Frustration. Fatigue. Emotional defeat. There is really no sugar coating it. Today was full of all of these things and more in my forever home. Both of my dear forever parents faced seemingly insurmountable hurdles in their respective places called work. These are the things I do not fully understand, yet want to fix. So for me, it was a frustrating, tiring and emotionally challenging day as well.
But I didn’t cry like mom did. Nor did I hold it in like dad did. I stood by them, as I always do, and offered them my love. Sometimes that is all any of us bystanders can really do. And it matters. It helps. It doesn’t go unnoticed. Nor does it wash away whatever brand of awfulness has shrouded the day.
At least not when its me. I’ve long since developed a certain acceptance of this truth – that there really only is so much I can do to help in such situations. And acceptance does soothe my soul. But not like this soothed theirs.
For mom, it happened right after dear baby Carter’s late afternoon nap. After what could be described as an exceptionally trying couple of days at her place called work, she is tired. I could see it on her face, and know it to be true as I witness each and every passing sleepless night first paw. While he is sometimes a bit crabby this time of day, he was all smiles today. She picked him up out of his crib and he voluntarily kissed her on the cheek. Twice.
As she unwrapped him from the sleep blanket he wears, he giggled at her. She tickled his bare legs and he giggled some more. Joy. From the ground up, I watched as these few moments filled my mom’s weary heart with a happiness no money can buy. The rest of the day wasn’t any less trying, but she seemed happier. Lighter. Peaceful, almost, after those precious moments with her little boy.
For dad, it was much more understated. None of us fully understand what happened to disrupt his day so badly, nor would he let his own frustration get in the way of mom’s. But it didn’t matter at bath time, which has developed into a special time he has with Carter each night.
Tonight was no exception, and I watched joy fill dad’s heart as Carter talked to him. It was almost as if he was sharing the happenings of his day, though he was (of course) doing so in a language none of us understand. The information he shared was very real to him, making it very real to dad, who listened and talked back to him as if he understood.
After that, I could tell he too was no longer effected by the trials of the day.
Frustration. Fatigue. Emotional defeat. These were among the things that pushed us all to the limit around here today. But there is no struggle, no mountain to be climbed, that cannot be eased by the simplicity that is joy from the ground up.