Just What We Need When We Need It

by Cate on September 26, 2011

“Are you kidding me?” I heard Mystic say from the other room.

“Did you already post for tonight?” he asked me, as he came into the office.

Not yet, but I’m three lines away.

“Good.  I think you should add this,” he said, showing me his Chinese fortune cookie.  Nick was cleaning up in the dining room and found a few fortune cookies leftover from take-out last week.  And between the two of them, they were gone in minutes.

Important Words

Which was, surprisingly, immediately followed by this:
Second Fortune
(They will, of course, be added to our Chinese fortune wall)

This was exactly what we needed after this weekend.  Or after the past couple of weeks.

Dude, life is hard sometimes.  This is not a news flash, I know.  Whatever your lot is in life, it is filled with the good, the bad and the downright ugly.

Juggling single parenting along with work, maintaining a home, cooking good-for-you meals, freelancing, a new pet … well, folks, you know as well as I do, it’s all hard.

We’re all in the trenches.  Slogging away.  Day after day.  Night after night.

There are moments when I need to catch my breath.  And can’t.

When I need thirty seconds of peace to think a complete thought.  And can’t.

When I need to be able to finish a conversation (heck, even a sentence!).  And can’t.

But at the end of every day, I fall into bed exhausted, slightly stressed, but happy.

And it is because I know the real value of the day.

I wouldn’t trade it for anything.  Not anything.

Because in all that stuff that we have to slog through, there are these bits of magic.

When Nick grabs my hand to hold it.  In public.

Or when he turns to give me a kiss before leaving.  Which is not always, mind you, but sometimes.

Or when he finally understands a lecture I’ve been preaching since the dawn of time.

When Madeline brushes the hair from my eyes and tells me I’m “the best ever.”

When she offers to massage my feet, along with half a bottle of lotion, because she knows my ankle is sore.

When Mystic’s son, a teenager, throws his arms around his waist and whispers that he loves him.

When his youngest son turns in an essay for school on his hero, and the person he chose was Mystic.

Those are the moments of real value.  The reward for a job well done.  Or a day well spent.  Or a connection well made.

I get it.  I completely and utterly get it.  And Mystic?  He gets it like few others I’ve seen do.

We know what’s important.  And the real value of the day.  And will cherish it to the moon and back.

Whether you are a parent or not, a career-driven professional or  a homeschooling mom… no matter your life’s work, there is real value in every moment.  The negative ones.  The positive ones.  All of them.  And I, for one, am going to squeeze the heck out of it.

September 26, 2011 – Bonus Photos
Monkeying Around
I, of course, didn’t let her continue her naughtiness because there was no way that was going to end well. But I did, however, make her stop mid-climb so I could take a picture.

Lazy Dog Days
To say that the kids adore Maxwell would be an understatement.

Will the Real Miss Madeline Please Stand Up

On the Road

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Joanie from CLBB September 26, 2011 at 9:12 pm

woohoo, looks like a little monkey is feeling better! It’s taken me most of 55 years, but I finally get it, too. Go with the joy in the good times, learn from the bad and move on. LOVE your fortune wall–March Madness 2005, we each got a fortune that we totally wrapped around the trek of our Tar Heels thru the tourney–it worked, they won, such silly fun!

Max is huge! What are you feeding him, your cheeseburger soup?! (one of my faves from the old BB days ;-) )

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Sarah Caron September 26, 2011 at 10:33 pm

Great post and great reminder.

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Claire September 27, 2011 at 1:36 am

Enjoyed this post! My parents have a picture VERY similar to that one of Madeline climbing. They had told me NOT to climb my closet…even to get a game; I was to ask for help! WEEEELLLL, I wanted a game and decided to get it myself. They have a picture of my back climbing up and then me looking around at them with a look of “Ooops…I’m not supposed to be here!” ha!

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Joanne September 27, 2011 at 6:21 am

Ah love this post. This is a message that is all too often forgotten when life gets busy or rough.

Looks like Monkey is doing better! And it also looks like Maxwell is equally smitten.

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Meg September 27, 2011 at 2:06 pm

You’re so right: every moment matters. And I love that what you highlighted were the human connections we make and the moments of raw, unguarded emotion. Those are what matter most to me, too.

Maxwell is awesome! Is he a golden or an Irish setter (must see if you posted about this already)? I have an 8-year-old golden, Rudy, who is pretty much the sweetest ever. Glad the kids love him!

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