I am posting this publicly with my friends permission to post pictures of her children. I didn’t use their names, but if you know us you know them, and I mean this post with so much gratitude to the joy the kids and Roxy brought to me. This one is for you pup. Also said friend does not condone my foul mouth or sense or humor, or if she does, I’m not telling!
I have been accused of being a serial narcissist. BY MYSELF. Whenever I tell my friends I feel narcissistic, they tell me to hush and it makes me feel better, so perhaps this is a new way of saying I’m sorry, but it’s more like saying okay guys, I know sometimes I make things all about me, but is that always a bad thing?
I am actually really struggling to write this at the moment, and my inner critic is telling me it’s time to shut the Chromebook down, and watch boring TV, but I think that sharing this story is worth some time and concentration. Plus if I write this, maybe I can feel things in a more constructive and less escapist manner…
Today I cleared my afternoon out, and made sure that I didn’t have any obligations. I had originally tried to make plans with a friend, but it seemed like the rest of the weekend was going to be hectic, so I decided to stay home this afternoon. There were lots of options for things that I could have done. I could have binged watched sitcoms while disengaging from the world, which is many times completely necessary and understandable. I could have sat by the pool and read a book, and soaked up the sun, and enjoyed the pool. I could have done this dishes in the sink, oh wait, I should probably still do that…
I did what bored people do and looked at my Instagram. That brings me to the topic of social media’s practical uses in our everyday lives. I recently learned that there was a new phrase called “doing it for the gram”, which means we are just living our life for good Instagram photos, and hell, I got some good smiles with the kids this afternoon, so I will continue to DO IT FOR THE GRAM. Anyway, while on Instagram I saw a friend had posted a photo that concerned me, and made me think that she may be really sad. Her beloved friend, daughter, and companion passed into the next realm this morning. Her senior Dog Roxy passed away this morning in the loving arms of her family.
As a fellow animal lover, I immediately understood that I should go be with her. She doesn’t live close, but it’s only about and hour and some change, and I thought to myself, okay universe, this is why I kept the day open. It’s time to go out for a nice drive and listen to some podcasts on the way. For a change of pace, I turned on On Being by Krista Tippet, and the podcast was about the spirituality of running. It was both about how people have incorporated their own spiritual practices into their beliefs, as well as how after running long distances people have experienced a sort of ecstasy or God like connection or need for a higher power to keep them going. It’s really funny, because after I started running my need for outside spirituality did seem to increase, and I think that the best way to put that is that I recognize that there is something greater than myself out there if I can get up and run 5 miles at Saturday morning on at 6:30 am. Maybe it’s simply a draw to be more grounded in nature, and outside more, but I think there is something inherently meditative about running. I could talk about this forever, and you should check out the podcast for sure, but suffice to say as I sat in the car and this is what came on my speakers, I was like okay I get it higher power, I am doing what I need to be doing.
So I drove to my friends home, where I got more excited as the miles shortend between us, because I was going to get to hang out with two little kiddos who fill my heart with so much joy. I knew it would mean the world to Drea that I drove to get there, and I knew that to the kids I could be like magic, just show up and be the fun entertaining/distracting one for 3-4 hours and go home to my cats. I came in and hugged my friend and let her cry. This shit is sad people. A family member was lost today. We should cry, wail, mourn, laugh, talk and distract ourselves together.
So I went to their house, ate some delicious pizza with them, ran around the backyard with their kids, drank their tea and coffee, and tried to bring as much laughter into their lives as I possibly could. My particularly favorite moment from this afternoon was when their daughter picked up her pizza and burned her finger and said she needed a band aid. I noticed that she was holding up her middle finger, and instead of encouraging her to eat and not worry about her wound, I asked her to show me her finger again, and then I asked her dad to look at it, and he totally knew what I was doing. He smiled and said, mom look at her finger, and I saw my friend smile. Then I blew on her finger and told her I had the only magic that could fix her finger, and soon enough the finger incident was over. The kids had no clue we were being inappropriate because we didn’t make a big deal out of it, and it made two heart broken people smile. Comedy is a fucking gift my friends. I must share my talent with the world!
As the kids evening game to a close, some crying started to happen. It’s bedtime for gosh sakes, and crying seems like an inevitable at this point in a very long, and very hard day. I told their son to come make some monster face pictures with me, and it distracted him from crying. I said, you have to make the face without laughing, and of course within 15 seconds he was laughing at my crazy faces, and a bit less concerned about being upset. Then their daughter took her turn, and I told her the same thing, you can make monster faces, but you can’t laugh. She took me more seriously, but was totally laughing by the time she got taken in for bedtime. She definitely reemerged from her room upwards of 3 times with complaints of headaches, her fan not being on, and something else I couldn’t remember. It struck me that parenting doesn’t stop just because you had a sad even if it was a REALLY BIG SAD.
When I told the kids to try not to laugh while we were taking funny selfies, I realized I was literally becoming my mother, and I was really happy about that. I listened to another On Being in which the topic was Black Lives Matter, and the one thing that struck me about the episode was that someone talked about lives only change through individual acts of kindness. I felt so much gratitude how my day had seemed to come full circle. I was happy.
But, I’m also kind of sad, so I decided to write this. Because I really do believe that we need to be the change we want to see in world, and sometimes the changes we need to make on our lives our really small. Like trying not to over plan your life, so that you can be open to the possibility of being able to play with your friends kids for the afternoon. I am not angel, but miracles or are small things people. Do them. And like my mom would say, try to do them without laughing.