Over the weekend, I was dealing with some stuff that made it difficult for me to be grateful for all of the wonderful things I have in my life. I was forced to do some tough mental work and get to the root of some big issues, get in the right frame of mind, and face a new week with a new perspective. Sifting through My Box of Truths and getting mindful and grateful is harder than it should be for me, but after years of practicing mindfulness and a few months of meditation, pieces of the process are finally beginning to happen somewhat effortlessly.
I was standing in the shower this morning, and I heard a noise coming from the bottom of the shower door. I looked down, and I paused for a moment expecting to see Charlotte laying on the floor next to the shower scrunched in a ball, having just woken up, realizing I was no longer in the bed next to her, and finding the cold bathroom rug near me more comforting than a warm and empty bed. Only….she wasn’t there. She hadn’t laid on the floor like that in several months. I took a deep breath of relief that I was not having to deal with that distraction in my sacred alone time, and I only found the dog looking for a drink.
I got out of the shower, dried off, and peeked in my bed to see her sleeping soundly. I could have felt discouraged that she still climbs into our bed in the middle of the night and I could have wondered how much longer this would continue to go on, but instead I smiled and felt thankful for her continued progress. It was then that a door of positive energy and gratitude opened in my mind and heart and a cascade of lovely and positive thoughts tumbled into my consciousness. I was able to recall funny and playful moments that I’ve had with Chad and the girls in the last few days and weeks–laughter, smiles, and a sense of relief–wanting to come to the surface of my thoughts, but being bullied back by the deeper and darker stuff.
On this cold and rainy morning, I thought I would share a few of them with you to get your positive juices flowing.
On Saturday the girls and I were driving to the grocery store and Dana had brought her camera with her. It’s a small digital camera handed down from my mom, and Dana’s favorite thing to do on it is take silly videos of herself and Charlotte. As usual, she was recording herself acting silly and over-the-top. While she played the video back, she showed Charlotte and asked, “How do I look?” Without skipping a beat, Charlotte responded, “Not pretty.” At first I was taken aback and glanced over my shoulder to scold Charlotte for the rude comment about her sister. Only, when I saw her trying to hide a smile behind her little hand and heard Dana feign a tantrum, I let sisters be sisters and marveled (and laughed out loud) at Charlotte’s use of humor during that social interaction.
Last night we were eating dinner at our coffee table. This is considered a special treat, and normally only happens because Chad doesn’t want to tear himself away from a movie or sporting event that he’s been sucked into and move to the appropriate dining table. Chad and I sit on the couch and the girls set the low table and bring playroom chairs into reach it. I often voice my concern about this set up because I worry they don’t have all the tools they need to be supported and eat a good dinner. Nevertheless, I went with it for the sake of something fun and different. Last night I had low expectations for Charlotte to eat a fennel and orange salad that I had made for the second night in a row. Chad must have felt the same way because half-way through the meal, he reminded Charlotte to eat her salad but told her she only needed to eat the oranges. She looked him straight in the eye and said, “Daddy, this is the same salad we had yesterday, and I’m going to eat the orange and this (a radish!) too.” She promptly put both items on her fork and ate them up. It was all we could do to keep from laughing out loud, and we applauded her for a good job with her dinner.
So, I’m walking through my Monday morning feeling much lighter, not only tremendously grateful for Charlotte’s progress, but feeling even more gratitude for my ability to enjoy it.