The day started with a bang. Lying in bed, cuddling Sol. Jeff's up and in the shower. My contacts are stuck to my eyes. I hear Lucy make a strange, sudden move. Then see flashing yellowish-orange colors reflecting from my kitchen. Leave Sol unattended on the bed because I have a funny sense. Sure enough. The stove is on fire. Like, really on fire. Orange and yellow big flames.
"Fire!" I scream because I don't think I have the best instincts in this situation.
Jeff hustles out of the bathroom, grabs the fire extinguisher that I would have never remembered lives under the sink, and puts out the fire.
Solomon's brand new, super cute and very synthetic lunch bag is a mess of oozy black, chemical goo crusted in a mass on the burner. Gray smoke permeates.
I've been trying to train Jeff to use the back burner because Sol is way too interested in the stove. So Jeffy rocked it and put the kettle on the back burner. The only trouble was he still, out of habit, turned the front burner on. Where Sol's super sweet puppy lunch bag was waiting to be grabbed for daycare.
Thus began another day.
The smoke was bad and really toxic smelling, so I high tailed the kids to a nearby coffee shop for bagels and lattes. And, of course, within minutes of sitting, Sol managed to hurl himself off his chair, bringing the glass plate and the blueberry muffin with him. Everyone turns and looks at me. I smile, scoop up my boy who is totally fine, feed him the chunks of floor speckled muffin and pretend like it's so no big deal. We get to school and daycare and continue to deal.
And then there's that pivotal moment. I race back home and begin to clean up the insanely gross, stinky, scary kitchen. And realize I'll be a mess of a teacher/mama/wife/friend if I spend another second in that kitchen. Grab the leash and my headphones and head up the "L" with Lucy in the forty five minutes I have before I have to greet my class.
Put a lid on my bucket.
We're really into this bucket thing in our class right now. See, we all have these invisible buckets that we carry around with us. When we feel super, our buckets are full. Put sometimes an array of incidents can "dip" into our buckets and change how we feel inside. But, thank heavens, we have a lid! And our lid controls how much we let anyone else, any circumstance or, most importantly, ourselves, take from our bucket. Simple but profound. Super powerful to talk about, write about and teach every day.
So I put a lid on the day that could have been really, really rough in that frustrated, blame-y, exhausted kinda way. I hiked the mountain and watched the sun rise from behind Jumbo, watched the clouds shift and the light change. Listened to my girl Adele on the mic. Thought about our random and wild and lucky lives. Realized that even though we were so dang sad about the bag (Eliana, wide eyed with tears: But Mama! It was brand new and a gift from Gran! Sol never gets anything brand new! That is so sad for Sol, Mama! But he can have my old Ladybug lunch box. He can have it really for keeps! I'd give it to him Mama, for real!) it could have been ten thousand times worse.
So go slow and count your blessings.
Some of my blessings right now...
Sol loves music and has some amazing rhythm. We were at this block party the other night where an amazing spoken word rapper was jammin' into the mic, strutting up and down the catwalk. Sol was so down. Totally imitated his style. Even was invited on stage by the homie.
Solomon also loves his little daycare. He gets all jazzed to go and waves from afar while getting into some book or toy. I feel very, very thankful for Caroline, for the ease with which he's settled in, for the gentle transition. She always talks about how loving and kissable he is. How in his body he is. How he loves to be part of the team. She's right on the money.
Eliana also adores school. She wants to go to before-care and after-care and generally could stay there forever. She's super confident and so part of the scene. Jeff overheard her in the hallway, hands on her hips looking at her buddy starting a sentence with, "Entonces...." all exaggerated, the language such a part of her little being.
Jeffy had a birthday and reached what our friend Geoff Cornish calls middle age. It's about time considering I've been there for quite a while now. He had a perfect day: mountain adventures with his boyfriends during the day, dinner party with family and friends that night. So thankful are we for our people.
I'm back at teaching dance and can't believe I let it go for a whole year. That time in that studio moving my body that way, inspiring other women to get into theirs, brings me so much joy. My kiddos at school are lovely and spirited and bright. My group is much smaller than last year and that helps it all feel much more manageable. I'm really excited to try some new things with them this year, to push myself in some new directions.
Even with the unexpected bucket dippers, even with life in her full blown chaotic glory, we're managing to keep our buckets pretty darn full. Trying to take the moments when we have them and let things go when it's time to move on.