Yesterday was Big Guy's first day at his new school. It apparently went pretty well. No overwhelming work, and he had a sense that he'd learn things he didn't already know.
Am I relieved? Yes,every mother who gets too many phone calls from school is relieved when there's no bad news. And no, because the fact that the phone doesn't ring today says very little about next week. And maybe, since he's started out on the right foot. I'm pretty good at covering the whole spectrum of responses at once.
Yet it occurs to me that what I'm not good at is appreciating that a normal day is a gift. I detour readily around thankfulness onto the This is the way things are supposed to be! road. And while it's true that life ought to be peaceful and smooth and bump-free, it isn't. (There are reasons for that. Some of them even have to do with me.)
Why do I think the default condition of life is that it should be pleasant? Is it because I think of myself as a more-or-less good person? I could be a good person starving in the Horn of Africa, or a good person living in a war zone. I could be a good person whose farm was destroyed in the hurricane, or a good person whose child was killed by a drunk driver, or whose child or spouse or parent has a debilitating disease. Good entitles me to a clean heart and a clear conscience, a vision of who I hope to become and an awareness of where I fall short. Being a good person contributes to making the world more like it ought to be. It doesn't exempt me from heartache or hardship.It doesn't even exempt me from continual heartache or hardship.
And so I am struck by this irony: for all the times I've cried, I need a break! I still do not appreciate the respites when they happen. I take 'normal' days as entitlements rather than as answers to prayer.
Do you think that's normal?