The littlest one
is fifteen months old
and he throws fits now.
They are classic ones,
head thrown backward,
and every effort
to get flat
on the floor.
He scrunches his face and cries.
He pushes out his lower lip.
He huffs and humphs.
He gets his head on the ground.
Now my opportunities to practice
patience, understanding, and compassion
abound. Around the corner of every moment
I can choose love.
If I hurl the half-empty bottle into the sink,
have I nourished?
If I admonish through clenched teeth and growl,
have I taught?
If I bristle and attack as a defense,
have I understood?
If I sigh and huff, and bemoan through the house,
have a done my work well?
If resentment and bitterness ooze from my flesh,
have I been a blessing?
If disdain and self-righteousness reside in my heart,
have I loved?
If I cook and clean and wipe and wash,
prepare and present and set and serve,
freshen and fold and drive and deliver,
but have no love,
have I done anything?
Today we get wet
running into and out of
Today we fly
the children on our feet,
dance in the living room,
read on the sun porch.
Today we play checkers and chess,
pretend to be bakers and chefs,
run and chase each other through the house.
Today we tumble on top
of each other and rest in a mass
of arms and legs and bellies and cheeks.
Today we get irritated, angry, and sad.
Today we say, “I’m sorry,” and “I forgive you.”
Today is a purple day –
rare, precious, and holy.