When my kids were in elementary and middle school, we went around the table at dinner every night and each of us told the best thing that had happened to us that day. My theory was that sometimes there's something great to share, but there's always something at least a little bit good, and the smaller good things tend to get lost. A friend giving you a cookie at lunchtime or making it to the top of the monkey bars for the first time might pale in comparison with getting yelled at unfairly or someone pushing you down on the playground, and you just might come home focused on the negative--especially in middle school, where negative experiences outstrip positive by about 50 to 1 for a lot of kids.
Sometimes talking about the good thing can turn your whole view of the day around, or at least the way you're feeling in that moment.
Now that it's just me and Tori, it's not something we do all the time. We're always talking about the things that are going on in our lives, good and bad, and with only two of us in the house I don't have to work so hard to make sure everyone is heard. But every now and then, I'll pull it out.
So that headline there...that's mine for today. No one is dead. And please don't think I'm being cynical or using this as a backhanded way to say nothing good happened. I couldn't be happier that everyone is alive.
See, we were supposed to take my grandson Andrew home this morning, but yesterday afternoon while my son-in-law was on his way to work, his timing belt snapped. Fortunately, a relative loaned them a van almost immediately; if she hadn't, my stepdaughter Beth would have been home alone with no transportation when my younger grandson, Caleb (1), stuck a ruler in his mouth and turned to run from her, tripping before she could grab him and jabbing it through the roof of his mouth. But that didn't happen. She had the van available and swept him right out to the emergency room, where they shipped him to Indianapolis for some frightening testing and then determined that the blood supply to his brain had NOT been affected and they could just stitch him up, rehydrate him and, as soon as he was able to eat soft food and drink, send him on his way.
That hasn't happened yet. That means that his mommy (who is 6 months pregnant) was up all night at the hospital and Andrew didn't get to go home this morning...and he took it hard. So hard that when he told me at McDonald's Playland this morning that he had to go to the bathroom and I said, "Okay, let's get your shoes on," he threw a fit instead and stood his ground until he peed all over the floor. And that, of course, made him all the more hysterical, not to mention pretty darned uncomfortable when we went out in the freezing cold to take him back to my house and change him.
And Tori, who was up most of the night waiting for calls or exchanging texts with her sister at the hospital (and hasn't gotten a whole lot of sleep since she's been playing aunt-in-residence this week, anyway), actually fell asleep in the shower this morning and woke as she was falling. She managed to protect her head, but hurt her wrist a little and her ankle quite a bit.
So that's my good news for the day. We're all alive. If that's still true at the dinner table tonight, I'll be counting my blessings...if I can stay awake long enough to get dinner on the table.
Update: Though we're all still alive, I told the story of our day just a bit prematurely. Andrew took a flying leap into Tori's nose about 8:00 this evening and we ended up at the emergency room having her checked out for a broken nose. Verdict: maybe it's broken, but it's straight and her nasal passages are open, so no need to take any action. Go home, take some Motrin, put some ice on it, and stop envisioning slivers of nasal cartilege in your brain.