Today has been a Plan B type of day...you know one where Plan A seems to not want to work out quite right. We missed the bus. I forgot to buy Scarlett a white t-shirt that she needed for preschool today. I had to make an unnecessary trip to Walmart upping my voyages to that side of town to three for the day. And all of our clean laundry sits on my bedroom floor for the fifth (?) day in a row. These things are really nothing to complain about, but some days, you know, they just wear on a girl. (Especially when that third unnecessary trip takes place in the middle of nap time!)
Sometimes, I figure I just ought to cry more. It could prove to be a very productive form of stress relief, I think. But I don't. I usually just suck it up and keep moving. Sometimes I don't know I need to cry until I get on the phone with my Mama, or I stop to recall the events of the day.
For instance, while the three kids and I waited fruitlessly at the bus-stop this morning, we noticed a mini-van full of adults with varying forms of disabilities. They stopped at the intersection and turned left in front of us. One woman was slumped over in the front passenger seat. One person, seated midway back was wearing extensive head-gear. The third fellow was seated in front of a folded-up wheelchair.
Scarlett noticed immediately and curiously asked, "Why is that girl just sitting there like this?" and not knowing how to describe what she saw, she imitated the expression on the woman's face.
I explained, "Scarlett, some people's brain and body don't work together right, so they can't make their bodies do what they want them to. (Like the girl we saw in a wheelchair at the park last week? Yes.) I bet the woman saw you just now and thought, "Look at that cute little girl, I want to wave to her." But her body wouldn't listen to what her mind wanted her to do, so all she could do was sit and watch you as she passed."
I told Scarlett that this is probably a source of sadness or frustration for people like the woman she saw...and this is why she must wave first and let people know that she sees them too.
I was retelling this story to my Mom on the phone just now as I lamented having to make these tiresome trips knowing that meant that the laundry would sit on the floor for yet another night. And as I retold it, I cried, and realized, once again, how important perspective is to our enjoying happiness in this life.
It makes me hearken back to the talk given by Russell M. Nelson in General Conference called "Thanks Be to God." In it, he reminds us of many physical and spiritual gifts that we have to be thankful for: our bodies, the ability to age, our body's ability to heal itself and to reproduce. But he adds, "Be we reminded that a perfect body is not required to achieve one's divine destiny."
What is required is our daily effort to access "the power of the Atonement so that we can truly change, become more Christlike, and qualify for the gift of exaltation and live eternally with God, Jesus Christ, and our families.33 For these powers, privileges, and gospel gifts, thanks be to God!"
I am thankful for modern prophets (and modern mamas!) whose teachings help me to realize that "Thanks Be to God" is really the only perspective that is needed to see life clearly.