When he was small, my youngest son had a habit of filling his pockets with treasures he encountered in his daily adventures. I didn't always understand the value he saw in his chosen objects -- really, how many rocks and sticks could one boy keep? In his eyes, though, each one was beautiful and important. Life is just like that on a larger scale, isn't it? We gather up the precious bits of our experiences and save them all to learn from and enjoy later. Perhaps you'll find a little something here that you'd like to keep in your own pockets. Thanks for visiting.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Awful and wonderful

This morning I woke up with a stuffed up nose and a gloopy throat, the remnants of a cold that's not quite ready to give up its grip on me yet.  Down the hall I could hear Noah, who is a few days behind me on this cold, coughing and blowing his nose.  The temperatures outside had dropped to below zero temperatures overnight, giving the morning a chilly feel to it even in the house, and when I stepped out into the hallway I was greeted by dozens of little fake red berries and artificial evergreen bits scattered everywhere, leftovers from the previous night's late-evening attempt to start decorating the house for the holidays.  Will's pre-Christmas excitement, which seems to have already kicked in this past week, was ramped up to very high levels; he was bouncing off the walls like a ping pong ball, loud, overly emotional, and annoying his brother every 1.5 seconds for the first few hours of the day.  The griddle broke while I was cooking our Saturday morning breakfast, and my efforts to take a nice photo of the boys outdoors to use for this year's Christmas card turned into a gong show of epic proportions, where all three of us ended up yelling and crying and saying things we didn't really mean.  It would have been very easy to simply write the day off as a "Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day".


This morning when I looked out my bedroom window there was snow on the ground, the first real snow of the season, and it was white and pretty and seemed to transform the world into a place of hope and promise.  There were snowman pancakes for breakfast, shared by four family members sitting close around a kitchen table wearing cozy jammies.  Christmas music, played for the very first time this season, filled the house with old familiar melodies, and hearts with fond memories of holiday seasons past and loved ones who live far away.  There was time spent outdoors in the winter wonderland that appeared overnight, and the sight of Will zipping down the little hill in our backyard on a sled for his inaugural ride of this winter, such a simple but delightful pleasure, made me smile.  There were quiet moments where we enjoyed the peaceful glow of the twinkling lights now strung throughout our home, and after the Christmas photo gong show, there were lots of I'm sorrys and promises from all of us to try to be better next time.

This is what real life looks like; the bad and the good, the moments of chaos and frustration and a sense that everything is wrong intricately woven with moments of calm and joy and a sense that things couldn't be more right.  In the same way that we so appreciate the cheerfully hung lights this time of year after weeks of gray skies and early evening darkness, sometimes the not-so-pretty moments in life make the truly lovely ones seem to twinkle all that more brightly.

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