A Diet Coke and a Baby - Actions
September 8, 2008
Let me set the scene...
Saturday night I was out for Elizabeth's bachelorette party. Tons o sangria, tons o drama, tons o laughter and NO sleep. I am too old for this. This was followed by the birthday party Sunday of one fabulous six-year-old boy. Not an ideal sequence of events for a weekend but no amount of pounding inside my head was going to keep me from seeing Ross's three nephews, one of whom was celebrating his birthday. Ross was happy to excuse me from the day's festivities to let me sleep. (I don't think this was totally altruistic. I am slightly less attrractive when I am tired. I am a psycho mean girl without 8.5 hrs each night). But I really did want to go. So after some NON alcohol soaked fruit from Doc Greens and a huge sweet tea, we were off to a wild pool party.
Once at the pool, not 30 minutes had lapsed when I zoomed in on a precious, pudgy baby girl. I have a radar. Really. Lucky for me, this baby had 2 older sisters who were making their mother nuts so she happily relinquished said 25 lb 8 month old. Baby E was round and fat and beautiful. I put the baby on my 'made for babies' right hip and put a caffeine free diet coke in my left hand. Walking outside to see the cornhole tournament pinning Sr. Ninness vs Jr. Ninness, Ross looked at me and smiled. I reminded him that all I need in life is a baby (or 6) and a diet coke (preferably WITH caffeine). He cracked up and repeated 'a baby and a diet coke' more than a few times throughout the rest of the day and the evening. And each time, I smiled. Because he is so right.
I smiled mostly because I am hoping to become this much cooler version of myself. I am hoping that as my life goes forward, that the simplest things will continue to bring me joy. I am hoping that my desire for the bigger materials, gifts as they may be, will grow smaller. And I hope that I will find peace and joy in the little things.
One day when I'm old, I'm want to write a book called Little Gifts. And the dedication will go straight to Mary and Pat (otherwise known as mom and dad). Right now, I'm looking at a card on my bulletin board at work (yep, not exactly working this minute). My dad gave it to me my junior year of high school. I'd been sad and a little let down the night before. When I left school the next day, my dad had snuck downtown, located my car on Jones Street (this where you parked if you were VERY late). He placed one red rose and a card with a little girl painting a red smile on a fuzzy dog. Inside it said "thought you could use a smile".
Seriously, a brand new car could not have meant more. Such a small gift. But I've kept that card for almost 11 years. And then there was the time that I was housesitting for the Garmany's and their cat (Satan) kept rebelling against chosen housesitter, leaving dead chipmunks in the house every day for a week. It was terrible. Remember I am not God's greatest animal lover and have no love lost for a misbehaving creature. Mom found a card with a cat drenched in bubbles in sink looking none too happy. It was perfect. And it made it better. (until the next freaking chipmunk).
Then there was the time in college when I'd been really sick. My favorite friend Katrina felt sorry for her pathetic little friend and made me blueberry muffins and MAILED them. Yes, you read right. Girl mailed me a dozen blueberry muffins with the crumbles on top. You have to remember that Katrina's mom makes Betty Crocker look like me in the kitchen. I remained a BC cheerleader because our coach was Katrina's older sister and we were frequented by Miss Kathy's delights. I will always remember sitting on the sofa of ADPi, tired and sick and sad and DEVOURING six blueberry muffins like it was the last supper. Such as little gift. Such an important lesson.
So, as I keep on this very windy road that my dramatic self calls life, I am going to try to remember the little things, the ice cold diet coke after a night out with the girls; the smile on the face of a baby so chubby she has no neck; the shaking of my boyfriend's head when he sees that and says 'classic Keri', the taste of homemade blueberry muffins from my best friend, hearing my dad say 'babydoll you'd look pretty in a tater sack', having my mom spend yet another afternoon in Belk shopping for her favorite daughter, the way a certain man brings me a gardenia from outside just because he knows it is my favorite scent in the world.
Recently I was babbling to my bible study friends about some struggles. They listened so sweetly and prayerfully, despite I'm sure wondering if one person could possibly be so neurotic! Anyway, a day later I received a short email from A. It said 'progress, not perfection'
So, in my continued effort to live for the small things, I'm will seek to make progress in this life, not perfection. Because really, isn't perfection the perfect drink and a chunky thighed baby?