Simple Pleasures

I’m sitting in my kitchen listening to Jon Hassell, drinking dandelion and thyme-from-my -garden tea.  It’s quiet, a late morning for me; the kids are at school and my wife is cozy asleep as is the dog.  It’s been raining hard and looks like more to fall and I love it.

I’m writing a blog post and thinking about the balance between the inane and the sublime.  Why would anyone care that I’m happy in my kitchen, having just cleaned the pan and dishes from my kids’ breakfast, feeling good that I stopped what I was doing and drank tea as they ate and we had a moment of chatting and hanging out.  That despite getting it wrong so often, I got it right this morning—and the reward is my feeling of gratitude and aliveness.

We chatted about the Spanish names my boys have taken in their Spanish classes, and how I once worked with a boy in the group home who had one of their names—a boy the other boys teased, along with me, for being father and son for looking, at least in their eyes, very much related.  I remembered that one of my unknown relatives also had that same name, after immigrating to Mexico from Russia and Latinizing his former shtetl identity.

Post-breakfast, in my scramble to get them off to school on time, I noticed my younger son reading my blog on his laptop.  He showed me how my post could have been shorter, and I eagerly tried to learn from him and how I had three concluding paragraphs, although he acknowledged that, “some people might like to read things that were more like books.”

On the way to school my older son said they were starting field hockey and I couldn’t help but warn them about kids getting over-excited and hitting each other in the face on accident with the sticks.  My younger son teased me, since the blog-post that need to be shorter was about being over-protective and my older kid agreed that I was being overprotective.  Sometimes I forget that they’re teenagers now.  We laughed, I copped to my neuroses, they were off to a great day and so am I.

My wife got a chance to sleep in.  Tonight I’ll be home late and she’ll be the step-up parent, doing the driving, homework-coaching, cooking and also getting to chat around the table about their days or be in the line of fire for their frustrations.  I’ll miss out, at least for today, but I’ll always have this morning—and any morning to which I remember to show up.  I’ve had this feeling before kids, it’s really just about showing up to life.

It’s not about being a perfect parent, it’s not about being special or unique—for me it’s just about how much I love my kids and truly enjoy them when I manage to slow down my often non-stop brain and savor the moment.  This post is about mirroring myself, noting what works for me and hoping it means something to someone else out there in the cosmos… someone who will find themselves in their kitchen drinking their tea and resonating to the gratitude and the profound love we share for all our collective children.

Namaste, Bruce

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6 Responses to “Simple Pleasures”

  1. Lindsey Says:

    And there is such beauty in those small moments. I certainly care about the way that serendipity visits you, even over breakfast. Thank you for sharing them. It is through these tiny pinpricks that we actually see the huge hole. At least that is my view.

  2. BigLittleWolf Says:

    Yes. “Just” showing up. Maybe better said as “showing up.” It’s more than many kids have. We forget that.

    And teachers show up as well, helping in so many ways. How easy it is to forget all the other adults who show up in small but significant ways for our kids.

  3. Kristen @ Motherese Says:

    It sounds as though you achieved a perfect moment: “showing up” without first having reminded yourself to do so. Isn’t true that the most sublime of our moments with kids are the ones that come spontaneously, when the stars align for us to just be together, over tea or across a Lego tower?

  4. Anonymous Says:

    Thank you for mirroring your fine self, Bruce. We are out here, and we do care, and though the morning pick-me-up might be coffee in this particular household, we do share your appreciation of those divinely simple and simply divine moments.
    How little it takes to have quality time with pur kids! How quickly tension can be dispelled, and a loving feeling reinstated…

  5. Erin Says:

    I love this post – I always read your blog and wonder what your kids are thinking about them… I loved that your son “called you out” about being over-protective! It was sort of his way of showing you he was listening, too. I get such a joy from reading your blog. Thank you!

  6. privilegeofparenting Says:

    Thank you guys for these wonderful comments. I hope it mirrors to all of us that we just have to be who we are, flaws and all, and find that we’re all more connected, accepted and appreciated than we might fear in our darker moments.

    Namastes all around!

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