“We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures.” – Thornton Wilder
I’ve had a busy, frustrating week. I knew this week would be busy with all the work and outside work stuff that was on the agenda, but it just seemed like nothing was easing up or even remotely going smoothly. Weeks like this you feel like your heart and brain are constantly racing and trying to get ahead, your body feels exhausted and the piles seem to keep growing.
I left work unsettled at least a good 90 minutes after I’d hoped to and I was not looking forward to the chaos that would be involved with Halloween festivities. We have people over, Lo always puts lots of food out, the kids run around like lunatics and this is all BEFORE the trick-or-treating. I was hoping for a calm evening because I was unable to stop thinking about unresolved items at work.
In the 20 minutes it took me to drive the 2 miles home last night, I still felt some stress while other thoughts started to settle in. I thought about my memories of Halloween as a kid. I remember with such clarity trick-or-treating with my father driving us from house to house. I remember my brother and I sitting on the living room floor with our stash of candy as my mother went through pulling out anything partially opened (something about a fear of razor blades – I swear I’m not making that up).
Then, I thought about the parents of children lost at Sandy Hook (and every parent who has lost a child) and what heartache exists on these kid-friendly holidays on top of their daily pain.
As we finally headed out trick-or-treating, I caught myself reminding the kids to stick together and not run too fast to the next condo. About halfway through, I stopped. They were nutty. They were high on the prospect of filling their buckets. They were bouncy and silly and giddy. It was cool.
We sat in the living room last night and sifted through the buckets of candy. Instead of looking for partially-opened ones, we were busy pulling out the ones we liked. After our guests departed and we were finishing some clean up, Lo turned to me – almost as exhausted as I was – and said “this is what they will remember. It’s all worth it.”
She’s right. They will remember this. And the late nights this week trying to balance work & family stuff while also watching Halloween movies and pumpkin carving was worth it.
It was all worth it even though I’m exhausted. But I am very, very grateful for these moments with my family.