I know within five minutes of waking up on a Monday where my take on the day stands—a chipper cheerleading “Yay Monday! (herkie, herkie) Blank Slate! Let’s go!” pep rally or a surrender to the little devil on the other shoulder—the one who wants to drop kick the high-kicking “Yay Monday” girl and drown her out with, “You. Have. SO. Much. To. Do. Stop with the happy.”
Monday Downer Devil is such a pom-pom stealer.
Internal scan during coffee and journal writing this morning reveals Pom-Pom Stealer’s in the house, a mutual feeling among friends today, confirmed with a few e-mails and phone calls. While I accept the fact that every day doesn’t look like “Go Team, Go!”, I’m at least going to make some efforts to resuscitate the kick-off to a perfectly good week. (obligatory Super Bowl kick-off reference–did you see Bruno Mars last night? Oh my God, what an amazing performer!)
Operation Get Ma Pom-Poms Back today was a simple implementation of good choices. We try and make good choices every day, but when I’m feeling like my pom-poms are M.I.A., I take extra efforts for a full Good Choice Juice Cleanse–flood the gates with good and detox the ick. Every time I implement this strategy, good comes flyin’ back like a boomerang, always a confirmation that there is something greater in this world orchestrating all of these beautiful little things, and it matters…all of it matters.
I gave some time to some difficult decisions today. Knocked off a few procrastination tasks. I sent encouraging e-mails to people who needed love. I turned my phone off for a good chunk of the day–like not just put it away, but swiped that little “power off” button. I changed my Pandora station to Schubert and turned up the volume two notches so classical music drenched our home. I read books on the floor with the kids and when Nella said, “Again,” I read that book for a fifth time and felt good doing it because it was juice cleanse day. I went for a run with Dash and the jogging stroller tonight, and when we rolled back into our driveway after the run, we rolled right back out to keep it going because it felt amazing.
And just when I was feeling all, “Uuughh, Internet,” I went through my e-mail box and smiled at all the reminders of good tonight–these wonderful connections we can make and the stories of love and determination that continue to show up. There was a whole slew of little boomerangs in my inbox today. Good begets good. Always.
My Monday ended tonight with a sweet connection and lovely coincidence made through Google. It was an e-mail in my box, the subject “on behalf of a heartbroken friend” that followed with the story of a mom’s quest to replace the lost lovie of her friend’s child, Eliza. Eliza recently turned five and has been accompanied for years by her faithful sidekick, Doggie–a favorite puppy blanket. I speak fluent puppy blanket, so the e-mail got my attention. The puppy has gone missing, the little girl has cried herself to sleep for the past two nights, and family and friends have scoured the Internet in search of a replacement to no avail. In searching, a friend did come across an old post of mine from 2008 that referenced Lainey’s favorite blanket–the exact same blanket Eliza had, the one that’s no longer available anywhere–and the fact that I mentioned we had a back-up dog that didn’t go over well. She e-mailed the story to me today, attaching a picture of Eliza and her dog, referencing the old post and kindly inquiring about the possibility that we still had this back-up dog.
We do. It’s been tucked away in an old drawer. I told Lainey about the story and showed her the picture of sweet Eliza who missed her puppy, and she smiled larger than life, excited at the opportunity to send our back-up puppy to soothe this little girl’s sorrow. And then I learned it was Eliza’s mama’s birthday today. And then she sent me this:
My dear friend reached out to you earlier today about our sweet 5-year-old Eliza’s missing doggy. We have been on an all-out social media blitz to try to find either the original doggy or a replacement – and my jaw dropped when Sarah sent me the link to your blog from 6 years ago, and said that you had written right back to her with the unbelievably generous offer to share your backup.
I’m also a photographer, and a mama of two girls. And your story on the Bloom video (complete with a quote by Mary Oliver – whose own words have helped me through my darkest hours) brought tears to my eyes. Amazing how the universe works.
Anyway, I just wanted to thank you, from the bottom of my heart. Yesterday I held my sweet girl while she cried herself to sleep with the first real sobs of grief I have ever heard from her – not frustration, or exhaustion, or sickness, or pain – but true loss. I had a sudden glimpse of the path unfolding ahead of her, knowing that there will be other nights when I hold her and wipe damp locks of hair away from her forehead as she weathers the storms of bigger and deeper losses, but that this one is the first. How we wish we could protect our babies from life. But how inevitable it is that it will just keep happening.
It is a relief and an unspeakable gift that she will still have a doggy to grow out of and stash away as a teenager and then drag with her to college and eventually share with kids of her own as a momento of who she was as a kid.
(story and photo shared with permission)
Herkie Girl was back and kicking.
A sweet silly coincidence but also a “yep, I’ve been there.” We share this love-sick game of nurturing our babies, trying to make the world as beautiful as possible for them and yet accepting the fact that they’re going to cry a whole lot of tears, and that’s life.
All of that goodness fell into place tonight.
Translation: I found my pom-poms.
And good begets good. Always.
Mary Oliver said it best. Here’s a wonderful affirmation to start a Monday:
(It works good for Tuesdays too. And Wednesdays. And Thursdays.)
“Hello, sun in my face. Hello you who made the morning and spread it over the fields…Watch, now, how I start the day in happiness, in kindness.”
“Gagoo’s” doppelganger has been living the sloppy second life for years, and he’s about to be First Puppy again, thanks to a sweet little girl named Eliza. Never has there been a stuffed animal redemption story since Corduroy.