I love learning life lessons from my grandchildren. I’m in the midst of a disastrous remodeling project (is there any other type?) and I sought solace at my daughter’s house. After I had whined awhile, my daughter suggested: “At least you still have a warm house and a roof over your head, and you still have the use of the kitchen and bathroom and bedroom. It’s not so bad.” Everything she said was logical, rational, and unhelpful; I remained sunk into their couch in a pool of self-pity.
My grandson, Axel, brought me his jar of newly acquired marbles. “Grandma, how about you take a few marbles home with you?” “Oh, that would help!” I perked up. “I’ll take two.”
“No, Grandma, take more,” he insisted.
We settled on five, and he explained how I should put them in a jar on my desk and I’d feel better. And I should be sure to keep a lid on the jar so they don’t escape. We all laughed about Grandma losing her marbles.
Who knew that five marbles could make me feel so much better? Ironically, I had just had lunch with a friend, and when I told her my woes (which were all eventually fixable, but quite annoying), she had responded, “That sucks!” “Oh,” I said, “it’s not so bad. I still have a roof over my head and I can use most of the rest of the house. I’ll get over it.” My response to sympathy was rationalization, but my response to Axel’s kindness (kidness?) was healing.
From now on, I’ll offer only kindness to friends, family, and strangers in distress, though I may not carry marbles with me.