I am a “glass half-full” kind of gal. In spite of life’s ebbs and flows, I yearn for the “plateau of happiness,” where I can stake my flag and live blissfully forever. I’m a slow study… when will I truly embrace that where there is life, there is pain? The pain brings forth growth. Every.single.time.
The other day, I was reminiscing about how great childhood was. I went so far as to proclaim, “I Wanna Be a Toys ‘R Us Kid!” Looking back, it was a condescending way to view the realities of growing up…
Yesterday, I had a loud wake up call… There I was, lamenting on my “greater than thou” perch of mature adulthood. I’ve been irritable this week because of a house project that has grown in scope from $1k to just shy of $7k. Meanwhile, my kids have had to endure mommy-miss-grumpy-pants.
Last night, my daughter came running into my bedroom. In anguish, her face had a look of sheer terror, alligator tears ran down her cheeks, and she was holding her little Brownie guinea pig. (Quick back story… Brownie has been the most loved pet in the universe. My daughter plays with Brownie constantly, cleans her daily, and has always given her the utmost care.)
I quickly understood why my daughter was upset… Brownie had thick snotsky obstructing her nostrils, one of her eyes glued shut, and she was struggling to breath. Apparently, she needed vet care FAST! It was 9 p.m. After about 15 calls, we loaded Brownie up and headed to the closest animal ER that specialized in small animal care.
“How much longer, Mommy?” sniffled my 13 year old… “Just 10 more minutes… it’s all going to be okay,” I replied.
When we arrived, little Brownie Bear was barely breathing. The vet tech rushed us into the patient room and began the intake process. Unfortunately, before she could be seen by the vet, Brownie gasped her last breath. My daughter, holding Brownie close, began to cry. The doctor rushed in and tried to put oxygen on Brownie. “It’s too late, she’s gone,” the doctor said apologetically.
The other day I was projecting how easy it was being a kid. Meanwhile, I had forgotten that life is life. Losing Brownie is just as big to my daughter as losing my mom, two years ago, was for me. I read recently that “life is like licking honey off of a thorn.” It’s true. So much sweetness, so many blessings. Yet, there is pain daily. You can’t have one without the other.
Seeing my daughter mourn the loss of her special pet brought back emotions of how I felt after my mom passed. Sometimes, a half-empty glass is all we’ve got. It’s in the emptiness that we learn lessons on conservation, resource allocation, and the importance of the “half” that we still have.
Learning is a life-long process. Whether you seek knowledge or not, the lessons will find you. One half glass at a time.
My lesson for today is to respect the importance of my kid’s lessons. They may not require a $7 thousand dollar fix, but the lessons they are learning come from real.life.pain.
The whole situation is a great spring-board for discussing the cycle of life and sharing a universal secret with my kids… Life is painful. And joy-filled. All at the same time.
May you always have a glass half-empty.
© 2013, The Musing Maven, all rights reserved.