Monday, April 30, 2012

a purple jelly bean

Here I sit, in the messy living room. My feet tired from a long unscheduled day at school. The foot rest is just out of reach and I am too exhausted to get up and move it. Supper plates are askew on the table. Food is still warm on the stove. Baby dolls and toys are tossed about in random positions. The kids are outside and I can hear their voices through the open window. The television is on with the news blaring sad stories of death and destruction. I can't reach the remote or I would turn it off, it's depressing. My husband is in the shower getting ready for the night shift. He just got off the phone with a baseball coach and has added yet another game to a overbooked summer schedule of ball games. My brain is toast. I came home from school and started supper right away so that we could eat together before dad leaves for work. Sometimes dinner is the only time we are together in the same room for more than a minute or two.

I am thinking about my full inbox of emails. The google reader is full of hundreds of recipes and deals that I may or may not read. I am itching to see how many of my friends have played "Words with Friends" today and whether or not I am winning.

This is it. This is my life. Not so pretty, not so "good". Just plain and real and painfully messy. I twist my bent and scratched wedding ring to a proper position so I can type with out the tiny, blemished diamond rubbing my finger.

This morning after I got the call to sub, after I showered and woke the school age kids, after I got dressed and put on real people clothes and not sweat pants, as I was blow drying my hair... I stepped on it.

I felt the squish under my foot. I turned off the hair dryer and looked down to see a smashed purple jelly bean on the rug. This is what it has come to, I thought. This is my life. I step on jelly beans in the bathroom. At first I was disgusted. How embarrassing to have a smooshed candy on the carpet in the bathroom! This was a tiny purple piece to the puzzle of my life.

I try to remember a time, a long time ago. The gears in my head creak and moan and I try to think of a quiet peaceful time when my house was always neat and tidy, when my calendar did not look like a doodle pad. I can hardly remember it.

Is that really awful? I can't remember when we was just we and not us, when supper meant take out or a restaurant. I do not even recall when laundry was barely done once a week and garbage could be forgotten to be put out because it didn't even fill the can. It almost seems unreal that my life was ever like that.

All day I have thought about the purple jelly bean. I thought about it when the teacher called the room I was subbing in to tell me my son got sick right next to the trash can in his classroom. I thought about when I called my husband to come and pick my son up from school. I thought about the bean on my lunch break and on the short two block drive home from work. I thought long and hard about that little colorful stain on my bathroom rug. I finally came to the conclusion that if I had a choice I would choose the purple jelly bean life over the empty calendar life. I mean that purple jelly bean is so much prettier, so much sweeter.

I can hear them now, the kids are singing. They are all hanging out together and I am here with my tired feet and fried brain and I am smiling. I am pretty sure God placed that purple jelly bean in my bathroom this morning intentionally. (well, with a little help from an adorable three year old) Thank you, Lord, for reminding me how blessed I am. Thank you for the sweet, colorful, reminder that life, sticky as it may seem, is certainly a gift.
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