Boxes with bows… rainbows after showers… glasses half-full… rose-colored glasses… these all describe my take on life. Of course, sometimes destiny has other plans. For instance, during my first week of college I was high on life, sitting on the finely manicured university lawn, propped against the sturdy trunk of a huge shade tree. I was reading Plato (or some such philosopher) and proudly taking in the moment. A first-generation college student, feeling like I’d finally arrived. When I leaned back to allow the sunshine to envelope my face, a bird sitting above decided to take the proverbial dump, right on my head. Needless to say, I snapped out of my trance and worked my way to the dorm as fast as my feet would carry me. Seems that where there is yin, there is always yang.
Today I had a similar moment. My daughter returned from her nine-day trip to Pittsburg yesterday. I’ve been enjoying the beauty of parenting, and feeling like I was doing a darned good job at it, by the way! This afternoon, I picked my son up from violin and sat proudly as he shared the details of his day. “Mom, I wanna stay in violin. I’m really getting good at it. I got a 4 on my spelling test, and a kid brought a condom to school today.”
WHAT?! Wait. What?!
“Honey, can you tell me that again?” was all I could muster.
Turns out a boy in his class has a crush on a girl. Somehow the kid acquired a condom from his grandmother. I’m not sure how the rest of the story goes. Details will likely unfold on a forthcoming episode of Jerry Springer. I enjoy writing… But, I can’t make this stuff up!
At times, life truly is stranger than fiction.
My son recently endured the “growing and changing” unit at school. I’ll embrace this experience as an opportunity to keep the conversation going. Beginning with “What the hell would a 5th grader need a condom for? What is wrong with that grandmother? Did the teachers find out?” And, followed by, “Thanks for always telling me everything going on in your world. I’m happy that you feel comfortable talking to me about anything that happens.”
Breathe. Exhale. Breathe. Exhale.
Life is a both/and proposition. It’s both profound, amazing, enlightening — AND — it’s complicated and challenging. Our hands get dirty. Every.single.day.
On the way home, it seemed only appropriate to hit Cold Stone Creamery for a treat topped with gum drops and sprinkles. It was the perfect way to wrap up another surprising day in the real life of a mom.
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