Melt Down

I've discovered a not-so-magical power this summer. If ever I want to wake up the children without saying a word, without coming within fifty feet of their rooms, all I need to do is open Blogger and start typing. Works every time.

This past week, my computer had a stroke and appears to be one blue screen and reboot away from its final death. Then the fridge started feeling under appreciated and decided to teach me a lesson in gratitude by taking a break from the cold-air-production part of its job. The timing was perfect, especially since I'd just returned from the grocery store. It also helped that it was 90 degrees and muggy and we have no central air.

As I hauled my weight in ice home from the store and set about salvaging what I could from the fridge, I began listing reasons I could be grateful. While I poured the ice cream down the drain (sob!), I reminded myself that I hadn't lost a drop of what's truly valuable. (Because the wine doesn't need refrigeration to keep from spoiling.) And I told myself what luck it was that I had eaten All The Cheese the day before. Who knew that would turn out to be such a good decision?

But seriously, as lame as it sounds, this pushed me. I wanted to melt down like the popsicles, and I wanted to take a baseball bat to the computer, and I wanted to pull a Forest Gump and just start running across the country (east, toward Maine, in case you're wondering).

Instead I did some deep breathing, some praying, some apologizing to the kids for snapping at them, some listing things large and small for which to be grateful. I didn't feel a thunderbolt of transformation or anything. It was more like a slow, stealthy mist where you're not exactly sure whether it's precipitating or you're just sweating. Somehow by the grace of God and the air-conditioned gym with the treadmill and the childcare, I stayed centered enough not to miss several holy moments with the children. The good and beautiful things are always there, sometimes just more cleverly hidden.

The fridge is finally working again. The computer is still on life support. (I'm waiting to pull the plug until after I harvest a few critical files). Somehow in the midst of the literal melt-down, we've avoided the figurative kind. Gratitude wins. And restocking the ice cream helps too.

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