We are in the middle of some very stressful times – I won’t go into all the details, but anyway – as you can guess, it has a lot to do with our remodel and upcoming move! I was feeling overwhelmed with it the other day – the crushing responsibility and my powerlessness over many of the moving parts – it all just seemed TOO much.
Then, I was reminded that the way to peace is by doing my best and letting go of the results. All I can bring to any situation is my very best – my diligence, my hard work coupled with skill – and I leave the results on the table. I let God take care of the rest – and in the end, all will be okay. That is what faith is about, right? Letting go.
So in the midst of this turmoil, I am of course – still walking through the daily life stuff- the things that never ever stop when you have kids! 😉
We went to the park the other day, and it was trashed! There was trash literally everywhere. As we always do, the girls and I tidied up the park. We always make it a little game to beautify and take care of the public spaces we encounter.
So, as we were finishing cleaning up – Paprika found an unexpected delight! She found Snakey!!!
Okay – so back up – about five years ago (when she was 2 years old), we lived in Pasadena. We lived in a townhouse with no yard – so every day, I would take her for a walk around our neighborhood. There was a complex near us that had a flower pot on its porch, and inside the flower pot, was a big rubber snake.
(I am sure I have a few blog posts about that somewhere!) Update! Here is a post I just ran across from back in the day!
Paprika named that Snake: Snakey.
Every day, Paprika would talk to Snakey, hold him, pet him, tell him stories, and sing him songs. It might last an hour, or it might last ten minutes. But every day, she loved Snakey.
Eventually, Snakey deteriorated and fell into about six pieces – and although this initially upset Paprika, she still loved him and visited him.
So – cut to earlier this week. She found this rubber snake at the park. We have not discussed Snakey for five years – literally, since she was 2 years old.
She picked up this snake and looked at him and exclaimed: Snakey!!!! You found me!!!
It was a beautiful reunion.
She introduced Snakey to Ginger (4) – who was not even born the last time Paprika saw Snakey. Ginger was so excited – she accepted Snakey as a member of the family upon meeting him.
Paprika remembered everything about Snakey – and had reasons for the little details like why he changed colors! She remembered him exactly as before, but said that because of his long journey slithering to us from Pasadena, he shed his skin and changed colors. She remembered him being in different pieces, but reasoned that he had found a way to heal his body and become a single snake again – that is why it had taken him so long to find her…he had work to do.
She remembered that Snakey is different from other snakes because he is a vegetarian – this makes him feel a little left out sometimes among other snakes – and so he needs a little extra love. And truly, five years ago – I remember Paprika saying that Snakey did not eat meat! Crazy, right?!
The girls showed Snakey the park, were just loving on him – and then Paprika asked me if we could take Snakey home!
I didn’t know what to say. Usually, we don’t take things from the park if they’ve been accidentally left by someone – but on the other hand, the park had been trashed when we arrived. Would anyone miss Snakey? Was it providence that Snakey came to us?
In my utter exhaustion from the events of the past month, I just could not deny the girls the joy of bringing that rubber snake home. I could not do it. If anyone is missing their rubber snake from that park, I will buy them a new one. 🙂 Or perhaps I will buy one anyway and leave it in the bushes there where Paprika found it. Some days, you truly have to pick your battles.
Anyhoo- Snakey has a beautiful family now! Paprika and Ginger have been taking amazing care of him since he came home. He has had bubble baths every day, story time (usually they read him books about snakes – fiction AND non-fiction) – such a treat! Ha! He has hibernation time (in the freezer) at least twice per day. They sleep with him. They feed him fruits and vegetables (obviously, since he is a vegetarian!) When Paprika is doing her school work, Ginger has the responsibility for Snakey. Paprika gave her a list a page long of instructions on how to take care of him. Ginger has been doing an amazing job keeping Snakey entertained – including reading him books and singing him songs about…you guessed it…snakes!
I know this is a silly thing – but Snakey has given our family so much joy this past week.
I realize that even when going through stressful and hard times, these little unexpected moments of joy are all around me if I take the time to look for them. When I get out of my own head, stay present, and see the world through the eyes of a child – even a rubber snake can become magical.
I hope you have a happy weekend and find joy wherever you find yourself! Even when things look grim, you never know when you’ll find a rubber snake around the corner. That didn’t sound quite right – but you know what I mean! 😉