Today, I received some good news. Not quite as good as I had hoped, but overall, good. I can say that out loud now that I’ve gone through my usual steps: freak out (internally usually, and, sometimes with those close to me) while I process, then chill and be rational (with a silver lining shining)…and which I thank my Irish Catholic father for.
Today, it also occurred to me that I’ve highly undervalued perspective for, well, most of my life:
I was still in the (internal) processing phase with this good news that I was struggling to accept as such when Grace dropped a glass container on the floor. It was one of my favorites. (Mmmhmm. I said it. I have favorite glass containers, one of which was now in a bajillion pieces on our kitchen floor. Hahaha.) Her immediate reaction was to throw her hands over her mouth and burst into tears. And, thankfully, THANKFULLY!, I snapped right back into reality with a healthy dose of perspective. I ran over, reached out, hugged her, and said, “It’s OK. It’s OK. Accidents happen! I know you didn’t purposefully spike it to the ground. Accidents happen! Accidents happen!” Her posture softened, and she leaned into the hug for a second before pulling away, saying, “I should go sit with the dogs, so they don’t run over here and step on the glass.” Yes, sweet girl, yes. Go do that, and I will clean up.
As I swept and then vacuumed, she sat quietly – contently! – petting one dog, with the other arm wrapped around the second. Looking at that scene, it occurred to me that that could have gone very differently. That if I hadn’t reacted calmly and kindly, her night could have been ruined, and she could have possibly carried some long-lasting guilt with her over something so very small in the grand scheme of things. That I could have reacted in a way that projected my inner turmoil on to her, doubling it. Instead, if she remembers this moment at all, I hope she remembers that shit happens, and kindness always matters.
Perspective, thanks for showing your gorgeous face yet again.