“I wanted a perfect ending. Now I've learned, the hard way, that some poems don't rhyme, and some stories don't have a clear beginning, middle, and end. Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what's going to happen next. Delicious Ambiguity.”Gilda Radner

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Making It Great

Today was set up to be another ordinary day. Noah had a checkup at the pediatrician, which meant I had to fly through the house to find sports forms and school forms and what-have-you, of which I had none, so I had to then fly through the house to hook up to the printer and find printer paper and then print said forms, and then Noah had a meltdown about...something, I have no idea what, and was declaring to the universe that TODAY was going to be a VERY BAD DAY.

I didn't disagree.

Further, in the in-between of it all, there's Joey leaping out of cardboard boxes, as though I'm in the mood for such shenanigans while printing forms and dealing with insane-o-crazy Noah, and Max is doing this shrieky-whine thing he does that reminds me uncannily of a dentist drill, and Joe is appearing from the next room with a dress shirt held out in front of him, saying, "Can you get this grease stain out?" and I'm all...Calgon take me away!

So, yeah. An ordinary day.

I did appreciate the fact that I had a babysitter to stay with Joey and Max during Noah's doctor appointment, however, since I really feel like it's best to only focus on the one with the doctor. I once brought a second child along on a routine visit and found that I'd left my brain at home and amidst the "don't touch thats" and "please sit downs" and "Mommy's talking," it was really best to never repeat the whole ordeal that way.

So off Noah and I went, him sniffling in the backseat, still very certain that today was a bad day, and me wishing hard that he could realize the whole day was in front of him and maybe we could, as I often tell him, choose to make it a great day.

I was so hung up on this that when the doctor came in and asked me whether I had any concerns, I shared that Noah was having a hard time understanding that he has the personal power to turn things around for himself.

She said, "Noah, how many times have you seen Frozen?" What a great question.

"A million?" he said with a grin.

"Me, too! Do you think that when bad things happen you can work on trying to, 'Let it go! Let it gooooo!'"

I kind of have a crush on our pediatrician.


She went on to discuss all the merits of modeling the superpower of making spirits bright, and I cringed a little inside knowing, well, I probably don't always do that. But I vowed I would try harder, since that's all I can do.

After the doctor, we went for a haircut. The haircut place was full, and we were told our wait would be long. I optimistically sat down, and Noah asked to play on my phone. I am completely a parent who lets her child play on her phone in support of good behavior in public for limited amounts of time.

But while the clock ticked by, I took note of the person snuffling beside me. Snuffling is different than sniffing. Sniffing is like...glorified smelling. Or a side effect of sadness. Snuffling indicates a person has an under-the-weather need to blow their nose. Then there was a cougher. A phlegmy one. A persistent phlegmy cougher.

And still the time ticked on and it was not Noah's turn. Upset, I decided the wait was too long, not worth it, and we left. I was annoyed. I was worried about the airborne germs that probably still clung to our auras as we climbed into the car. Noah had really needed that haircut, and now we'd have to wait who knew how long to come back another day? And what about lunch? I was starving, but almost too crabby to go for my original plan, which was to surprise Noah by taking him out.

As I drove, focusing on all of these things and more, Noah said, "I hope you remember what the doctor said, Mom. We can still turn this day around!"

I can't even begin to tell you what an idiot I felt like. Immediately. And it was hard to let everything go. But in my mind, I heard my hero pediatrician's voice telling me to emulate good behavior. In the rearview mirror, Noah's eyes were sparkling in a knowing way. He knew he'd caught me. And beyond that, I was incredibly proud of him for paying attention at the doctor's office and regurgitating exactly what I'd hoped he'd learn. (Although I rather hoped it'd be more self-directed, if you know what I mean.) So, I changed lanes, heading in a new direction. We went to a different hair place. Noah's optimism paid off. They took him right away, no wait, and he smiled adorably through his entire haircut. We went out for lunch, Noah's pick (Red Robin), and I had a delicious strawberry lemonade with a free refill! And then, the ultimate moment of adventure: we went to Wegmans.

What did we buy?

A dozen roses.

For whom?

Inspired, we decided that they would be for Noah to give out, one at a time, to anyone who might need one. And here is how that went.

First up, a little girl with her brother. Noah was feeling shy, and definitely wanted to start with someone his own age. The girl accepted the flower, and ran to her mother all smiles. "Thank you!" her mother said, beaming. 
Next was a woman in the food court at the mall, eating alone. "This is for you!" said Noah, a little less shy. "Have a nice day!" You can see that she was at first surprised, and then couldn't help smiling.

Then there was this guy. We passed by an Auntie Anne's pretzel booth, and Noah stopped, turned around, and waved me down to his level. "That guy looks pretty sad to me. Or maybe a bit bored."
"Should we give him a flower?" I asked.
"Yes." And he went back to the booth, around to the side, and presented this pretzel fella with a rose. "Have a great day!" The guy clearly had never received a flower from a six-year-old boy before. It took him a minute to get over being stunned, and then he gave a nice smile and a shy but enthused, "Thanks, buddy!"

These mannequin butts have little to do with Noah's mission, except that they made him laugh hysterically.

Noah searching high and low for just the right recipient. It was very important to him to make someone smile. A lot of people spotted him on his mission and said in a pushy voice, "I SURE LOVE YELLOW ROSES!" Noah was unmoved by such behavior and simply walked on.

This gal, working at Customer Service, looked like she was just waiting for five o'clock to roll around. Noah, as you can see here, was too small to see over the counter, so he shouted, "Excuse me! This is for you!" and slid the rose over the top of the counter.

 This little lady, the one in sunglasses and a tiara, was getting her ears pierced. Noah said, "Be brave!" and handed her the rose.

Noah spotted this girl on crutches from across the mall. Don't let her fool you; she was quick! Noah caught up to her, though, and made sure she got her rose.

Next were these two special ladies, doing a little mall walking and perhaps some shopping. I particularly like the look of the one on the left. The brunette, as shown below, was a bit confused at first. Maybe she thought he was a bandit, aiming to grab her purse and run. "What is it for?" she asked skeptically. "Just for you," he said.

Moving back through the mall, we passed our little ear piercee, who began gesturing wildly at her forlorn and flowerless younger sister. Noah gladly stopped to balance things out.

You can see the ladies at the jewelry shop appreciated the gesture. The girl shown here said, "Can I give you a hug? You made my day!" But Noah wanted no thanks. He just kept turning back to me and saying, "Did you get that smile with your camera, Mom?" 

And last, but certainly not least, Noah saved one flower for one of his favorite babysitters in the world. Thanks for making it all possible, Amanda!

From the bottom of my heart, I wish you a great day. And Noah will tell you that the fastest way to help that along is by doing something nice for someone else. 
"Mom...I don't get it, but when they smiled, it made me feel happy for some reason!"

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