Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Sneetches and the Daily Grind

“You want stars like a Star-bellied Sneetch? My friends, you can have them… for just three dollars each!” shouted a top-hatted, vested and bow-tied 7th grader from the stage. Grade school Sneetches lined up excitedly to have their stars installed by the big machine.

I bounced Link on my knee as he gave his best attempt to figure out when applause was appropriate (turns out, applause is always appropriate coming from a one year old at a school play). Meanwhile, J Bean watched the stage with the intense stare of an astronomer getting her first look at the rings of Saturn through a high powered telescope. The actors danced around the stage happily in yellow shirts (some with stars, some without). J Bean’s favorite part was the crowd participation which included waving our hands in the air (like we just didn’t care) when the “hot dog party” music was queued. Nearby, pint-sized audience members were delighted at the sight of Link’s antics and perhaps their curiosity was magnified by his smiling and rather large caretaker/primary mode of transportation. I was the only adult male in the room outside the music director and the assistant principal as far as I could tell making me more of an oddity than a flock of Sneetches.

This whole scene was a lucky coincidence for us and one of my favorite parts of being a stay home parent… the unexpected adventures.  I have read and heard about some big problems and some tragic situations this week which have served to remind me to enjoy each “regular” day for what it is. A regular day when I busy myself with cleaning, helping J Bean prepare for school, feeding the tyrant and taking a stroll to the park is not to be taken for granted. We have all had plenty of those random Wednesday mornings where you get a call you didn’t want, where you are preoccupied with worry about one thing or another or where everything in life seems in question due to some unexpected change or tragedy. This week, I have had none of those (knock on wood) and I am just glad I remembered how happy I should be to be “stuck” in the routine. I also remembered how routines were meant to be broken.

You see J Bean, Link and I were walking home from the park and stopping by the local elementary school to pick up a pre-K application for my big girl when the office administrator mentioned we should head over to the auditorium for a performance of the Sneetches which was just about to start. As often happens when presented with the unexpected, I had to catch the words, “no thanks” before they escaped my lips. Why do I do that? Why am I hesitant to break my schedule? It’s something I’m still working on, so I was happy to hear myself say, “Sure, we’ll check it out. What do you think J Bean?” To say she was agreeable would be an understatement.

There’s no further excitement for the story, other than a thoroughly enjoyable presentation on stage. There was no grand adventure outside of trekking home in the rain and trying to keep our application paperwork dry, but that is the point I’m trying to make. Lazy, boring days don’t have to be if you keep your eyes and ears open for opportunity and if you’re not afraid to deviate from the plan once in awhile. Even when something like a Dr. Seuss play doesn't present itself, we should be happy and thankful to enjoy a “boring” Wednesday. Given some of the events I have seen wallop friends, family and strangers right between the eyes lately, I’ll take “routine” any day of the week. The Sneetches reminded me in a roundabout way that days are days, and no kind is the best, especially when I look around and realize I could have much less.

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