December 16, 2016

Of Tiny and Big Things

This is the season of tiny and big things. Each morning Amos pulls a card from the advent calendar and I read him the activity that we will do (note to self: include a picture next year so he can figure it out). Making a citrus garland, cutting out snowflakes, going to see the lights on the trees in the park. We are fortunate to have the time and space and resources to make these little activities happen. As the month goes on, we will try some activities that remind us that giving, to strangers and loved ones, is important, too (collecting warm clothes and food to donate, making gifts, doing kind things).

I’ve long thought that the best way that I can make a difference in the world is in small daily actions and choosing to live in a way that, ideally, does more good than harm. But the election has prodded me to see that there is so much more that needs to be done. I think more than ever about how to encourage my children to be people who care about others, understand and appreciate the things that make us so different and so much the same. I don’t have a solid plan for any of this. I’m trying to find that spot where I can stay informed and active and not be paralyzed by fear. It is truly a privilege to be able to even consider this balance and not be forced to fight every single day. So far, I am calling my senators and congresswoman as often as I can.

Our tree is up and the ornaments move around the from day to day with Amos' whims. The needles sprinkle on to the wood floor beneath the tree and clamor to get onto the rug. I am resisting the urge to redistribute the ornaments and adjust the lights which are bunched in some areas, leaving other spots bare. I tell myself to let that go and enjoy the amazing pine-y smell and the warmth of the twinkling lights.

I had some photos printed last week and I updated the wall where I stick (literally, with masking tape) some of the photos that I love. Photos never capture the whole picture, the before or after, the mess in the background or the long journey to that quick moment. But when I look at this assortment of photos from the last several years I can see beyond the ups and downs of life with a three and a half year old, the disturbing news of the world, and the challenges of every day. These smiles, hugs, moments of sweetness really do happen every day and when I look at them I see how lucky we are that all our moments, good and hard, are held together, not by masking tape but by lots and lots of love.

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