One of my favorite authors wrote an arresting sentence with regards to listening compassionately to someone who suffers, even when they may say things hard to listen to: “If you don’t help them, who will?”
This late afternoon I hear it in my head – I have no time, I’m busy as hell, I should be doing those dishes and putting Sophie’s hair up for the game and changing the sheets and getting Ralph’s snack and his t-shirt ready for our bike ride and, and, and –
but if I don’t write now, when will I?
Today I found myself hit by the serendipitous coincidence of being the Snack / Helper Parent for both Nels’ preschool class and Sophie’s soccer game. This afternoon while cutting up colored tissue paper for a school project I felt so very comforted by the resumption of school life; by the cheerful organization of the classroom, the cups and little plates for the kids’ snack, the songs we adults sing together and teach the children (songs about washing hands, cleaning up, meeting new friends) that I realize are experienced with delight, curiosity, and utter absorption by the children themselves. Life can be very busy raising children, chaotic even. But it makes me feel better when I take a minute to look at them and realize I’ve spent a day correctly.