“Mama.” My son nudged my elbow. “Is this how you spell it?”
My son wearing a Mario shirt sat by the kitchen table, a white sheet of paper and a box of washable crayons set by his side. His feet dangled above the floor.
“Wait just a moment until I finish my work.” I shuffled the rest of my documents inside my tote bag as he scribbled more letters.
“Mama, is this how you spell it?” His voice rose to a high pitch.
I pushed away a strand of hair from his eyes, making a mental note it’s time to visit a hairdresser by the end of the week. “Are you making a new comic book?”
He shrugged it off and brought the paper under my nose.
He asked many questions that morning. Some I let dissipate like a steam in the air. A pang of guilt rushed through me. I wasn’t enough. I wasn’t doing enough. I struggled to adjust to a new schedule. I wanted to do everything, and I wanted things to be perfect.
I tried not to notice my kitchen table cluttered with everything from ScoobyDoo snacks to Dominos. I cleaned it last night to find it the same way the next day. My life was like that, cluttered, signature of my life.
After another stop at school, I drove to the bank. I waited my turn at the drive-through. When it finally came, I pushed the red button.The vacuum sucked the tube with my check inside and returned it with two red lollipops. A young teller smiled behind the glass window. “Hi Ms. Labno. I saw your husband the other day with your sons. They are so precious.” Sweetness in her voice melted my heart like sun rays melted white frost from my lawn that December morning.
Surprised she would remember my husband and my boys, I was even more surprised she would take her time to notice me. I thanked her with a wide smile that stretched from ear to ear.
While unpacking groceries, my eyes caught a poster taped to the wall where everyone could see it. I read the question my son kept on asking me that morning. Have you seen my Mario Toy?
Time stopped as I studied every line drawn by his tiny hand, by my own artist at home. My heart ached. I studied the colors my son picked. Too busy to notice what he was making in front of my own eyes, as if fog clouded my vision, I let it overshadow what’s important.
Carrying extra loads on my back I strived to finish tasks at hand. Things have gone unnoticed. I closed my heart.
Did you lose anything lately? I know I did. Faith. Courage. Self-Esteem. Inner Beauty. Identity. Dreams.
None of these were on my list. Maybe you lost something too. Write one thing you lost and tape it to your wall until you find it in your heart. Make room for what’s important. Open your heart. It’s easy to get lost in daily preparations. Put work aside and look around you.
P.S. For all of you who want to search for a lost Mario Toy, I wanted to let you know it has been found, safe and sound. After “his” rescue, my son jumped up and down. Wheeee!
Last month I literally stepped outside and clipped roses still blooming in November. Crowns of burgundy petals welcomed me. Their green stems as if tainted with red wine pulsed with life and love.