Silver linings

Irksome is an appropriate prompt for the eve of the U.S. election. Though, I believe this election goes far beyond irksome and into the territory of stressful, depressing and scary. Irksome is an understatement for that nightmare circus.

Irksome is my nagging back pain, much worse today after a fun weekend of camping. How I long for the days when I could move freely and not suffer the consequences. Irksome is planning an activity-packed weekend for our scout troop and then listening to that one child whine and complain the entire trip. Irksome is the permissive parenting style that produced that whiny, complaining child who is grateful for nothing. Irksome is that one bad driver who keeps messing up the four-car caravan. Irksome is having your child throw up in that other parent’s van, making the four-car caravan come to a screeching halt. Really, I had a wonderful trip last weekend but even the best of trips have their hiccups.

Rather than focus on the hiccups, I like to find the positive parts:

Yes, my back hurts today but I spent a weekend in nature and enjoyed some picture perfect weather. I felt the warmth of a campfire on my face and came home with its sweet scent permeating my hair and clothes. I ran and played with the kids, subtracting 30 years from these old bones temporarily.

Yes, that child whined and complained but the rest of the kids were amazingly good. We have kids that work and step up and help without complaint. They say please and thank you and are going to be respectful adults some day. Yes, I think that whiny child is a product of a permissive household but I also know she is mostly raised by her grandmother who is just doing the best she can.

Yes, the caravan was a hot mess but we made great time and no one got lost or had an accident.

And yes, my daughter threw up as she rode in another parent’s van with four other girls from her troop. It was an excessive amount of mucus, not vomit (still gross but far less gross). We had extra clothes packed for the trip so changing her was not difficult or inconvenient. The other parents were extremely kind and understanding. As parents, we know barf happens and we’ve all been there.

It is easy to find the irksome things in life. It is even easy to be consumed by them. But finding the silver lining can be difficult but necessary if we want to keep our sanity.


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