I've been spending a lot of time contemplating my existence. Honestly, that's really not a new thing, I tend to get overwhelmed with the finality of death and the vastness of infinity. (How's that for depth in the morning before coffee? I apologize.)
The overwhelmedness hits me in waves. I think about it a lot, get overwhelmed and then stop. I don't like to think of my very existence in this world as such a small blip in time, like it is. Between 50-100 years (if I'm lucky) is really not much time in the scope of things. Sometimes it really upsets me. Other times it makes me want to live fully and appreciate each of life's moments, no matter how annoying some of them are. Other times I live obliviously, but I don't really like when I do that because I want to live each day consciously, with purpose. That doesn't always happen.
I told you I'm a victim of my own head.
One morning in particular, I was feeling a little deep and at the same time getting a little upset at my older son because of the things he sometimes says. Sometimes he talks about violence like it's great and fantastic, like crashing into things or people or smashing his brother or something like that. Probably all very normal boy-stuff but I have no idea and all I am trying to do is raise two little men with good hearts and smart minds. (Is that too much to ask?) So this kind of talk really stresses me out. It makes me think I've gone wrong somewhere and I ask questions like, "Where's the sweet boy that likes to share all his toys and says, "Please" and says, "No, I insist! After you!"
And gives his cheese sandwich shaped like an airplane to the homeless.
So I was sitting at a stoplight taking my two boys to preschool and I was thinking again about not only how fleeting life in general is, but how fleeting driving them to preschool as tiny little men is. Everything just goes so fast.
And I hoped and said a prayer to myself that eventually one day my sons would understand that with such a valuable little blip of time on this earth, they would use that time to do some good. Whatever that is.
So I turned around and said to my 3 year old, "Honey?" And he said, "What, Mom?" And I was pausing because I didn't know how I was going to say what I was thinking about in "3 year old." And he says, "WHAT, MOM!??" a little louder because he's annoyed that I started talking to him and stopped. And so I said, "Honey, we are only here in this world for a very short time. Promise me you'll use that time to do something good."
(What was I expecting, anyway? I think I just wanted to hear myself say that. Besides, I have a tendency to tell them things that are a little above their level of comprehension. To say the least.)
And then he says to me, "Mom, when I get to school, I'll push..." (and here's where I start thinking, "Please don't say "'push my brother or another child '- please don't say 'push my brother or another child'" ) but that's not what he finished with thank goodness. Instead he finishes this way: "Mom, when I get to school, I'll push in all the chairs at the table."
And I got all teary-eyed.
And I said, "Honey, that's wonderful. You will do that and your teachers will be proud and thankful."
And he smiled really big.
Because those are the kinds of things you do as a 3 year old. You don't quite know yet the scope of the problems in this world. You just know about the scope of the problems in your world. And at that moment, the problem that existed in his world that he wanted to fix was the problem of chairs in his classroom being left out.
And I just wanted to cry. How thoughtful! In his own way, even if I am making it up in my head, he seemed to get what I meant. He told me something he would do that is responsible, that other people would appreciate, and that he could take pride in, himself. In "3 year old," that's pretty good.
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