About this time six years ago, a few weeks into Tween’s second grade year, his teacher found me admiring bulletin boards in the breezeway.
She said, “Hey, can you give me a tip? Tween doesn’t seem to realize he’s in school.”
I immediately replied, “Oh, give him some time. He’ll realize it’s no longer summer by, let’s say, Thanksgiving.”
I wasn’t joking, but let’s all take a quick moment to imagine her dramatic eye roll…
(In my defense, c’mon, this is California! With the amazing weather, he was in the pool weekends and after school until Halloween…!)
After I’d spoken the words aloud, I realized their truth deep in my being: not only does Tween transition slowly, but our whole family stinks at transitions.
You may see us going through the motions. We may be in the right place at (mostly) the right times, getting things done. But that doesn’t mean we’re organized, on top of things, present to the moment. We may–or may not–be any of those things, depending on the hour, day, week, minute…
Six years and so many transitions post-epiphany, you’d think we’d know to anticipate our bad transitions. You’d think wrong, my friend. Oh no, every time, whatever season, we find ourselves once again thigh-deep in the muck, repeating for the umpteenth time: “Oh, yah, transitions…”
And again, and again, and painful as each one of us has to come to our own conclusions about how we individually and as a family are weathering the current storm.
Locally and globally, we have had a weird-weather fall. In NorCal, we’ve had record-breaking heat (115 should not happen here!), followed by mellow days, then more heat with thunder and lightening storms, now wind and my allergies are threatening to do me in. Still, I’ll take it over the storms that hit Houston, the Caribbean and Florida, or the earthquake in Mexico.
These fantastic flowers burst forth in my front yard. The pink one is the size of a face!
My soul stills in wonder at their beauty, and I remember that all things bloom in their time, in their season.
Including me, us, this family.
Due to date miscommunication-confusion, a friend showed up when I wasn’t at home. She left flowers. Cut flowers from plants I’d purchased for her, that she planted, that continue to thrive. The gift keeps on giving, flowers and friendship keep blooming.
Nine days ago I noticed my gratitude journal, forlornly forgotten in this transition-season; I jotted some thanksgivings, and promptly forgot it again. Today I tucked in a print-out of a poem, shared by a friend and meaningful in this time. I will add more personal items tonight. I need gratitude, especially now when transition makes discipline difficult.
Banksy recently posted on Twitter: “The only thing making you unhappy are your own thoughts. Change them.”
And with our dear St. Anne and the communion of saints we pray: Help, Thanks, Wow!
Any one of us might point to demanding circumstances, taxing days and long hard nights, excuses all–many understandably so!–for being unhappy. Thanks changes our thoughts. It keeps us in the now, present to the moment whatever the feels it holds, and gently/forcefully unfolds in time an as-necessary different perspective.
Let’s give thanks for the season, for its unfolding, its blooming, for the unpredictable beauty here and yet-coming.
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