Coming home from a Sunday afternoon impromptu "hockey video watching party" featuring my 9 year old grandson, the goalie who shut out the game for a win earlier in the day, I found myself criticizing people's Christmas or Hanukkah lights because I wasn't driving. I was also tired, hungry, and the moon was full. Suddenly, I realized who the heck do I think I am? Just because the lights were not a color I would have chosen, or they were put up in a sloppy fashion, or one house put up lights outlining their swimming pool, so what?
Flashback to my daughter looking tired going into week two of her husband away on National Guard training, goldfish crackers on the carpet, piles of laundry needing to be folded, three young boys growing up to be men.
The youngest, happily signing goalie cards with his photo on them, slowly writing his name in cursive, then his number 30, like his idol Marty Brodeur. He is wearing Spongebob Squarepants pajamas that are too short because he's getting taller. He wanders off to "play chess", coming back in 15 minutes, claiming he won by quinto-killing his uncle's king or queen, throwing his arms up in joy. The middle son makes himself several Hotpockets, then confides in us his plan to acquire 25 girlfriends at one dance next week. He is 12.
The oldest, after skateboarding all day, goes to watch a girl he likes perform in The Nutcracker ballet. My daughter buys flowers for him to give her. He is still mystified that this is something you should do. In the kitchen, away from the Denver football game, he shyly tells me how he met her mother, her grandmother, her brother, and her father. I asked, how did that go? "Well, her mother introduced me as that boy who has a crush on our daughter." I said, "that must have been awkward." He replied," well, the grandmother is Portugese and doesn't understand any English, so I just shook hands with her brother and father." I gave him a double thumbs up signal. We talk about the importance of a good handshake.
Time is flying and I cherish these moments, even if it means I don't get certain things accomplished at my house. After a brief glance at E2 chatterbox, I remembered a wooden plaque my mother had over the kitchen phone for forty years until one sister took it down because it was a Chinese proverb, not Christian. (My mother later told me she had gotten it from The Christophers after a small donation she made.)
I wanted to get the wording right, so I typed in "it's better to light one candle than to curse the darkness", and lo! and behold! there was a direct link to a well-written Wikipedia article, which at the top had in bold letters, This page in a nutshell: It is better to light a candle for someone than to curse them in their darkness. If you have stayed with me so far, I implore you to temporarily let go of your hatred and derision regarding Wikipedia and read the article in its entirety. At this point in time, I found much of it quite enlightening and pertinent to the folderol that seems to be rampant at E2. I claim no wisdom, no expertise, no answers to anything. I just live moment-to-moment and the truly important moments yesterday added up to focusing on simple joys and the realization that I had no excuse at all for criticizing or cursing others' lights.