They worked hard those two. A fun week was just what they need. I would do my best to provide. But Little Mother, she wants a friend and Sunshine doesn’t relish being the lonely third wheel. My friend is going on a cruise. She has two girls of similar ages. Was it providential?
I gather games, craft supplies, and plan food. I even bring a bag of candy for winner take all games (usually banned at our house).
We squeeze through the narrows, hike Snow’s Canyon, roll in the sand dunes, and swim daily. Nightly we play games, watch movies and eat ice cream. What’s not to like? But those pictures that show smiling girls, they are not worth a thousand words. They don’t tell how one child is crying to me about being left out, how another ignores her, or how one runs to hide in the bathroom at dish time. They don’t tell about one stomping off screaming, “I hate her! This is the worst trip ever!” They don’t show one sister choosing friends over her sister or the rejection another feels.
And I, I am in charge of this group, this life experience, this “vacation”. I had planned to write each day, to get so much done. But I am taut with concern, angry with each little imperfection exhibited by my children, and sad that my preparations have not smoothed the way for the best trip ever.
They have made this my worst trip ever! I threaten to take them all home early unless they can get along and show more maturity.
I read, ponder, pray and think.
The poet Alexander Pope said, “Whatever is, is right.” This is a way of saying an omniscient, all loving God only allows only what is in everyone’s best interest to blow into our lives, good or bad. Really, in his view, it’s all good. They way to contentment is to actively trust by offering thanks in the moment of the annoyance, trauma, or disappointment.
I want to find this paradise of happiness and I know it is a choice. I stop to experiment. I am walking with a little one that refuses to be with them for one more minute. “Whatever is, is right.” I think of my joy at the sun, at the happy person scootering beside me. What is wrong with this anyway? This is all good. “But it isn’t going the way I planned!” There it is! The thorn that keeps me from the happy state I am searching for. I refuse to let go of the driving wheel, even on the small things. I relaxed my control and sat back to see if I could see why this circumstance was “right.”