Strawberry Shortcake

I don’t know If you’ve heard of this phrase, but these are unprecedented times. Kidding, as long as you are at least two years old I definitely know you’ve heard that phrase. 

It’s kind of crazy to think of all that has happened in two years time. To all of us, I assume but alas I can only speak for myself. Since March of 2020 I have managed to work from home with a baby beside me, buy my dream home with the love of my life, celebrate my first born’s first and second birthdays, gotten a new job and learned an entirely new field (capital markets), and am now in the throes of planning a wedding with Rob. Life keeps getting sweeter, and I know that with each new sunrise, I am new as well. Life will inevitably ebb and flow, but I get a little better at rolling with it each time something new arises.

Gavin is in a bit of a strawberry phase. There are certainly worse evils with which he could be preoccupied so believe me, the lucky stars have been counted. However, our local Kroger is hellbent on depriving us on this front. To be fair, I don’t think we’re really supposed to be able to access strawberries in the dead of winter in Indiana, but we lead a life of privilege so they are often available. At any rate, Gavin and I had to swing by the store on Monday after work in search of strawberries. He needed to take in his car snack, because how is one to shop for a new snack without the current snack in hand? I wouldn’t know, I’m not a monster.

We secured the goods (two boxes worth) and stood in line. Luckily, everyone loves Gavin so we made some friendly conversation while waiting for our turn to check out and become the proud owners of those strawberries. While I was getting us through the self checkout, buddy dropped his mini crackers all over the floor. 

It was one of those tiny moments, the ones that can make or break an evening. There is also a third option, which is to just let it be and not allow it to define a thing. 

Rob and I agree on many points, and one of those is the concept of “body positivity”. We are both firmly on the side of “body neutrality”. I don’t think it’s super productive to pretend I love the six inch scar connecting my hips from the day I met Gavin. It isn’t ugly, and it isn’t beautiful.
It just is.

So I set down the toddler (who is very much a flight risk) and trusted him to stay near me. He did, and he also heard me say, “that’s okay” while I bent to pick up the crackers. And not in the “that’s okay, but I wish my eyes were laser beams that could sear right through any obstacle in my way while I also simultaneously dissolve to become part of the landscape” type way. He will sometimes drop crackers, or whatever similar equivalent applies to him at that time, just as he will also absolutely astonish me in his myriad ways. I “drop crackers” all the time, myself. I want him to see me drop them, sometimes even crush them up until they’re hardly discernible, and then I want him to witness the cleanup, the restoration, the being okay.

I won’t always react as my most evolved self. She’s a great gal, but I can’t be her all the time. My lowest self is also a great gal, and I’m not her all the time either. I don’t concern myself with being a perfect example for Gavin, because that shit doesn’t exist and I think it’s important he knows that. If he can watch me give both him and myself grace, I’m hopeful he can one day do the same for himself and those he loves.

Pema Chodron said,
“Since death is certain, and the time of death is uncertain, what is the most important thing?”

I don’t pretend to have the answer to that, but it sure has made me think.

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