Today was Wednesday in all its Wednesday glory. I lay down in my bed in the darkness of the morning, involuntarily keeping myself awake by thinking about how I would have to be awake. I calculated how long it would be until I would sleep again as I groggily pushed the blankets aside and headed toward the bathroom. I blinked a few times, and my eyelids felt like they were opening and closing against sandpaper. There were drool stains on my pillows, toothpaste stains in the sink, and pee stains on the toilet. Laundry had exploded out of our closet and into our bathroom and the clean laundry from the weekend before still had to be put away. My thoughts traipsed lethargically and haphazardly around my mind as I showered: I think we can have pulled pork for dinner—don’t forget, you have that IEP meeting first hour—I’ll just come home for lunch, it’s easier than packing something—remind Cohen to brush his teeth more—I hope those black leggings are clean— etc. Like I said—Wednesday in all its Wednesday glory.
But did you know that Beauty can be found even on Wednesdays?
6:40 AM: Cohen and Ellie sit on the bathroom floor, amidst the aforementioned piles of laundry, playing together. Cohen’s tickles elicit deep, raspy chuckles from his baby sister.
7:50 AM: I’m in an IEP meeting for one of my special ed students. I tell him I’m proud of him. He can’t meet my eye, he’s so embarrassed. I think he understands.
8:30 AM: I’m in my Humanities class, and we’re talking about the creative process. “Creativity does not come easily,” I tell my students, “Any real writer will tell you the process of writing is incredibly hard work. You write, and you get junk, and then you write some more and get some more junk. But sometimes there’s a glimmer of beauty hidden there amidst that pile of rubble.”
9:00-1:00: I’m telling my sophomores about thesis statements. (Like I said, Wednesday in all its Wednesday glory.)
4:00 PM: I’m lying on the floor of Cohen’s bedroom as the three kids play independently around me. My eyes open and close slowly. I catch glimpses of Ellie chewing on cars and Cohen pushing his rescue boat. I hear Sophie rhyme “elephant” with “quelefant” as she pretends to read the words in a sing-song rhythm. Later, we all squish our heads together on a lone pillow to read Scooby Doo. Ellie crawls all over my head, tugging my hair and squishing my nose.
5:30 PM: Dinner. Cohen tells us to tell him stories about when we were kids. I tell him about how Mrs. Bell, my third grade teacher, read us James and the Giant Peach and how we did reports about animals that started with the first letter of our names. “I would get to do a Cheetah!” Cohen infers proudly. Jacob tells us about how he moved from Rock Island to Moline in 3rd grade and how he had a crush on his substitute teacher. Sophie, up to her elbows in ketch-up, shares with us how she learned about diamonds and how she got to have pudding for a snack at pre-school. Ellie stuffs bread, pork, and corn in her mouth and munches away, chewing precisely like a grandma who has forgotten her dentures.
7:00 PM: I hum amazing grace as Ellie falls asleep in my lap, her hand resting on her forehead, her breathing loud and deep.
There were moments of glory in your Wednesday too. Did Beauty whisper to you in the blue of the sky? Did Kindness breathe a “hello” in the selfless acts of another? Did Compassion give you the eyes to see the story behind someone’s behavior? Did Awareness awaken you to your own existence—even if it was only the awareness of the brittle wind as it whipped upon your already beaten face?
There is beauty in this life, even on Wednesdays. God give us the eyes to see it.