Have you ever noticed that sometimes the biggest revelations can stem from the simplest experiences?
It’s not always the huge life-altering moments that lead you to an epiphany – sometimes it’s the little things, short conversations (even with strangers) that have the most meaning.
Here are three recent examples from my life:
I had a conversation with a girlfriend on the phone the other day. I was in the middle of the usual dinner rush when she rang and we chatted briefly while I was cooking and stopping mid-sentence to say things like, “Is this your schoolbag in the middle of the walkway?”, and “Don’t touch that – it’s hot”, and “You can have a drink when dinner is ready”. Just the usual Tuesday afternoon at our place.
Suddenly, I smelled something less than delicious. Charlie has recently been making her nappy-related discomfort known by scratching her bottom at the worst times, so I sprang into action, saying to my friend very abruptly, “I have to go – must make sure Charlie doesn’t have her hand down her pants.”
With that (and to the sound of her raucous laughter ringing in my ears), I signed off. Later, I got a text that said, “Oh, the glamour of your life! Hope the poo was safely contained. xoxo”
I’ve learned that humour is present in so many difficult situations, and good friends help us find it.
A couple of weeks ago, our friends (who spend a LOT of time with Charlie) were babysitting our two youngest children and took them to a barbecue.
Upon their return, my friend told me that Charlie had been a big hit, charming everyone there. She also mentioned that after begging for a cuddle, all the other Mums and Dads would bring Charlie back to them and make excuses to hand her back, then walk away rubbing their biceps. Some just said outright that she was too heavy to hold! We had a good laugh about how true that is and how well-conditioned we must be by comparison.
Cheesy but true - we continue to find reserves of strength that we never knew we possessed.
I was dropping Charlie off at her new school last week when I saw a man unloading his almost-teenage son’s motorised wheelchair from a trailer behind his four wheel drive. He hoisted his son into the chair and had just started the long task of closing up the trailer again when Charlie and I walked past. He said “G’day, how ya goin’?”, to which I replied “Good thanks, and you?” He looked at Charlie, looked at his son in his wheelchair, then at the ‘special’ preschool we were headed to.
He smiled a wry sort of smile, winked, and drawled slowly, “Livin’ the dream, mate. Livin’ the dream”. I don’t make the ‘Australian’ voice clear here in a teasing way, I only mean to paint the picture well. The way he said it - the irony was wonderful, unexpected, and earned a loud laugh from me.
There’s that humour again. Sometimes I feel so isolated in all of this, and then moments of pure solidarity can come from unexpected places – sometimes they sneak up and surprise me.
There are so many really big things happening in our lives right now, it’s easy to dismiss the little ones, but I’m finding more and more that it’s the little ones that stay with me the longest.
Does your child travel to school using school transport?