I write a lot on Handprints about my struggle against being so caught up in my pursuit of perfection that I miss my life. Just recently I blogged about how my birthday was “ruined” and I realized it was only ruined because it wasn’t perfect. That was a painful realization for me, because it feels like I’m not succeeding in my attempts to be content in the midst of the everyday moments of my life.
Yesterday, the kids and I were in the car on the way to meet some friends for a spontaneous coffee/breakfast date on a day off school. We were listening to the radio and chatting. Jubilee smiled at me in the rear view mirror with her top-toothless smile and I blew her a kiss. Romeo’s favorite song came on the radio and he got all excited and started to smile and sing loudly in his off-key 3-year-old way. In the rear view, Melody showed me the face he had made when he heard the song come on and we both chuckled at how silly he is and I just took a second and admired her sweet woman-child face, still capable of silly expressions, yet so mature in some ways. And for the first time, I experienced it. Or maybe for the first time I realized it. Either way, I felt it wash over me. For about 30 seconds, I felt a surge of contentment mixed with thankfulness mixed with joy mixed with peace and love. In that half a minute, there was no sadness or regret or anger. And I saw it and took a deep breath as if to breath it in deep and savor the taste of it.
I chatted with a friend who has been having a very hard time with her teenage daughter. She described a few moments where her girl snuggled up next to her in bed and she was able to just hold her and smell her head and kiss her soft cheeks and savor. And said that no matter what has been or what is to come, for that moment her heart was all in. And she felt the love she has for her daughter wash over her in a moment of beauty and deep abiding love.
Perfection is possible. It does happen. But not in the way I always yearn for it. I’ve been looking in all the wrong places. It’s there hiding in the ordinary. Like a beautiful pearl waiting to be hunted out and discovered. Or waiting so obviously right around the next corner. Like the sunset you’re not really looking for as you drive down the interstate that suddenly makes you stop and suck in your breath at how beautiful it is.
And I’m endeavoring to slow down and start noticing it. Because it’s worth it.