Love is pretty strange. It’s strange because sometimes I hate it. It can be difficult to love someone so deeply and then be left feeling disappointed, unsure, second guessing every word you’ve ever said, every thought inside your head. Love can make you forgive people for stupid things, and can allow someone to hurt you over and over and over again. Yet, love is also so beautiful isn’t it? It’s the moral of so many stories, the meaning behind powerful lyrics, the reason so many people feel as if they can carry on when the world around them seems to be falling apart.
Today I want to talk about how beautiful another kind of love is.
I moved to Seattle as a form of escapism, we won’t go into details but I think we should note that I have a bad habit of fleeing from sadness rather than facing it. I was happy to be closer to my family, and most of all my best friend, Nicole. I quickly realized city living was somehow exponentially more expensive than small college town living (who would have thought) and found myself responding to nannying advertisements on craigslist. One such ad offered a position with three little girls, and I was so sick of babysitting little boys who wanted to play video games and football all day that I thought tutus and tea parties would be a nice change of pace. I mean, how many people can say they get paid to pretend to be a bunny all morning or to color with sidewalk chalk? I’ve always liked kids, but I was nannying for easy money while in college, it was a search for a job, not a passion. I never imagined I would form a new family.
Today doesn’t mark any special sentimental anniversary with my Nanny family, it’s no one’s birthday, they didn’t give me a raise this morning, but for some reason I’m feeling extraordinarily sentimental. As I sat eating fried matzah for breakfast with my three little sugar plum princesses I was overcome with a warm sense of peace, of untainted happiness, of uncomplicated affection…I think the feeling is called love. I think the oldest Sugarplum princess picked up on my sappiness, after dropping them off at school and turning the corner to walk home I heard her cry out my name and rush back to me. I assumed she would ask me to relay a message to her mother, or beg for assistance cleaning dog poop off of her shoe (a tragedy we’d been forced to deal with earlier in the morning). Instead she simply looked up at me, her hair a tangled mess from doing handstands all morning, her cheeks rosy, her beaming gap toothed smile, and said “Thank you”. I hugged her quickly, as not to embarrass her in front of her friends, and tried not to let my heart explode then and there.
This morning wasn’t so profound, there was arguing, there was spilled orange juice, there was the fact that I stayed out late with friends the past few nights and was slightly hungover and absoloutely exhausted, I just realized how lucky I am. I just realized how much there is to love in this life, and how many beautiful people surround me. I have just about the world’s coolest bosses (they brought me back a unicorn mug from New York, and gave me a My Little Pony t-shirt for Valentine’s Day…they sort of just get me), and even though there are times the Sugarplum princesses call me “mean” or spit at me or just criticize my appearance…I seriously love those little girls.
Have you had any random “stop and smell the roses” moments that have helped you to appreciate life a bit more?