life is like a box of chocolates . . .

Jumble, jumble, jumble. Mumble, mumble, errr, errr…wipe the slate clean…wait, I can’t, not now, stay put, be patient, “You may not realize it now, but the Universe is unfolding as it should,” reads a sign tucked in the lemon tree in northwest corner of my front yard. I believe the statement. I know it is true. But I want to see how all the pieces of the puzzle fit together. Now. Why is this happening? Why did that happen? Will I ever have day-upon-day of retirement bliss? Financial freedom? No responsibilities? Oh, tell me crystal ball, tell me!

Mostly what I want is what I have right now: The SoCal ocean breeze. 72 degree summer temps. The cooing of a mama dove. The gurgling sound of water from my backyard river-pond. A book to read. Art journaling to mess around with. Baby napping. Daughter sun-bathing. Boisset Chardonnay, Rose and French Sparkling wines chilling. Furry white rescue pup warming my calloused bare feet.

Quietude.

Yes, I could–and probably should–be cleaning the house prior to our guests’ arrival for the Baby Gender Reveal Gathering. Yes, I need to determine the Plan B Medicare coverage. I have a couple of bills to pay too. But I really need to sit here not thinking about thinking. No doing. I need to let go of solving other people’s problems and having everyone understand and accept me for who I am. What I really need is a nap. To let go. Float in that cloud of bliss my granddaughter’s in right now. Her body goes limp as I gently place her in the crib. She nuzzles her head on the pink rose sheet and she’s gone. Instantaneously.

No worries. No tossing and turning fretting. She didn’t do anything “wrong”, like her grandma seems to constantly do. And if she does something like poop in her pants, she’s forgiven, even loved during the de-pooping process. Can you imagine an adult being loved when they crap in their pants? I want to be like Millie. I mean REALLY. I like the rainbow shirts she wears, the butterfly pj’s, the tie-dye Crocs. Her emotions change on a dime (what does that mean anyway?): She can be ninny-ing like a goat to get her way one minute, then blowing kisses of adoration to a stranger the next. She’s such a character, cherished for who she is.

This being loved for just being yourself, flaws-and-all-thing has been a hard concept for me to grasp. I daresay that even as a baby I was the same person I am now—chubby, opinionated, friendly, strong-willed and a creative problem-solver. And yet, my siblings found fault. Perhaps that’s the role of siblings. They pick, pick, pick away at your faults and strengths to divert attention—back to them. Egos, egos, egos. Sibling relationships, that 24/7 reality show guaranteed to toughen you up.

Then there are your grown kids. Here to make you better. Correcting. Suggesting. Here. Not here. You’re the good guy, the bad guy. The bad stuff, according to their therapists, is your fault. On the cross. Crucified for the sins of being your flawed self. We forgive them, put up with them, because we love them, and their children because they are a constant reminder that maybe under the grey hair, pot belly and wrinkles, we aren’t so bad after all.

Today, we’ll find out if a boy or girl will be joining the tribe. While we speculate and consider the pros and cons of gender with a sibling a mere twenty months older, Millie’s brother or sister will make the biggest impact on her. Will they be friends for life? Will they be arch enemies? Will they duke it out in the back seat on the way to soccer? Will they share the same interests, be kind to one another? Will they stay in contact with each other when they have families of their own? Will they forgive, forget and forge productive and purposeful lives?

Like me, will it take them decades and decades to “Let It Go” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L0MK7qz13bU(at least half the time)?

Forrest Gump’s mama was right. Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get. So you might as well embrace the twists and turns of the entire plot. Eventually, the puzzle pieces will fit together. Until next time…

Postscript: It’s a boy!

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