/ / / G R A D I T U D E / / /
September 15, 2017

*NOTE: This blog entry was originally written on June 21, 2017.
On Monday night, my 2 year old was missing for about 45 minutes. Her cousins came to visit and within minutes of their arrival, Huxlie and one of her cousins were gone, along with the dog. What was mild concern, of course thinking “they MUST be around here somewhere” changed to “could they have walked across the street to the park?” and then terrifyingly went to “it’s time to call 911.” Within minutes of describing to the dispatch what my daughter was wearing, if she has any birthmarks and the shade of her messy curls, the officers showed up at my house. After talking and searching our home, I asked one of them “what do I do now?” And he said, “You have the hardest job. You just wait.” The fleet of cop cars cruising our neighborhood (the officer said nothing makes people drop everything faster than hearing children are missing) eventually found my daughter, niece and dog, and they were safely returned to us in the back of a police car. Huxlie, unfazed, talking about the “bear hunt” she was on and showing me the seeds she collected on her entirely-too-long-of-a-journey.
Those 45 minutes were awful. I kept thinking to myself “Is this the worst day of my life?” “Will this be the day that everything changes into before/after June 19, 2017?” Disturbing images entered my mind that are hard to forget, imagining the unimaginable.
The next morning, when she was once again, in my bed rather than hers for the countless day in a row, kicking my back and sleeping horizontal, I had a moment. My initial thought was “I have to wake up at 5:15, please just let me sleep for 30 more minutes!” But within seconds, I thought about how, if the night before had ended differently, the desperation I would have experienced to feel her tiny toes jammed into my back. To hear her soft snore, to smell her toddler morning breath. And in that moment it all changed to gratitude. That’s what I keep coming back to. Gratitude changes everything.
That morning I showed up to teach One at 7:00am and I talked about what happened and the adrenaline that I needed to get out of my body. To hear the audible exhales from those around me, reminding me to let it go made it feel better. The people who came up to me after class or sent me messages about their stories either as parents or that they’d been told about them as kids helped, too. Just knowing that I am not alone in my struggles helps them feel so much less scary.
I still have some residual anxiety I am dealing with now. It’s like I was rocked off my base and now I’m a little unsteady, just feeling “off” in general. But I keep coming back to gratitude. I keep trying to remember that for the most part, my troubles are small and that those 30 minutes less of sleep, or the stickers on my staircase, the unanswered emails and not-done to-dos… I would be desperate for these to be my worries.
I also wanted to say that I am grateful for all of you. That I can feel safe telling this to you with out fear of being judged, but with an understanding that we’ve committed here to connect to one another on a human level. So thank you for that.
And special thanks to my class yesterday. You all repaired my universe when I needed it.

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