Writing once more from sidelines on KFP's soccer class as "Happy" by Pharell Williams plays during warm-up. Here are a weekend replay and an anecdote.
In belated celebration of my birthday, The Gryphon and I went on a date night. We took advantage of a monthly YMCA event where kids ages 5-10 get supervised play, snacks, crafts and a movie; and parents get a little alone time.
Even though we did talk about KFP for a good portion of the evening, I enjoyed eating at a sushi buffet, drinking jasmine tea, and having an adult conversation. I remembered to be mindful while drinking the tea and savored the taste as well as the moment. We have to do this more often.
And now the anecdote. Parents have to arrive at the bus stop 10 to 15 minutes early to pick up our kids, but the bus is nearly always late, with the result being lots of small talk. This time, the mother of an 8-year-old had her along, because the girl had stayed home from school, throwing up and complaining of a headache. The mom was fretting, hoping the bus would be on time so she could make it to a doctor's visit she's set up.
The Jamaican father of KFP's bus friend overheard and told her not to worry, because it was all God's will. She chimed right in, stepping closer to him, and they repeated their litany of God having a hand in everything: "It's in His hands." I remained silent. They both cast glances my way, waiting for me to join the chorus. But I have always been a contrary person, and even when I was attending church regularly, I resisted this sort of informal call and response. Maybe it is my Quaker ancestors, but I have always felt this sort of public crowing has little to do with real spirituality.
But then the Jamaican father offered her his unsolicited medical advice, and it was her time to be uncomfortable. He outlined his home remedies for colds, the flu and headaches, each one starting wuth some form of alcohol. She would make a little disapproving sound, and he would repeat, "Not to drink, not to drink." All his remedies involved making a poultice you would then rub on the skin. He seemed to believe doctor visits were nearly useless in most cases.
The mother of the girl and I stepped closer to each other again while nodding at his words, quietly agreeing to disagree with his folk medicine practices.
I spoke to her today before he arrived, and the girl had received an MRI, with results expected soon. I told her about my nephew's CVS (cyclic vomiting syndrome) and told her I hoped the results would show nothing severe was wrong. We talked about migraines and being older moms and being glad we chose to wait instead of having kids with our first husbands.
Of course, the Jamaican father is a sunny-spirited guy, and I always enjoy talking to him. We exchanged numbers today, with the goal of setting up a play date for our boys, who love each other and hug each day as they part ways.
Being different may sometimes be awkward, but the ways we are similar bring us together.