It only takes one little flower to change a day that started with a potty accident, followed by a scorpion in my laundry basket (true story) and a chip in my favorite Starbucks Washington DC mug. “Here Mamma, I brought this for you,” says my almost four year old with his big eyes and long eyelashes. That boy is a joy, a beauty (yes yes Captain Jack, he is handsome) and raising him is the most meaningful work I have done in my life.
For as long as I have had the blog, the tagline has been “finding truth, beauty, and meaningful work.” I was probably inspired by a little poetry when I wrote that, and I continue to live my life that way – find what is true, beautiful, and meaningful to do. But lately I think I have found truth, and this is it: Be joyful, be prayerful, be grateful.
Joy is my new truth. It is everywhere, and points me to gratitude, and a life lived contently. And the older my boys get, the more I find myself praying. Even if it is Anne Lamott style “help, help help”, “thanks” and “wow.” I also pray “please don’t let it be a concussion” at least twice a day. Moms of boys, you know what I’m talking about.
I’m still looking for beauty everywhere. (Not finding it in my gardening endeavors so much – oh, there are bugs here. Many many bugs.) There is beauty in the way my boys are developing their own language lately. Oh yes, and beauty in the roses that bloom despite my neglect and the abundant attention from more bugs. There is beauty in the rhythm we are finding in our days here.
There is plenty of meaningful work to be done too. It is no longer what I had in mind when I first write that, and worked hard to make renewable energy available to more people. But meaning can be found in cooking my family nourishing meals. Meaning can be found in keeping our budget carefully so we can accomplish our many goals (and travel more!) There is meaning in the everyday work it takes to raise these boys – kissing skinned knees, talking through tough transitions, making my boy’s favorite meal for an upcoming birthday. I’m also spending much more time writing, and promoting causes I believe in. Paid meaningful work? A little scarce around these parts. Scarce as chicken teeth to use an afrikaans saying.
I leave the profound truths to be found by the philosophers, the poets, and the people with more time on their hands than this busy mom of two busy boys. Instead, I will find joy, beauty, and meaningful work.
PS: If you need a bit of joy, and a good laugh at my expense, I can help you out. I “interpret” my son’s homework assignments with google translate. Tomorrow’s assignment is “asistir con polo de cualquiera de los siguientes colores (rojo, verde, azul, o amarillo).” Google says: attend polo Mercedes any colors (red, green, blue, or yellow). For a minute I thought they had gone a bit far with the private school thing, and then I realized it must be a translation mistake. Google please note: the word siguientes should translate “following”, not, in fact, Mercedes.