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    Rules of Civility: A Novel
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Julie's favorite books »

Friday
Jan272012

Party at the Party Store

Yesterday I took the kids to the party store.  It was as nightmarish as I had imagined it would be.  That place is the physical manifestation of overstimulation on steroids: crowded aisles packed with brightly-colored junk and tiny carts which will only restrain one child while the other one has no choice but to maniacally dart from one aforementioned brightly-colored junk item to the next, asking "What is this?  What is that?"  And as I'm answering the rapid-fire interrogation of the first child, the child who's restrained begins to writhe and cry because the junk in the cart is now TOUCHING HIS LEGS.  And in spite of the fact that a sane person would just grab the nearest five items and call it done, I feel the need to perform my due diligence.  "Son, which junk item do you think your friends would most enjoy?"  "I wonder if the parents will hate me if I give each kid a whistle?"  "Should I put these items in a basket or a bag?"  "How shall I label them?"

And by God's grace, I really do find these moments amusing.  Like when I have to stop the cart, quietly fold my hands in a prayer position in front of my face and take a deep breath to keep from either crying or screaming?  That right there, is pure comedy.  And the person who finds it the funniest?  My MOM.  It's like divine justice being served to her on a big, beautiful, hand-painted MacKenzie-Childs platter. 

But I digress.  The lovely Hope Ignacio and I have chosen a topic to write about each week, and this week it's about Purpose.  What is the Purpose of my Life (doesn’t just reading that make me seem Important and Deep)? 

But you’ll be disappointed to know that this week has left me with absolutely no profound thoughts about this topic.  I just find myself at a total loss.  Perhaps it's because the party store sucked up my will to live or because my children have entered a new phase called I Am Going To Ask You A Question Every Five Seconds (And In The Event My Brother Is Already Asking You A Question I Will State My Question More Loudly And Forcefully Until You Answer).  Or perhaps it's because I've watched a dear friend gracefully walk through her heartbreak this week and I have wondered about the weight of this life. 

And after a week filled with uneventful events it’s really tempting to aggrandize my life.  Say things like, “I’m not JUST doing laundry!  I’m clothing my children so that they may grow up to be amazing, giving, faithful humans!  I’m shaping LIVES here, people!”

But really.  Sometimes I’m Just Doing Laundry. 

So at the close of this week, I'm realizing that my purpose, for now, is simply to do what's in front of me.  It's not typically grand or important.  Call a friend.  Hug my child.  Do the dishes.  Do the laundry.  Type my blog.  Procrastinate typing blog for a while.  Go back to typing my blog.  Go to the party store.  Do the things that present themselves to me.

And find joy in the mundane.  Laugh at this comical season of life.  Realize that health and happiness are mine right NOW.  There will be heartbreaks of my own down the road.  And my only protection when they inevitably come will be to hide in God's hand and know that I had the grace and the sense to enjoy my "good ol' days" while they were happening.

Even if those “good ol’ days” involved going to the party store.