So as life would have it, I am tested pretty quickly on how well I will see beauty in the moments of my day! In the pre-dinner rush to feed five kids and two adults, before the second adult gets home and when the first adult is pretty fried, I asked the 6 year old to wipe down the table so we could set it for dinner. I hand her a wet cloth and head back to tending to the dinner on the stove while the 18 month old is sitting on my foot crying 'Uppy, Uppppppy!', the 4 year old streaking (and shrieking) through the house half dressed in dress up clothes with a dripping wet, minty-smelling doll proclaiming her dolly is all clean because she just gave it a bath. With toothpaste. The older two are engaged in some, I am sure, very cool craft which this time happens to involve a hot glue gun and a hot mess. In the midst of all this mess and chaos, I just want something clean. One surface CLEAN! In this case, the table on which we will come together and share our evening meal.

I turn from the sauteing onions, baby still on my foot, to hear the 6 year old announce, 'PERFECT!' I look at the table, still covered in crumbs - now just spread out crumbs - and still sticky jelly smears from lunch. I am about to yell over the noise of the house, CAN YOU WIPE IT AGAIN PLEASE! and turn back to cooking when thankfully something in me said look to her. I did. I looked at my 6 year old and she was standing there looking at her work and absolutely beaming with pride.

"Doesn't it look perfect, Mommy?' she asks me.

Ahhh, and then the shift.  I softened. Seeing the beauty means being aware that perfect looks like something different to everyone.  My 41 year old idea of perfect and her 6 year old idea of perfect can live together. Making room for love.

"Absolutely, dear one." I say.

I carry a quote around by Viktor Frankl in my daily planner, scribbled on a post it note, It is this:
"Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom."
There were so many times today that I missed beauty, that I did not take that space. So many. Yet in this moment, with her shining eyes gleaming at me, I did.


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