I spent the weekend packing up Thistlewood.
The house was full. Full of boxes stacked everywhere and rolls of bubble wrap and crate after crate of milk glass and tables and chairs and plastic tubs full of monopoly and other games. And just between you and me and this computer screen…
…it was so much harder than I thought.
I know it’s just a house.
I know it’s just a move.
I know there are way bigger things in this world than packing up yard sale furniture and pieces of trash collected over the years.
But my heart broke when I looked around and saw the empty. It was overwhelming. It was sad. It was as if I was leaving a part of me behind in the sunlight dancing across the wood floors. I wasn’t sure where to put all those emotions. I wasn’t sure if I could walk out that door.
And then I remembered a story I once told.
A story about a tiny, blonde-haired, blue-eyed philosopher who is brilliant and amazing and so much wiser than her years.
Here’s a reminder for all those dark days when the storm clouds roll in.
Yesterday was a day for bad days.
Everything went wrong.
Nothing went right.
I stepped in dog poop when I wasn’t looking and over-curled my hair so I looked like a poodle and ran into a spider web outside and discovered a rotted pumpkin on the hutch in the kitchen.
I awkwardly wasn’t funny when I really thought I was going to be and five different times I opened my mouth….
….and inserted my foot.
I wanted to crawl back into bed, pull the covers over my poodle curls and start over.
I wish this was the part of the story where I tell you in spite of it being a not-so-very-good-black-cloud-poodle-hair kind of day…
…I was still super nice to everyone around me.
But I can’t. Because I wasn’t.
Not even a bit.
Steam came out of my ears in WalMart when I had to wait in a ten-person line and I literally rolled my eyes at the clerk at the dollar store when they told me they were out of milk. I generally frowned my way through the rest of the afternoon and when I picked up one of the twins from basketball practice, I sighed impatiently and turned up the music on the way home because I didn’t want to talk.
We drove in silence down those winding country roads with Taylor Swift blaring in the background.
I didn’t say a thing.
I simply sat and stewed and thought about my hair and the rotted pumpkin and all the work I had to do and all the things that had gone wrong that day.
Why? I thought. Why did a bad day like this have to happen to me? Where’s the sunshine? Where’s the happiness?
Finally, we pulled up in front of the house. I grabbed my bags, shut the door and stomped up the front sidewalk. On the front porch I turned and looked around for my daughter.
Where was she? I thought to myself as I rolled my eyes.
“Whitney,” I yelled from the front porch. “Where are you? Come on. We only have a few minutes before we have to leave again for the game.”
From the other side of the car I heard a tiny voice, “Hold on a minute, Mom. I’ll be there in just a sec.”
“Now,” I said emphatically. “WE ARE GOING TO BE LATE.”
Then she came running up the sidewalk, book bag bouncing behind her, grinning from ear to ear, as she held out her phone.
“Wait until you see this,” she said excitedly. “You won’t even believe it.”
And then she paused and smiled, “It might make you happy.”
Irritatedly, I reached for the phone. Impatiently, I glanced down, expecting to see something on Facebook or a joke or a quote or something she thought was funny.
I saw this.
A beautiful, wonderful, awe-inspiring picture of the sunlight streaming through the clouds.
“Look,” she said pointing above us. “I just had to take a picture, Mom. It was so beautiful.”
I looked at that photograph again as my anger slowly melted away.
This glorious scene had been unfolding right over my head and I had been so focused on myself and my hair and my dog poop toes….
….that I had missed it.
I smiled through misty eyes at that tiny little daughter of mine and grabbed her hand and together we walked up the steps on a bright, shiny, sunny, joyful day.
The day was the same, but I was different.
A new perspective.
A new outlook.
A change of view.
Thanks to a tiny, blonde-haired, blue-eyed, grinning optimist who took a moment to remind me…
….to always look for the amazing. 🙂