Sunday, April 17, 2011

Looking beyond.

My mother tells this great story about my sister Katy and the first time she sat on the Easter Bunny's lap at the mall. Katy was always very skeptical of life size characters and would approach them with hesitation and downright resistance, so she didn't like it one bit when she was told she had to sit on the Easter Bunny's lap. She reluctantly sat on his lap with a sour look on her cute, chubby face. Almost as if a lightbulb went on over her white-blond locks, she turned to face the bunny peering beyond his friendly fur face and into his large mesh eyes. In utter shock, she burst out, "Mommy, dere a man in dere!" That's the last line of the story every time. I have no idea whether the realization resulted in tears or laughter, but I'm sure in that moment, my sister's view of those scary creatures changed forever. She learned that the ominous, life size bunny is simply a friendly (or creepy) man in a fuzzy suit.

Over the past few months, I've been watching Calvin learn new things about the world. I love that he's so aware. He's just simply aware. It's beyond amazing to watch him study a scene or person's face trying to adjust his emotions or thoughts according to that scene or face. Every minute he's exploring and taking in what's around him. What's crazy is that he's already judging, forming associations, and opinions about the world. But he does so with an innocence that is so precious. If only we, as adults, could harness a more childlike view of the world around us. As we move through life, we are constantly collecting and internalizing the "stuff" that surrounds us. We learn to feel and react in certain ways because of what we've been through in our lives. Why do we hold onto things? Why can't we let go? Why when we have all of our basic (and not-so-basic) needs met are we still not happy?

I feel like this time in my life is one huge standardized test. It's high stakes, nothing can prepare me for it, it's definitely not fair, but despite all of these negatives, my future still depends on whether or not I pass. And I will pass. It may not be with a perfect score, but it will be good enough. My strong, determined father and my spirited, loving son are my inspirational teachers. Every day I learn something from watching them. I have learned that my fears are conquerable, my woes insignificant, and my joys worth celebrating fully. Sometimes it takes something big and scary to push us to look beyond the mind and into the heart. We realize that despite the fact that everything around us is fucking bat shit insane, everything inside us can be OK and peaceful.


  1. lol oh man, i love that story. I feel like I can remember it because mom tells it so much, but really I can't. That does explain alot about me huh? Man I was a smart little kid. :D I love Calvin, can't wait to see you guys.

  2. I just read this out loud to dad and he started to tell us about what he remembered about that story. Then he says, "and the moral of the story is, don't let anyone over 2 sit on the Easter bunny's lap". haha!