I was going to write a post today about about my quest for the perfect sandbox. How I planned and obsessed over it and then one day Nate came home with four wood boards and some sand. Add in a toddler with a spatula and, well, you're pretty much there. It was a well-laid-out little story about teachable moments in life and simplification.
I was planning to write about this perfectly imperfect sandbox and to clean up the kitchen. But then some bombs went off in Boston. I don't have TV, but the snippets of information I could grasp from social media were brutal. “Blood…limbs…death.” And then there was all the noise and chatter of people trying to somehow go about their real life in the midst of this unthinkable tragedy.
Some people were helpful and provided information.
A lot of people spun this into a “teachable moment” in their own field.
Others sought attention, and self-promoted in the midst of terror.
I planned to put Some Boy and Sidekick down for a nap and try to live stream information. As spectators gathered in the streets and strangers offered up their beds to stranded marathoners in need, I wanted to feel connected to the outside world. Surrounded by my restless babies, I felt lonely. I wanted a distraction.
But they wouldn't nap. Some Boy wouldn't stop hopping up and down on his mattress. Sidekick wouldn't stop staring up at me as I stared at gruesome images on the computer.
So I didn't post about my stupid home update. I didn't clean the kitchen. I didn't gather information that would be completely useless to me.
I took the boys outside and played in the sandbox and I hugged them tight. I thought about how I would explain tragedies like this when they're old enough to pick up on the chatter. It dawned on me that this unexpected time…these are the teachable moments that matter. While some may take the opportunity to turn this into a lesson for their children of danger and hardship and fear, I realized that all I want more than anything is to teach them joy.
Like this perfectly imperfect box, sometimes the answer is staring us in the face. Sometimes we complicate it way too much.
So, sorry guys, but I'm not sharing how to build a sandbox today. That suddenly doesn't seem to matter at all. The bigger teachable moment for me right now is taking this chance to be with my toddler. To play in the sun and laugh with my baby.
I hope you'll take the chance to do the same.