Tuesday, March 26, 2013

a car and a love note

My car died on the freeway this morning.  Complete engine failure in a one-lane construction zone.  I was just able to eke off on the shoulder, with the car rocking as each semi-truck whooshed by.  One daughter was about to miss a dentist appointment.  One daughter was desperate for a juicy pear.  One daughter was freaking out because she didn't want to miss gymnastics later that day.

OK.  Call Papa.  Find the bag with pears.  Call tow truck.  Soothe a panicked daughter.  Call dentist to cancel.  Breathe.  Wait.  Whoosh.

It's easy to be grateful for things that go well in our lives, but I can honestly say that I'm grateful for today.  Grateful that we're all alive and safe, that we had a second vehicle (even if it needs brake work done).  Grateful that my husband was available to come pick us up at the towing company's garage. Grateful that I have this husband in my life, and that he knows how to do brake work, and that I had pears in my bag.

Sometimes, kids 'needs' and 'desperation' seem inconsequential compared to what we're dealing with, but to them it's acutely real.  It's not manufactured to inconvenience us at the worst possible moment, even if it seems that way.

I am not organized, or tidy.  The only real 'rhythm' to our days is that we eat when we're hungry, sleep when we're tired, learn when we're engaged, and step up when we need to.  My greatest strength (as I see it), is that I can go with the flow like nobody's business.  Junk the car and leave it behind?  Sure.  Just make sure to get the knitting, and the pears.  Let's make tacos and go for a walk when we get home.

sleepy head

Yesterday, Camille spent the whole day spinning yarn on a drop spindle and knitting her homespun.  Sylvia and Ayla and I played games and worked puzzles.  Sylvia worked on a Cyberchase quest at PBSKids with lots of reading help by me.  I cooked healthy food.  I fenced our favorite apple tree because a bunny had nibbled most of the bark off of the lower trunk.  I read about bridge grafting as a way of saving damaged apple trees.  Camille watched a Khan Academy video about atoms and elements.  

Today we rode in our car for the last time as it sped down the freeway, tilted up on a tow truck, and the girls thought it was fun (by this point), and then they chatted up a mechanic about knitting and spinning yarn.  His grandmother spent a lot of time doing those activities.  Hmm, so what actually happens when you blow a head gasket on an old beater car?  I guess we're just learning all the time.

This blog post is all over the place, and life is like that sometimes, too, but if I can find bits of grace and flow and gratitude even in those moments, then I think we're doing pretty good.  I guess my kids think so, too, because I found a love note on my bed from them this evening.  I guess I traded a car for a love note today, but I won't call it a loss.  Truly.


  1. This is stunning, Nikole. I adore this post— every word and feeling in it. Thank you. THANK YOU :)

  2. Yes, I'd take the love note over the car, too. Anyday.

  3. Real and just beautiful. Inspiring to keep my centre in on those days when everything is all over the place. Thanks for this post...it made my heart smile knowing how loved you and your children must feel on a day like today.

  4. How lovely.
    What a day, and what a wonderful mama.
    I'm so glad you're on the same planet as me. :) (Making this one better.)

  5. Thanks! I'm happy to share this planet with you all :)

  6. Oh my...that I wish I could do-go with the flow. I struggle with stay on target...stay on target. Then when I don't have dinner done on time and 4 piles of stuff still to do, I forget to breathe. Thanks for the grace reminder. I'll take it and head out to play with the kids right now!


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