I called out the other day from bed, feeling so horribly sick (the worst sick in years) and said to Matt, “Honey? Is there anything you could bring me that would make me feel better?”
As soon as I said this, I knew that there probably was not, but what I was really asking for was his presence, an I’m so sorry you are feeling so bad… but what was so terrible and comical is that he didn’t hear me at all! I saw his figure move across the hallway, iphone earbuds engaged, and the sound of the door closing as he went to pick up Nico at school.
I could make this moment mean something and feel really sorry for myself or I could just laugh and surrender.
That’s how I felt yesterday morning when I heard Nico calling to me: “Mama! You help me? Mama come!”
I wandered into the living room, still doubled over from the stomach flu and saw that he had climbed up on my desk. As I lifted him off, I noticed the marker in his hand and the BLACK SHARPIE covering my computer screen. Yep. You read that right. Black Sharpie all over my beautiful 27″ imac screen. All those irritating smudges from gummy fingers, stray bits of peanut butter and yogurt, seemed like nothing now. Black freaking Sharpie!
But these last few days have clearly been about surrender, about things being as they are and not as I want want them to be.
Like on Wednesday when I had to cancel my very first Storybowl because I was puking my guts out. Even while it was happening I wasn’t sure – is the lesson to cancel and know that no one will die? or is it to show up and be less than fabulous, imperfect, human? Or, like the Sharpie debacle, does shit just happen? and it’s not a lesson at all.
I Googled “Sharpie on computer screen” and saw endless entries in discussion forums about 3-year olds destroying computer screens across America.
We are not alone people. We are never alone. So that’s comforting.
I am grateful I let myself cancel the event. (I promise to let you know the new date Storybowlers!)
I am grateful that no one got mad at me.
I am grateful that it’s not the end of the world.
I’m grateful that I can still use my computer, that only the right half is covered in Sharpie and I can still see the left half clearly.
I am grateful that in my weakened, flu-induced state, I didn’t even feel angry. I just sighed and picked Nico up and we carried on.
I think that’s what you call surrender and I must have needed some practice in it.
UPDATE: One of Ben’s 7-year old friends suggested I trace the Sharpie with dry erase marker and then erase it. It worked like a charm! and didn’t harm my screen one bit.