I had a long day.
A really long day.
I have been having a lot of them lately. The kind of days where you can’t believe you are wearing the same outfit you grabbed from the laundry pile at 5am, because that felt like a week ago. And you aren’t really sure if it was the clean or the dirty laundry – and you really don’t care.
Those kind of days.
And despite every effort to take deep breaths and have impromptu dance parties, it must have been written on my face because my daughter noticed.
Mommy. You sad?
A little honey.
It okay Mommy.
And I grab her hand. I hold her tired fingers that spend hours trying to clutch a pencil just to draw a circle. I see a gigantic smile on her face, despite her tired lips practicing the ‘s’ sound, so that she can even ask me the question. She jumps on my lap, misses, and I notice the fatigue in her legs. It does not escape me that to even have this conversation is a miracle.
And I really look at the child who teaches me so much about strength every day. So I ask her.
What should Mommy do if she feels sad?
She stops smiling. She looks into the distance and puts her finger to her mouth. Hmm. She is really thinking about her answer.
Or, walk around a tree.
The sincerity and the simplicity of her answer catch me off guard and my spirits are immediately lifted.
That sounds like a great idea.
She is clearly very pleased.
The following day, I return home. Once again a bit downtrodden from the realities of the day, I am greeted by my twin sons. As we wait for their big sister to get off the cheese bus, my eye catches the tree we planted six years ago, after Jordan’s birth. Despite blooming every year – it never grows.
I gather a boy in each hand, and together we walk. Around the tree. And around. And around.
This is the best advice I’ve received in a long time.
Maybe it will help someone else to stop reading this,
find a tree,
and start circling.