Monday, April 15, 2013

what a bizarre day, full of mixed emotions on a variety of disarrayed levels.

on days like this, i find it comforting to put things in perspective. sometimes that's a difficult mission to accomplish, and today was one of those days.

on days when even perspective seems elusive, i have learned that finding the silver lining in each of the situations is my best route to gaining perspective.

once i got home today, i realized i was going to need some serious mind reframing to help me find the silver linings revolving around words that start with the letter 'b'.

1. browning. the girls and i got home from school. i unlatched the baby gate from browning's room. he got up, and he fell...again, and again, and again. his eyes were doing the bouncing eye thing like they did nine days ago, and he was doing the four-legged dog splits. neither of these were intentional or controllable for him.

2. boston. awful. horrible and tragic. completely heart-wrenching to watch the news feed as i tried to stay updated with what was unfolding using my phone...while i tried to coax my dog into a state of imaginary calm...i tried to coheres myself into a similar state as i read more and tried to keep a nonreactive expression on my face.

it's shocking to think this is happening within our borders. it's easy to let my mind rewind to new york where hurricane sandy cancelled another major marathon only five months ago and terrorists created similar hysteria and tragedy nearly twelve years ago. it's easier to forgive a force of nature than it is to try to understand the mind of a terrorist.

3. babies. my babies. they were panicking because they were watching their watch dog stumble and fall, again, for the second time in a few days. jay said, 'i am so scared right now.' cee said, 'i can't stand to watch this.'

i felt their pain on three different levels, all of which started with the letter 'b'.

silver linings of today:

1. browning: he will be okay. round one was just to get us used to his new condition. we got a gentle introduction. i knew what to expect today since this wasn't brand new. after this little bout of old dog stroke, he is probably going to end up with a head that tilts slightly to the right, and that will make him even cuter and more endearing to us. right now, he's resting comfortably.

2. boston: it's difficult to find a silver lining here. really, really difficult. you can't force a silver lining, but follow along with me and let's skip to the next steps in my thought processes.

3. babies: cee overheard another teacher telling her teacher about something that happened today. she didn't know what it was, but she asked me, in front of jay, when we got home - 'can you talk to me about what happened in boston today?' this gave me a starting point. i am very thankful for that starting point. they'd both overheard enough that they had reasonable questions to ask me about boston. they both know enough about browning to talk about their concerns with me.

1 + 2 + 3: i was able to find a silver lining to combine all of my b's today. just before bedtime, i walked into their rooms to give them the five-minute warning. instead of finding them arguing over outfits and accessories (as has been par for the last couple of weeks), i found them holding hands, heads bowed, saying a prayer together.

i've never seen this before. it was a pretty amazing thing, especially considering that our church-going habits are less than regulated and more likely aligned with major holidays that correspond with a church event.

they asked for healing for browning.

they asked for comfort for the people injured today.

they asked for peace for everybody in our world.

i was pretty thoroughly amazed by their unity, their words, and their actions.

and that's a silver lining of my own that i would have never found without inspiration from two little ladies who didn't even realize their mom was in desperate need of her own silver lining for the day.

we talked about what questions they had, we talked about what fears they had, and i tried my best to answer their questions while i eased their worries. i told them how much i love the kindness in their hearts.

before this unfolded and i was going into their rooms for tuck-ins, i had this whole thing planned around something mr. rogers' mom said - something about looking for the helpers as a means of deflecting our attention from the negative and redirecting our attention in a way which encourages kind actions...and i know i was going to say something completely brilliant that tied it back to boston and browning before i kissed them goonight, and it would have resonated in the exact way they needed it to...

...and instead i was pretty blown away by everything i saw them do tonight. that's when it hit me: there are some silver linings i just can't find on my own.

all that's left right now is helping boston find its silver lining. i know it's there: people from around the world are running to help in a million different ways. i saw two of those ways tonight. i hope boston can feel all of the love - i know they need it right now.


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