Well, for a short week, it's been a long one.
There's a lot I could write about. I have a friend who is facing the biggest decision of her life thus far...and it isn't a good one or an easy one. I have another friend whose life has recently been turned upside down, twice, and is having a tough time adjusting. I have a third friend who, although he is always cheerful to me, I know that deep down there is sadness, worry and fear... A + B is not equalling C and he so so so deserves C.
I am worried about all three of them, and in different ways my heart aches for all three of them. To top off the week, 2 of those three friends were shocked, like I was, when we heard this morning that our grade 7 and 8 teacher had died of a massive heart attack yesterday. We were in grades 7 and 8 a long time ago, that's true, but this was a teacher who lived in our home community, who was a friend long after a teacher, and when he was our teacher, he was so much more than that. He was one of those teachers who really leaves a mark...really inspires you, encourages you...befriends you and your family...really pushes you to reach your full potential. When he saw our parents around the community he would stop to chat and ask how were doing and where we were now. He was fresh out of teacher's college when he taught both my parents, and in the middle of his career when he taught me, my friends and many of my cousins. He was a fantastic, wonderful man, who will be sorely missed in Howick township, and far beyond.
I could write a big heavy post about many things this week...loss, heartache, worry, fear, sadness, friendship, regret...even betrayal. But I'm not going to. It would be hard to put an upbeat spin onto all that and still be honest at the same time.
So, as I was singing "Old MacDonald had a farm" today with 21 little people, i realized how easily they lifted my mood. I was fairly sad as I began my workday, but sitting in a giant circle and playing and singing with 21 little people under age 6 all at once really takes focus, and all of your attention...it distracts you from anything else going on.
As I was cleaning up my thoughts returned to those less pleasant, but I thought about how thankful I was for the distraction this morning.
I have two great distractions at home too, and that's what the rest of this blog will focus on.
Because in our house, we have someone new to introduce you to.
Her name is "Illy".
Makenna and Jack spent the night at their great grandma's house last weekend, and when we went to pick them up, after playing outside for awhile, Makenna found a caterpillar. She was so excited. My grandma, not really thinking, said "Ew, a caterpillar, they eat my plants, kill it!"
Makenna, astonished, looked at her and said "You can't kill it, it will turn into a butterfly!" My aunt was there at the time too, and I could see the faintest of smirks as she looked at my grandma, no doubt thinking, "Ha! what are you going to say now?". I suggested she find a jar and some leaves and sticks and we would take it home. Gran was quite happy to provide the jar, if it meant the caterpillar was leaving her property...how she thinks one caterpillar is going to ruin her hundreds of plants is beyond me...but Gran is like that.
On the spot, Makenna decided to name it "Illy"...I have no idea how she came up with that name...Makenna is like that. Since bringing it home on Sunday, she has carried that jar everywhere - upstairs, downstairs, inside, outside...she checks on it every night before going to sleep, every morning when she wakes up and every day before she leaves for Jodi's house. At school on Tuesday she drew a picture and wrote a story about Illy in her journal and shared it with the class. I am telling you, she is more attached to this caterpillar, then to our cat, who has been with us for 9 years.
Between you and me, Jeff and I keep thinking Illy is dead. But then we poke it and it starts moving again. So, I convinced her to take Illy to school to share with everyone today, instead of the usual next Wednesday...just in case. When I picked her up from Jodi's this afternoon, I learned that Illy had been left at school. Luckily the school was still open and we were able to pick her up before going home...cause I think if we had of left it until Monday, her next day of school, her teacher would have had to have an unpleasant dscussion with her.
She is a very proud little mother to this thing and I fear our first real experience and discussion with Makenna about death is going to come from it. (No, we did not discuss it with her when my grandma died in March, because Makenna had only seen her a handful of times in 5 yrs).
But I can handle this, because its a caterpillar. And apparently, I am the better one to handle such a discussion with her then her Gran is. Jeff and I are trying to talk her into letting it go, but she is not open to that discussion right now. At present we have agreed that she doesn't have to let it go today, we compromised that she could wait until Sunday.
Let's hope it makes it that long.
I just wonder...if it doesn't make it that long...do you think I'll need to hold a memorial service and bury it?
The moral of today's story? When life gets you down, or overwhelmed, or angry, or has you feeling helpless, or any of the other yucky feelings life can make you feel...
Find a child to hang out with, play with, talk with, laugh with.
Even if only for a moment...
They will make you smile.
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