It’s the little things.
The dishwasher broke yesterday. On a scale from 1 to Are you there God?, It’s me, Bethany, this was a solid, “Was I a time-share salesman in a previous life?”
My husband came downstairs and found a pool of water at the base of the machine. Inside, a tower of dirty dishes. On the road to our house, a car full of guests.
In the shower on the floor in the fetal position? Me.
And, in this moment, while I was feeling low, the baby felt my pain. We’re connected like that. So, she crapped on the shower floor. Because, “Mom, I love you. It’s going to be ok.”
It’s the little things.
Finding the Zen in the exasperating. Finding the fun in, what the fuck? That’s what parenting is supposed to be all about, right? Because, if you can’t enjoy it all, then, you must not appreciate any of it. That’s what I’m told and re-told to believe.
That is the message pumped through the airways; loudly promoting the misconception that you must find grace and balance and enjoyment in all moments. This is then coupled with our want to disregard the troubles of others by the comparison of our own. It’s easy to climb aboard that train. All aboard. Next stop, Sanctimony. Population? Numbers aren’t important. We’re just always super happy to be here. And, more grateful too.
After realizing that a lot of families don’t have dishwashers and then internally reading myself the riot act about how lucky I am to have running water and dishes to eat off of, I then realized that it’s reasonable to be upset that my dishwasher is broken and that my three year old looks me square in the eyes while peeing on our kitchen floor and that laundry is blocking my path to emotional freedom. It’s alright to acknowledge our relatively little disappointments. It’s ok to sometimes sweat the small stuff.
Perspective is a great thing. But, sometimes, discontentment over the little things is what keeps small stressors from ballooning . Many an explosion was the result of one stick of dynamite that became two and then three and then, fifteen.
Once, in a grocery store with my screaming newborn and my fiery 2 year old, things went botched drug deal bad. After the 2 year old’s stealth removal of all of the magazines from the racks as I unloaded our cart, one-armed, the other limb holding my newborn’s unsteady head to my chest, she then managed to grab my wallet and throw the entire contents in the air, clearly channeling Mary Tyler Moore. Basking in the rain of my AAA card, Health Care ID cards and dimes, my possessed toddler then knocked over an end display of candy. I have to hand it to her, she was on fire. Not since Prince’s revival tour in the early 2000s has there been such a show.
On my left, the young cashier was struck mute. Behind me, a young gentleman loaded his contents off of the conveyor belt, back into his cart and switched lanes. To my right, a lovely woman offered public offender #1 a sticker. At the register, I cried.
“Have a nice day?” the cashier squeaked out after I had finally corrected the damage and pushed my cart away.
I was mortified. On the way out, I was hit with the do-gooder Holy Grail of, “It goes by so fast. One day you will miss even this.”
And, I while I said, “Thank you.”, I thought, “How much would you offer for the short blonde with the asparagus sticker?”
It’s the little things and sometimes, the little things aren’t magic nuggets of gratitude disguised as poop on your shower floor. Sometimes, embracing the displeasure makes the sweet all the sweeter.
Until my next ounce of sweet, I’m going to let my eyebrows furrow a moment over the bitter. I’m going to nod while you tell me to enjoy every moment and then, completely ignore you. And now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to bleach my shower floor.