In Tune

This morning, I experienced perfection.
That feeling of floating awareness, of being in the self, but not of the self, that moment of “Yes!”.
I get it during a good yoga pose, while painting, when finding the right puzzle piece, near the end of a decent workout.
Today, it happened while singing the Hallelujah Chorus of Handel’s Messiah. Five hundred voices and an organ with pipes two stories high. We’d been practicing for two hours; the most wondrous way to spend a Saturday morning. It’d been going okay, with missed notes and tricky passages and certain pieces I’d never sung before. My lungs were tired, having coughed every few bars. My bronchitis, as usual, always has the worst timing. But, I was there.
We were wrapping up, and the conductor wanted to end with a bang. The organ starts, and the song is unmistakable; like Eine Kleine Nachtmusik, it’s built into my bloodstream, beating in time with my pulse. And then, the voices. All of us at once, a wave crashing ashore. Yes.
I floated home, to unpacked grocery bags and hungry children, with a choir singing inside my head.
Bonhomme was a basketcase. He’d stayed up too late last night, gotten up too early this morning, was fighting my cold. It’s a good thing the friends we had over were our best friends, and had already seen all his worst behaviour before, because he brought it all out for a full-day display. But I, floating already, could withstand it, bend with it, give him the patience he needed. “In trying times, keep trying,” I read on a church billboard recently. I smiled at it at the time. I thanked it today.
At bedtime, hiccupping and sniffling and pouting and snuggling, I whispered to Bonhomme:
“Tomorrow is a new day. Tomorrow will be better.”
“No it won’t, Momma! I always have hard days! I always just cry!”
“No, Darling, you don’t always. Sometimes you have hard moments, and today you had an awful lot of them. You’re a sensitive person, like me, and that’s never easy. But you’re also creative, and clever, and lots of fun, and you just need to learn why you’re feeling yucky sometimes, so that you can know that at those times, you have to be extra kind and patient with yourself. So today, you were tired. Your body hadn’t had enough sleep, and you felt everything more intensely because of that. So that made everything harder – you bumped into things more often, it hurt more when you did, you had a shorter temper and couldn’t negotiate and share and play nicely with Sunshine and Rainbow. Everything was the end of the world all day long. It was a hard day.”
“Yahhhhhh…!” More tears.
“Yes it was. But, tomorrow is a new day. It can’t possibly be as bad as today was. Tomorrow will be better. When I have hard days – because, you know, I have days too when I feel like crying all day, and I’m grumpy, and my body hurts all over, and I lose my temper.”
“You do?”
“Sure I do! And I bet you notice when I’m grumpy.”
“But I try to be patient with myself on those days. I remind myself that I am having a hard day that day, and that tomorrow will be better. I make that into a promise for myself – I do myself that favour. So, I’d like you to do yourself, and me, that favour too. Say it with me. Tomorrow will be better.”
Mumble. Snuggle. Sigh.
“Say it with me, Love. Tomorrow will be better.”
Silence beside me. Handel’s Messiah in my head.
I whisper in his ear: “I love you on your bad days too, you know. I love you when you’re good, and I love you when you’re grumpy. I love you today, and I’ll love you tomorrow, no matter what tomorrow’s like. Now try making that promise – tomorrow will be better.”
“Tomorrow will be better,” he whispers.
“Tomorrow will be better,” I whisper back.


3 comments so far

  1. Nanci on

    Such awesome patience (gained from giving yourself the gift of time and music?) and reflection of what helps our children learn that they need to often reframe how they see a situation so that they can cope with life’s challenges better the next time. Your self awareness of your own temperament, as well as helping your child understand you and his/her own temperament builds such a positive bond between parent and child. Your story is a perfect example of this.

  2. intrinsicecho on

    As I say to Little Man all the time especially on the frequent hard days. I love you always forever no matter what. Great job !

  3. moosilaneous on

    Tears in my eyes.

    You are the best Momma Bonhomme could possibly have!
    What a great explanation!

    What a great day you gave Sunshine and Rainbow – who came home happy and blissfully exhausted.
    And what a great day you gave me, where I could catch up, feel on top of things and know my girls were happy, challenged and cared for.

    All because of Handel?
    Maybe he spoke to you, through those many voices, and let you see just that little bit more that tipped the balance to YES!, but the goodness, the greatness, is all there, all the time.

    I see you sparkle. And I glory in it.

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