Last evening, my children and I went to our local YMCA. We are fortunate to be a part of the largest “Y” in the US. There are so many programs to choose from and the facilities are excellent. My boys played air hockey and then smashed the racquetball around for a while. It was great to see them getting that energy out without having to tell them to quiet/settle down. That doesn’t work so well with boys you know. 😉
Later on in the evening as I was sitting by the vending machines, I struck up a conversation with a boy about 8 who was carrying around a camera. I was asking him what kind it was and what he was doing with it. My hunch was that he was “special” too…..and let me just say for the record, that I sometimes hate the ability of scoping out kids with “needs” – but the truth is, I have been around it enough and researched it enough to be able to pick them out pretty quick. Gift or not, I do not know – but it happens and so I just go with it.
His mother came up to get some waters from the machine and she joined in the conversation too. When I was talking with her, I noticed she lifted her “O”s. I listened really close and yes, she did have an accent. That of course started my 20 questions with her. Poor thing. I found out her name is Simona and she is from Romania. Our brief conversation actually turned into more than an hour conversation! It was so nice to just sit and talk. To be able to understand each other and our kids without having to go into some huge dissertation to explain what was “wrong” with our kids, OR to have to explain every quirk that they exhibited while playing. It was nice….like a real conversation without having to exhaust ourselves trying to “manage” it.
It is these supposed small things in our lives that make us feel whole and complete. Over the years I have noticed that I tend to isolate myself because I often times don’t have the energy to do all the “normal” things that other parents do. It is not that I don’t want to participate, but after once again, “managing” all of the details with my children it leaves me exhausted and no room for true relaxation and peacefulness. Having a friendship where you both understand the exhaustion and the exhilaration of growing these children, knowing that each of you answer questions 19,483,984,939 times a day REPEATEDLY.….it is a much needed reprieve to have someone who truly understands and makes you feel connected – not so isolated and wondering what is wrong with you and if you are doing things “right”.
I am coming to realize that noticing and celebrating the “small” things in my life is what makes it exceptional. Definitely not perfect, but definitely exceptional. Definitely purposeful. Definitely blessed.