A Mini Miracle!

So yesterday happened and now it’s today. But one thing that happened last night I wanted to share with you because I’m pretty sure it was a mini miracle. Mike and I were getting ready for dinner, him with his raw vegan cashew cheese toasts from Juice Ranch and me with my huge salad of local arugula and bird flesh, when we heard the kids next door playing. Loudly. We hear the kids next door playing pretty often, especially in the summer when school is out. When we first moved in and Ax was two and they were like five and seven, something like that, they came by from time to time, and Ax was of course mesmerized by their sophistication and followed them around and they thought he was cute.

But now Ax is six and the neighbors are something like nine and eleven and that age gap has the older kids into their own things and Ax is no longer so intriguing. At least that’s my story. The family in general are excellent neighbors and when we see each other we chat and I’ve even stopped by and hung out from time to time. We’ve exchanged tokens at the holidays, stuff like that.

But we don’t get invited to the barbeques and playdates. And it feels like they have a lot of barbeques and playdates. Of course, I don’t invite them to our gatherings either. Those big kids … are big! Very sweet, but louder and bigger than the six year olds and their younger siblings who tend to hang around here.

So in the past I’ve felt guilty/conflicted about not inviting them when we have people over, and somewhat resentful and/or jealous and/or less than when I hear them having people over – people being a couple of extra kids playing in their backyard, not like, P. Diddy’s white party.

Especially when their early evening outdoor playtime tends to be right when we’re having dinner and tv time, I’ve been thinking, “Oh I am such a bad mother my child is watching tv and eating cheese ravioli marinara for the tenth night in a row instead of frolicking outdoors engaging in imaginative free play.”

I ignore the fact that my kid has engaged in plenty of imaginative free play, plenty, and now happens to be chill time before our way earlier bedtime. I ignore the fact that we are actually pretty stoked to be doing what we’re doing and if I were really, really wanting to go hang with the neighbors we could probably put some chips in a bowl and grab a thing of salsa and just go over. Or not even, just call and go.

But last night – here’s the miracle part, and maybe calling it a mini miracle is unnecessary judgment, maybe all miracles are just miracles and don’t need to be ranked, maybe this one actually was kind of a big miracle as I think about it – Anyway, last night, when I heard those kids next door playing and squealing and having a good time without us I thought, “That’s so nice.” I really thought that as my first thought, not my second, muscle-into-it, make-it-positive, thought. I was happy for them. And I really felt that way. And my other thought was that I was excited and happy for us to be having the evening we were having.

Wow. What a relief. It feels really good to let go of story and hurt and judgment and truly be in the goodness of what is. Other people’s lives are just that. Mine is mine. I've known that for a while, but to get a hit of feeling what that really feels like, how good and light that feels to just be me doing me enjoying them doing them -- that's amazing. I'm hooked.