Dear Children: This Life is Messy

Dear Children,

 

Yes, this life is messy.

 

One moment you’re getting a gold star for helping your teacher, the next your heart is breaking because your only friend chose someone else for their birthday ring.

 

Yes, crap is hard. I know.

 

And, I know that the books tell you how the hard moments are supposed to make you stronger but gosh, that doesn’t make the pain easier to bear. Right? I know.
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The little things ARE the big things. They leave a dent, a mark, a stain that you have to live with long after the fall. Right? I know.

 

But, here’s the thing:

I’ll tell you what my own mother taught (not told) me: this life IS indeed messy but it is in that exact messiness that you will find your own unique talents, gifts, strengths. Those moments will reveal to you a survival kit of wisdom that you did not even know came standard with your model.

 

So yes, the “grown ups” around you may not have all the answers you seek, but you do happen to have front row seats to the messiness that is their lives and I assure you, you will learn simply by watching.
Aluta Continua, as they say. This life is indeed messy, but that’s how the rainbows reveal themselves. And rainbows are all around. I know. 

 

© A Heart Full of Stories, 2017  Full copyright and all media rights reserved.

 

(And “grown ups”, we ALL need reminding now and then that we cannot (unfortunately) teach our children that which we are not living every day. Those little eyes and ears are learning everything about this life from watching us. Horror! But yes, that’s a story for another day…The only thing we can do is live honestly, authentically, transparently however “messy” that happens to be)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pick Your Battles (A story about standing up)

It was lunchtime and I was hungry. I was rushing past the two Manchester United T-Shirts and the whiff from their cigarettes seemed to add to my hunger. One guy said “what are we chowing brother?”  The other responded “I wanna chow that…nice and juicy!”

 

They both laughed as they watched me walk down a longggggggggggg, dark passage that seemed to go on forever.

 

I knew what they were trying to do. I hadn’t been in a situation like that for a long time, but I certainly had not forgotten my old friend “harassment”.

 

I could have turned around.

I could have confronted them.

I could have humiliated them.

I could have humiliated myself too, actually. 

 

But I was hungry.

So, I kept walking.

Defeated.

 

After paying my bill, a young woman’s red shoes caught my attention.  I also noticed the two Manchester United T-Shirts vying for her attention.

 

She turned around.

She took their compliments to heart.

They invited her to join them and together, they had a lovely time knocking back blue shooters.

 

As the waitress brought my bill, one of the men tapped a cleaner on her shoulder saying “excuse me, do you like big or small bananas?”

“Bananas?” she asked, genuinely missing their crudeness.

The girl with the hot bum laughed loud, further adding to the cleaner’s embarrassment. The cleaner was an old woman, with her head covered, wearing a church badge I recognised.

 

I turned around.

I confronted them.

I humiliated them.

I humiliated myself too, actually.

 

But there could have been no other way.

 

So I kept walking.

Conflicted

 

…but completely assured that yes we need to pick our battles, but some battles pick us and give us zero choice but to engage.

 

© A Heart Full of Stories, 2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Lee-Ann Mayimele and www.aheartfullofstories.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Voluntary Ignorance

Her parents were not educated. His were.

Her parents had money. His were broke.

This was no ordinary situation. In fact, it was positively unique. 

It did not really matter when they met.

As time went by, it mattered lots.

The educated ones turned their noses up whenever they could.

The ones with money toned down their wealth as far as they could.

In their last fight, the guy screamed and said “It’s a damn pity that some people CHOOSE to remain ignorant!”

The girl paused and said “I could not agree more!”

© A Heart Full of Stories, 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Lee-Ann Mayimele and www.aheartfullofstories.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

The Bicycle

The boy wanted a bicycle.

He had always wanted a bicycle.

Father Christmas had not played along for many years. Neither had the birthday fairy.

Shortly before his 12th birthday, his fortunes changed. His mother walked to the second hand store. She negotiated a great deal.  She paid her first instalment. She had 5 more to go.

She planned to wrap a big blue ribbon around it.  The look on her son’s face would surely be imprinted in her heart forever.

It’s all she talked about for the next month or two. She was so proud.

The boy told old his estranged dad that he knew the secret that his mom was hiding from him.  He was happy to play along. The anticipation was intoxicating.

One evening, his mom was walking home from the bus stop and in the distance she saw the boy.  He was riding a bicycle.  Either her mind was playing tricks on her or he was riding someone else’s bicycle.  Surely those were the only two options.

She quickened her steps.

“Look mom!” he said “Dad got me a bike!”

Her heart broke.

The look on her son’s face was forever imprinted in her heart.

The boy had many happy days riding his bike.

On his birthday, his mother said “My son, I pray that God still has plans for me to melt your heart”.

The boy said “Mom, you ARE my heart”. 

© A Heart Full of Stories, 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Lee-Ann Mayimele and www.aheartfullofstories.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

I want to mop! I want to mop!

I was having a shit day.

And, the floor needed to be mopped.

That’s when my 5 year old walked in.  “I want to mop! I want to mop”. Now, I didn’t want her help for two reasons:

  1. The 30 second mop job I planned to do was going to turn into an hour long circus act (yet again);
  2. I was having a shit day.

But, her cuteness and my mood had me handing over the bucket full of water and the mop.

That’s when I did something stupid.  I sat down to relax.

Next thing, I hear a loud bang!  My daughter had single handedly managed to tip the bucket over and flood the kitchen!

I ran up to her and shouted “Look what you have done!  I told you that this would happen”.

She looked sad.  Sad and scared. And disappointed.

My instinct was to take back what I had said to her.

My heart told me that I was allowed to have reacted the way I did.

While these two parts of me had a 1 minute battle, her little voice kept saying “I’m sorry Mama”.  She said it about 900 times.

I made the decision on the spot:  GO WITH YOUR HEART!

I picked her up, put a blanket around her and rocked her like a baby, while silently promising myself never to fall for her charms again.

Then, I forgave myself.  And mopped up that damn floor!