Sometimes I get gentle nudges from my subconscious pushing me back onto the right path and sometimes I get a swift kick in the arse by the universe. Either way, it is usually only when I’m awakened to the idea of getting back on track that I’m even aware of having gone off course. It isn’t like I veer off my chosen path on purpose….most of the time anyway. So here I am, in the cold, depressing, black cloud that is winter trying to find an arrow pointing to the righteous path.
My person in rehab is apparently sucking at rehab and there is nothing I can do about it. I saw a woman talk about brain development and realized I had completely stopped reading parenting books somewhere along the way and I don’t know what I need to know about the middle school mind. I looked in the mirror last week and realized I looked like a hot mess (there is a blog post about it). And I admitted I was burying my winter blues in corn chips (plus salsa, hummus, cheese and guacamole). I love nachos like Romeo loves peanut butter, my friends, with a wide open heart.
So there it is. It could be much uglier and dirtier, true, but it still means I’m not getting it right.
So on Ash Wednesday I sat down with my small people and said “what needs fixing? What do you need to give up right now because it isn’t righteous? How do we get back on the right track?”
So after thinking about wastefulness, LieLie gave up paper towels for Lent. This doesn’t seem like a big deal but as our resident wiper/cleaner of all things this will be a real shift. Finn has given up thumb sucking during daylight and scratching his bug bites. Since he loves his thumb and every bug on planet Earth bites him, these are biggies, and bad habits. I gave up not taking care of myself (I already got my hair done and spent some extra time with the light box today). I gave up sugar and corn for obvious reasons. I gave up feeling big feelings about my person in rehab and accepted the fact that this is her fight to win or loose and there isn’t a damn thing I can do about it.
Lent is about giving things up but it is also the beginning of a season of hope and redemption. So in the spirit of getting on the righteous path we are adding some things, too. I’m reading everything I can find about pubescent brains and I’m going to learn more about mothering a big kid. LieLie is going to practice her guitar and add unloading the dishwasher to her daily chores. Finn is going to do homework of his own design everyday to keep his hands and mind busy (he’s already written and illustrated a book about the digestive system.)
So there it is. It could be so much grander and fluffy, true, but it still means I’m trying to get it right.
Winter will end eventually and hopefully we will be a little bit better at being humans by the time spring rises. If not, at least it won’t be from a lack of trying.