Today’s happiness brought by a morning with no fighting. A morning I didn’t have to physically dress my child. A morning brought by (finally) coming up with a schedule of fifteen minute increments, each designated with an action, approved by all, and the stove’s timer.
7:30 – 7:45: play time
7:45 – 8:00: get dressed
8:00 – 8:15: eat breakfast
8:15: get in the car and head to school
I unplugged the internet so none of us would get swallowed up. I told my kids that if they completed their tasks early that block would revert to play. It was so simple and it worked. They got dressed and they ate and they played. We got to school on time. I wasn’t yelled at for rushing them. I will keep it up. I had my own schedule and I stuck to it. Half the time I’m the one goofing off and our mornings can be hell.
I looked at myself in the rearview mirror after my kids got out of the car. My wild and wooly brow would necessitate a call to the salon. I looked to the right and saw my friend walking to work. She sculpts the unruly and unwanted fur on many a human in our neighborhood. She hopped in the car for a ride and I made an appt. with her as we chatted. She can now book appointments on her iPhone for the salon. How handy. I asked after her brother-in-law who has leukemia. He has been in the hospital for six weeks. He hasn’t been able to see his four year old son once in all that time. She told me he gets to go home for a week. How lovely. The coffee shop down the street from their home in Brooklyn hosted a bone marrow drive and he now has a match. This morning’s happiness brought on by good news. The fact that a complete stranger would donate bone marrow to a person in need renews one’s faith in humanity. Not that I ever lost it, but still. It made me weep with joy and hope.
I love this friend. She is open and good-natured and chatty. She is also gorgeous. She stays afloat and remains upbeat when things are shit. She is sturdy and strong and nice to be around. She looked back into our car as she was closing the door and noticed a book “Bone”, which Violet is reading, on the floor in a sea of trash and smiled. “I love the mess of your car.” she said, and I believed her. I don’t let many people into my car. It’s embarrassing. It’s littered and filthy and this past weekend my mom said it smelled like a barn. A year or two ago on a very rainy day I gave a ride to a dad I saw getting soaked after I had dropped my kids off at school. I shoved the stuff off the passenger seat and he got in. I weakly apologized for the mess. After a few minutes he said “It’s not so much that your car is messy, because it is, as it is the striking variety of things you have in here.” I looked around and saw a toothbrush, a headless barbie, a single pink plastic princess sandal and god knows what all. He was right. It is a crazy person’s car. But I’m not crazy.
I got to work and saw the older guy who carries around bottles hanging out by the door. His cigarette butts often litter the steps to the church. One of his eyes wanders and he yells a lot. His hair was surprisingly clean and blowing wildly in the breeze. I’ve never spoken to him and I usually hold my breath when I pass him, just in case. I suppose I wrote him off but this morning I asked him if he needed anything. He was surprised by my question. “What do you mean?” he asked. I said I wanted to know if he was hungry because I had some food. Did I have any coffee, he asked. I gave him money to get some. Happiness brought by having money to spare and a little kindness as well. Sometimes the latter is in short supply.