Small Triumphs, Aspiration, Tuesday Three

Triumph comes in such unexpected ways. Here’s an example: the just-turned ten year-old is not a performer by nature. He shies away from center stage. Wouldn’t you know we put him in a school that does a ton of singing, and where performances of many kinds figure in to the curriculum? So, when he was assigned a state for the states’ project—Georgia—there was a performance aspect, as in create a costume so you can be someone famous from said state for the all-school gathering (all-school happens every Friday).

This is not a big costume kid. He’s made an exception or two for Halloween, but overall, he’s not a dress-up guy.

“I don’t want Georgia,” he complained. “All those executions.”

I suggested Jimmy Carter in the post-Presidential Habitat years. He went to school in pants, a Polo (brand, not collared) t-shirt and carried a tape measure to signify his Habitat for Humanity work.

A friendly reporter (i.e. a friend who went to all-school) described him as “adorable,” and “in character,” i.e. industrious with his tape measure.

We’ve gotten through the all-school birthday and the states’ event without tears. We haven’t gotten close to tears. I’m not against tears, don’t misread this, I am pro-my child’s ability to take things in stride.

Again and again, the smallest things—the four year-old wanting something, yelling and my holding firm that yelling isn’t the route to the thing she wants, and her quieting back down—really are the most gratifying. They have to be. Cool as something ginormous might be, it’s the unexpected triumphs, the smaller-ticket versions that are the ones you get to experience again and again.

This notion dovetails with my yoga class yesterday, which focused in part on splits. The teacher, Khalila, talked about how she imagines the split—by the looks of it done well—as a very free pose, a place she’d like to be. She then said, “You can have the vision and never get there.” Oh, that process, it crops up again and again.

You could say that process is really what you get in life, which is the reason to embrace it. Process is life. I believe I should apply the embrace of this more often.

The split inspired haiku.

The thing about splits

They will only ever be


So three things I like this morning are the embrace of process (the embrace of life), the fact that I can and do find joy in aspiring, and the overwhelming blessing that with four children no matter which one is a challenge (or more than one at a time) there is probably at least one just chilling (probably in front of the television).

How happy am I that Abbey of Abbey Goes Design Scouting resurfaced? Super happy: Friday Night Lights and a move benched her from blogging. She, like I did, fell instantly and completely for Nashville (Connie Britton represent) but you can only watch an episode at a time, dude. Phew.

It so happens that I got to interview Emily Rosenfeld, whose work I adore, yesterday. This meant that when we’d finished I could buy the peg I’ve wanted from her for a solid year. It has purpose; it’ll be the hook where my fantastic Justamere Farm broom lives, both beautifully displayed on the mudroom wall.

While I cannot vouch for whether this will actually turn out to be true (I am not a scientist, as the ongoing debate about the high school start time and teens’ need for sleep seems to remind me in flurries upon flurries of email about this subject), this NPR story suggests a link may exist between chocolate and genius. If this is the case, yum; if you live here, I think it’s your excuse to stop by Heavenly Chocolate today.

Sarah Werthan Buttenwieser

Author: Sarah Werthan Buttenwieser

Sarah Werthan Buttenwieser's work has appeared on the New York Times, Salon, and the Manifest Station amongst other places. Find her on Twitter @standshadows

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