Wonder

Words underlined in a recently finished book: How long has it been since you were fascinated by your shadow? It mesmerized you the first time you noticed it, yet you probably pay it no mind now. Did it lose its wonder, or did you lose your wonderment? 

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I’m not sure how to do this. None of us do, I know. This stay-at-home-educate-our-kids-social-distancing-live-on-your-own-land thing. I don’t know how to do it.

It’s a strange thing, when I think about it. The entire world trying to find the footing of a new experience at the exact same time. It’s kind of like every person deciding to take up ice skating, all at once. Or everyone in the world bringing home a newborn on the exact same day.

What are we doing?
What is on the other side of this?
How is this supposed to look?

I don’t have answers, nor do I know how to lead this experience. Instead it’s one-day-at-a-time one-moment-at-a-time, figure it out as we go, and hope we are doing a few things right and not messing up our kids, our lives, or our brains and hearts too much.

I tend to default to gratitude, which I realize can be a bit annoying. I still remember the day my Mom died and my Dad making it clear to my siblings and I that still, ‘we do not have problems’. I didn’t want to hear it at the time, because I was pretty sure we did. In retrospect, though, what he was trying to say is look at all we have–our lives, our family, we want for little. In a way, it was the beginning of learning how to hold joy and grief together. It doesn’t have to be one or the other–joy or grief–it can be both.

Joy & Grief.

I’m sad the world has changed drastically in the last week and a half. And I’m unnerved at the reality that we have no idea what the world will look like on the other side of this.

Still, I’ve wondered, about wonder.

A quick google search lead me to this: wonder: a feeling of surprise mingled with admiration, caused by something beautiful, unexpected, unfamiliar, or inexplicable.

We were supposed to be in New York City this week. But alas, like every person on the planet–plans changed. Being homebound has created different memories and a different experience.

Last week, I’m sweeping the kitchen floor and all three kids are bounce-bounce-bouncing on the trampoline. I’m lost in my own world, looking toward the window occasionally to check on them. All of a sudden, I am jerked out of my thoughts, when three sweaty kids burst through the door yelling about a bald eagle sitting on the fence below our house.

No way, I told them, on the verge of shooing them back outside. They insisted. I looked out the window and nearly had them convinced they were mistaken, but Charlie raced down the road anyway. I watched as he reached the bottom of the hill and turned toward us frantically waving at us to follow.

They were not mistaken.

Saturday night we said goodnight to the kids with a kiss on the head and a “see you in the morning.” Chad snuck to the basement and strung Christmas lights all around. When he finished, we slipped into our own bed and set an alarm for a time we rarely see anymore. At midnight, alarms went off and popcorn was popping on the stovetop. One by one, tired and curious faces emerged from upstairs and were ushered toward the basement, where popcorn and a movie awaited.

The five of us sat under blankets, surrounded by twinkling lights and laughed together as we watch Olaf dance around an icy scene.

So often, I wonder how we might give our kids experiences they can remember. We save and plan and fret and stress to go and do and create. In reality, there is so much to discover right under our noses.

All five us decided our midnight movie night was a pretty incredible. The cost was nothing. The result? Absolute wonder.

Our pace has slowed, creating time and space for things that usually get pushed aside for ‘when things slow down’.

Paints are scattered, hands are dirty, creativity flows freely.

Two weeks ago, when we were standing of the precipice of this massive change, I was unsure of how we were going to get through it. In reality, on day two of ‘schooling from home”, I sent Chad an email that said, in short, I’m done. I’m running away. I can’t do this. (I have a knack for dramatics, yes I do,)

As the days have moved on, though, I’ve noticed something growing. . .

I can’t be certain, but I have my suspicions. . . I think it might be wonder.

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