Thursday, October 27, 2011

Into the blue again, into the silent water

Mama and I have somehow created a family, it seems, although I'm not quite sure how.

Sitting at the table last night, watching Jewel, Mama and 3B eat dinner, I was amused to realize that five years ago, I wouldn't have known how to pull together a family dinner, get 3B through his homework, entertain Jewel and get everyone through bath and books and into bed by 7.30.

Five years ago, I was lucky to get to bed before midnight, and I still left half-finished projects around the house to stumble over in the morning. Now, I complete 10 times the number of tasks in one quarter of the time--and then go on to finish my work after the kids are in bed.

OK, often my work consists of lying on the couch tweeting snark during Dancing with the Stars, but still...OK, and to be fair, in that earlier paragraph, I'm not sure that I could pull together a family dinner, since Mama works all that magic while I'm still on my way home...

Mom always said that when people have more to do, they get more done--wisdom that I'll never share with my boss, but it's true nonetheless. And so it is with the kids, although it took me awhile to figure out how to do this:

Let go.

3B and Jewel have taught me nothing more important than to let go. Of everything. Forever. It's such an important lesson, and I'm such an old dog, that they teach me this trick every day. Getting through dinner, bath, books and into bed requires letting go. Of everything.

Answering the phone. Tweeting. Facebook. What happened to me at work today. That call I needed to make. The email I just remembered I needed to reply to. Blogging. Posting that one cute photo. Taking pictures of the kids.

When we're eating dinner, I need to just eat dinner. When it's bath time, I need to just give the kids a bath. When it's time to read stories, I need to just read stories.

In short, I need to focus.

I need discipline.

I need clarity.

"If one's life is simple, contentment has to come. Simplicity is extremely important for happiness. Having few desires, feeling satisfied with what you have, is very vital: satisfaction with just enough food, clothing, and shelter to protect yourself from the elements. And finally, there is an intense delight in abandoning faulty states of mind and in cultivating helpful ones in meditation." -H.H.D.L.

My children are the masters. I am the student.

Except maybe when it comes to long division.

Papa Bradstein will ride 200 miles across Massachusetts in two days to help fight cancer. Please support his ride.

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