In a perfect world, my kids would stay in bed after bedtime. I would be able to go to bed at the same time as the trucker. In a perfect world, finances would come easy and we would have the space we want in our home. I wouldn't have to split my office with play area.
In a perfect world, trust would run rampant. There would be no backstabbing, no disappointments. It would natural to trust someone first instead of it being a risk. Our hearts would always be full and never broken. There would be no battles for control, or upsets over losses. Everyone would have patience... all the time.
But this is not a perfect world.
I still teach my kids to hold open doors for others. I teach them to stop and help someone, to pick up and return an item you've dropped. To say hello to neighbors walking by. I show them to help others, and also to be careful not to be conned. I give change to those who need it. I buy a coffee for a friend who is feeling low. We ask questions... and listen to the answers.
Times change, I read recently about chivalry being dead. I disagree.
It may be weak, but it is not dead.
I was treated to having car doors held open for me, offered my seat before my date sat down. I have been serenaded, more than once, and not just at karaoke. (That happens more by women, sadly.... but that's a whole different story!) I was presented with a single white rose a thousand times more than a dozen red ones. Sure, some of these things have slipped away almost entirely, but it is not a societal shift that occurred. I became a mom. And my white knight is a dad.
He doesn't hold the door open on the van for me, we're busy getting kids buckled in and making sure we have everything we need. He may sit before I do in the dining room at supper, but it's usually because the kids will just keep getting up and leaving the table until one of us is in there too. I don't often get roses of any sort, but the kids are encouraged to bring me wild flowers (read: dandelions) any time they want. Life changes. In our house at least.
When I went to college, I had an 8 month old baby. I bussed it downtown, took him to daycare and headed to class. In the first sixth months of school, I didn't open a single door for myself downtown. Not one. In fact, when it did happen I actually DID notice. I believe that most people really are good. Sometimes it may be hidden, but don't we all want to be just a little bit more than what we are?
Little things. Life is all about little things.
My kids might not go to sleep when I want and I don't often get to bed at the same time as the trucker, but we are making a better effort to get our alone time too. I may share my home with my mother, but it is financially smarter for ALL of us. Why scrimp and save every penny just to have our own separate places when we work well together here? We can all have a small taste of the good life this way. As the kids grow the space they need for play changes constantly. My office will be just an office eventually.
When you pay attention to the little things, life just gets happier. Buy a coffee for the guy behind you in line or in the drive thru. Hold a door open for someone to go by. Let someone ahead of you in line at the grocery store because they have less items than you do. Simply smile and say thank you to the Wal-Mart Cashier. (really, do it. I don't think they really ever hear it anymore). How about in a drive thru? Place your order and then say thank you, before you drive ahead. They hear it, and I can promise they will be smiling when you get to the window.
You know how to teach your children to be responsible and kind? Let them see you do it. It can be a struggle sometimes to turn the other cheek, but they need to know that part too. They will see that sometimes you can be the bigger person and not just because it was easy. Life is hard. They need to know it.
This is my world,
and it is perfect
enough for me.