I felt warm, safe, and at ease.
“Mama, is that man still outside?”
“The man who doesn’t have a house.”
Miles looked troubled. My four year old perceived one of our community’s conditions of pain for the first time. We talked a little about what it means not to have a house, but we didn’t really address the reasons why. He asked me if the man had an umbrella, and I told him I wasn’t sure.
Through my son’s observations, an ordinary moment took on a significance that isn’t easily forgotten. From time to time, he inquires about the man on the street corner, and if he sees him from his perch in the back seat, he watches him intensely until our car drives away. He isn’t satisfied with the idea that some people don’t have a place to go at night.
I often think about ways in which to teach my children compassion, humility, and gratitude.
But more often than not, they teach me.
Some days I’m afraid absolutely no one will read my posts, and other days I’m terrified someone will. Readers, thank you for joining me today.
The prompt: Sometimes the most ordinary, mundane things can turn into extraordinary moments. What was one of your most extraordinary ordinary moments this year?
Our story is in the details … How will you resound?
Sharing Sunday with Authentic Parenting and Hobo Mama!