The rain has come and beat down what was left of the garden and wreaks havoc on the beautiful leaves that our trees have fleetingly bestowed upon the world. It plays with my moods, my plans my hair. November's moods have also affected those of the kids. Lucas has been unpredictable most of the month. (Not that predictability is much of a child's characteristic in general.) He seems to feel the emotional energy of those around him and not quite know what to make of it. He has been asking for Chola for a few days now; asking questions about heaven, children with no parents, and the origins of humanity. (Not quite in those words.) He is such a perceptive and pensive little fellow that my heart aches when I need to tell him the truth about something that hurts my own sensitivities. But with inspiring clarity he also reminds me of the goodness of all that surrounds us. Tonight we prayed, something he has never been taught to do, but through questioning and conversation we got around to the idea that he wanted to say hello to Chola, to thank "God" for the sunshine and a playdate today and to ask for stickers for tomorrow. I wasn't so sure about that last one; I think he just threw it in for good measure or perhaps as a testing stick for this new concept. He made my heart pound with joy as I put him to bed and my senses reel with confusion as I thought back on all the angst we've had over power struggles in the last few weeks. Growing up is hard. It's hard for him and it's also hard for me. I'm learning every day; to be more patient, to seek more moments of unblemished happiness in whatever it is that surrounds me, to listen without judgement and learn from everything that occurs, be it good or bad.
This week I'm trying to wait longer before I answer. They say the average response time is three seconds, but that we should give it seven. I encourage you to try it. I've been quite astounded at how much more I'm hearing and how much more is shared with me from both children and adults alike.
Enough musing. Here is my joy. The smiles, however dirty or crooked bring a smile to me which is returned with another smile which in turn receives a smile, a laugh, a hug, a kiss... the circle repeats itself and so it should... until somebody steals a toy... then watch out!