Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Priorities

It’s easy to drown in the details of daily life. We lose ourselves in lunches to be prepared, appointments to schedule, laundry, dishes, errands to run – an endless set of tasks on our mental “to do” lists. Sometimes, it feels like there are countless things to remember, countless things to do to keep a household with two young children running smoothly. I leave those details behind only to go to work and drown in the chaos and drama created by co-workers who have Borderline Personality Disorder. I clench my jaw and become consumed with lost files, tense e-mail conversations and fears about my professional reputation. It is easy to don the negativity like a ratty old jacket, zipped up tight. It’s easy, so very easy, to be lost.

Then, something happens. I return home and my partner is making food for a picnic and the children are excitedly circling. We go to Lake Harriet and the evening is impossibly perfect, filled with children and friends, laughter and conversation. We get to watch our goofy boy perform on stage, get to hear him sing like we know he can but hasn’t in a single rehearsal. We get to see our baby, who is becoming more of a little girl every day, walk unsteadily down a hill, lose her balance and roll the rest of the way down only to stand up at the bottom and laugh. We see our children hugging and kissing their friends, their arms draped casually over each others shoulders, a comfort that is truly a gift. We watch the children playing tag and their smiles are large enough to make my headache fade and my jaw relax and my lips curl into a smile for the first time since waking. The sun is setting over the lake and we must all say goodbye. The children call out to each other as we walk to our cars and they are content. They say goodbye without tantrums or begging because they are full, their time together has been enough. We drive home, my partner’s hand on my leg, our son sleeping in the back seat, our daughter babbling and playing with her toes and I am, once again, overcome with the realization that there is nothing more important than a sense of belonging. There is nothing more important than recognizing that you are surrounded by so much love. We carry our children into the house and they settle into their beds. The house falls quiet and, as we sit together and reflect on the beauty of this evening, I find that I am free from that ratty old jacket. My body holds no more tension and everything is in perspective…

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

that one almost made me cry too..

very sweet

it is such a gift to know that you are truly blessed when you are living in it - in that moment...
those kids (at the moment i am speaking of the large group) are amazing - and i feel blessed to be on the outer circle of their lives
thank you for that...
oh
the backs of the heads of Stella, Miguel, Luca & Georgie are in the picture accompaning (sp?) the profile in the current womens press
thanks for that
peace & love
leigh

Vikki said...

Hey Leigh. I just read the piece in the Women's Press - very nice!

As for Powderhorn...we realized a few months ago that we can never leave. There is something so incredible about the neighborhood haunts and running into people that you know, people that take the time to read your son "Alberto" for the 206th time. ha ha.

Susan Raffo said...

i loved this - although i must say my ending was less lovely as luca WAS having a meltdown, but then, my day was a lot better than yours. no borderline personality disorder anywhere, unless my friends haven't been honest with me about what they really feel. it was a blessed evening, though. and miguel rocked.

Jenn said...

Oh, so, so lovely. Your kids are some lucky kids.

And there you go again, making me miss Minneapolis. Lake Harriet! I haven't thought of Lake Harriet in so long...

(Hey, and thanks for the birthday hello over at b'eaw. I love that folks were worried about the cranberry door on my behalf.)