Sunday, January 8, 2012

Little Epiphanies

Do you ever wake up in the morning and just know that it's going to be a "why" day???

Why can't I get my fanny out of this snuggly warm flannel-sheet down-comforter cozy bed the first time the alarm goes off??
Why didn't I avoid "stinky-kitchen-morning" and just do the dishes last night?
Why is it bad for me to drink more than three cups of coffee, because I really need four?
Why can't I call my children by their correct names today?
Why are my feet two sizes bigger than before I had kids?
Why? Why? Why?

And, that's exactly how my day began last Friday. 
Only, somewhere in the midst of all that mental jibber-jabber I remembered that the boys had a wrestling tournament on Saturday.  So, the questions eventually evolved into, "Why, again, are the boys in wrestling? Why not chess club or quiet contest competitions? Why do I go to meets in stinky noisy gyms with fifty- thousand kids running around in singlets sloshing Gatorade all over my stuff and twisting each other into pretzels?"
Some questions just have no answers, man.
Packing up for a weekend tournament is no small feat.  So, I put on my focus face (to signal the kids not to bother me unless they are bleeding or something is on fire) and started to burn through the checklist.  Apparently, George didn't get the memo about the blood and fire written clearly all over my face, because within a couple of minutes I heard his voice trailing me, like an undeterred gnat, as I flew around the house, "Mom, Mom, Mom, Mom, Mom...."

(Deep breathe. Kindness, patience, love and peace voice.) 
"Yes, George?"
"Mom, today is Epiphany, and I was wondering if I can pack the Three Wise Men from our nativity in my bag, so we can celebrate at the hotel?"

Pause. Very. Long. Pause.  Within a few seconds I went from feeling guilty because I had forgotten about Epiphany (a day we have celebrated in our home every year since the birth of our first child), to trying to figure out how we could still keep our celebratory tradition in tact despite the tasks, projects, and deadlines that loomed ahead.

Then, I remembered the quote from C.S. Lewis, "When first things are put first, second things are not suppressed but increased."
First things first.  I didn't want to pack our fragile Wise Men, so I told George that he could make some out of clay and we could take them with us.  And, with a great big smile, as though he knew the importance of his craft, he cheerfully went to work.
I baked a golden bundt cake with crown jewels (gumdrops) while George worked his magic on the clay.  Somehow both the cake and the wise men made it to the hotel where we celebrated Epiphany as a family with a pizza party, cake, prayer and singing (it made a great "half-time" for the Cotton Bowl.). 
I went to sleep that night with the Why's on pause and the What's wound up.
What would I do without my creative and thoughtful George?
What second things am I putting in front of the First Things?
What's the value of π ?? (Just kidding.)


  1. I have a semi-obsessive collection of a couple dozen nativity sets, but those are truly the finest Wise Men I've ever seen.

  2. Thank you Sue! I love this reflection.