I’ve been sick. Literally, the night we brought our new girl home I had a slight fever. So I’ve noticed wonder slips out of my mind when I’m not feeling my best. I’m stressed, wanting my body to feel better. Bennett and I have had a cough for about a week and I think it’s just a viral thing that will go away soon.
I watched a movie today that invoked zero wonder in me: Joker. It was more angering than enlightening. (Maybe I’ll write a film review later.
But in the brief moment of a sick day, our new Shi Girl fell asleep on my chest like a newborn. Prepare your hearts for the most precious wonder ever from our new girl.
This morning I woke up feeling so naturally happy. My son was sleeping horizontal in the bed next to me. My husband had kissed me before his commute to work, like every morning. I had a long day ahead and was waking up late; I had to rush to get out on time. But I wasn’t stressed or overwhelmed. I didn’t have anything grand to look forward to, it was just a regular day but I felt overwhelmingly grateful and with joy in my heart. I think that’s wonder, in the body, and mostly, in the spirit.
Here is a photo of what I was up to today: running a thesis workshop for Masters students.
I’ve been thinking a lot about how wonder is not quite what I hypothesized it as: deep and accessible. This experiment has complicated that definition and challenged it. I think of wonder as small surprises, natural delights, the changing of time, growth. But overall, today this phrase came to me: The World is For You….Not Against You.
What do I mean by that?
I was trying to pick just one wonderful thing that happened today, and my mind was moving like a spider across a web, trying to pick just one. So I will share them, chronologically.
At 6:45 am, my son knocked on my door. He sleeps in a crib and I’ve been scooping him up out of his crib every morning for 3 years and eleven days. The knock made me pause. My boy was getting bigger. He was a monkey and could climb out of his crib easily, but even in his athletic ability, he still called my name in the morning from his room. Him knocking startled and delighted me. I told him to jump in my bed and get some more rest. I wasn’t ready for this moment, yet, I was. Of course I was. But in a way I was sad to realize my son wouldn’t need me in the ways I’d been accustomed to. But I was delighted by his independence, his growth, his joy to come and find me.
At 10:00 am, I entered a fairly empty TJ Maxx looking for thank you cards to send to everyone who so lovingly bought my son a birthday gift and/or attended his third birthday party. I know handwritten thank you cards are so old school, but I love them. However, once inside TJ Maxx one cannot just buy the desired item one came for then leave. (Cardinal rule!) I stumbled upon an orange Nike Oklahoma State hat…..normally $25, on sale for $6. This was a moment of wonder to me. I’d been wanting a hat, there the hat sat, on the shelf, waiting.
At 4:45 pm, I was on a jog. Well. It was more of a walk than a job because it had been cold and I had been busy so I hadn’t gone as frequently. When I run I play Spotify music from my phone that cozies up inside an athletic fanny pack. And as I was running, the birds chirped like it was spring, a melody, their own song. They were louder than my music and I attuned my ear to listen to just them. Before iPhones and digital music and cassette players — there were the birds. To sing and sing and sing some more.
So, world: how do I pick which wonder? Perhaps a side effect of this experiment is noticing wonder more, subconsciously. And by seeing more than one wonder a day, I affirm that the world is on my side. I can look at the small three moments today and see this to be true.
I thought my “wonder” today was going to be me posting a photo of Takis with a can of La Croix. What a wonder the combo of spice + crunch + fizzle can do to a palette.
But then I overheard something a little more wonderful…
When Nick was putting pajamas on Bennett after his bath, Bennett asked him, “Will you always take care of me?”
I don’t know why but that question got inside of me (and it wasn’t even asked to me!). He has awareness, and impressive and compassionate thoughts.
Will you always take care of me?
I hope so, my love. I hope we all take care of each other with our love forever and ever and ever.
My boy turns three in 10 days. I’ve been reflecting (and crying! gosh…) about my role as “mom.” Tonight I RSVPd to a birthday party. For years I talked to other moms as the “big sister,” but now that my child is walking, talking, makng friends, I’ve entered the new land of talking-with-other-moms as a mama myself.
Life, man. Life. And time.
In 18 years I will be 50. 18 years ago I was 14, just starting out in water polo, about to get clear braces, and about to begin thinking about my driver’s permit.
There is so much of me that still feels like I am that 14 year old girl. So much of me feels like I would stay that girl forever. Now I’m 32. In 18 year I’ll be 50. In 10 days I will have a three-year-old.