Spilled Sand

This last weekend was the Summer Arts Festival. They have a lot of free children’s activities, so I took my daughter and one of her friends.  It was lovely to see all of the different art creations. I have never been artistic, so I found most work breathtaking.   My daughter joked every time we saw stained glass art, “that could have been you momma.” (Post about inside joke, that I don’t find funny anymore.)

We hit the Children’s Art area and immediately started “creating.” This was 2.5 hours of me standing on cement 2 feet behind my daughter and her friend while they poured their hearts into each project.  They were so proud of each item.  On our walk home, my daughter’s sand necklace broke and it shattered on the sidewalk.  She made immediate eye contact with me.  It’s that moment when your kid looks for reassurance and to find out if they are in trouble for what just happened.  I felt insanely bad for her.  She spent a lot of time curating each level of sand, choosing just the right color to layer on top of each one.  In a flash, all of her thoughtfulness was gone and all over the side walk.  We cleaned up the plastic but left the sand.  We spoke about how beautiful it looked and how some of the colors mixed at impact.  She didn’t cry but you could tell she was crushed.  We continued our walk to the car. 

Creations from the Art Festival

After a few blocks she whispered in my ear, “I feel jealousy in my heart. Why did that have to happen to me?” Whoa, that’s a lot of self-awareness from an 8-year-old.  (All those “baby feels mad, baby feels happy” books are totally paying off!) We had a nice talk about how life isn’t fair, and she will miss out on stuff and she will get to do things that other kids won’t get to do.  It’s all about how you think about the highs and lows in life that will allow you to find gratitude in it all.

She asked, “do you feel jealousy in your heart?” 

I said, “Of course.”  Five years ago, absolutely! I was sucked into that new parent mode of trying to figure out how not to screw up my child.  There is so much righteousness in the new parent space it’s hard to get out without feeling defeated in some aspect.  Now, not so much.  I have slowly changed what information comes into my life.  I don’t watch tv so I don’t get much for advertisements, we have a nice house in a safe neighborhood, 2 healthy kids and I still like my husband.  What could I possibly be jealous about? 

She asked, “are you jealous of people with bigger houses?” I explained that people with bigger houses have to clean more and our house is just the right size for us.  I explained that my jealousy comes up on days she’s sick and I still have to go to work.  I’m jealous that I miss out on little moments with her because I’m stuck in traffic.  I’m jealous when I spent the whole day cooking, cleaning and working instead of relaxing on the front porch.  That’s when I feel jealous, not because of a fancy car or a new purse.  The real mind bender though is I don’t want to be completely retired, not now anyway.  I don’t want to be free from patient care.  I still feel purpose at work and want to be a part of other’s misery.  I love making people (strangers) feel better when they are suffering.  You never know if you are taking care of a patient and it’s the worst day they’ve ever had.  Your interaction could be the one small gesture of human kindness that they will see that day. 

Do you find jealousy in your heart? What are you doing to change your narrative?           

Summer Art Festival Omaha, NE

Rating: 9 out of 10, if they had benches set up near the stations for moms to sit, they would have gotten a 10.

Cost: $13-  $5 for a giant bag of popcorn and $8 for art stations, some were free.

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