It’s 11:58 p.m.
My family is in bed and I can’t sleep.
It’s been one of “those” days…you know the one I’m talking about. Everyone has been on edge. Dad didn’t feel well, the humidity was positively horrible, no one wanted to go outside because everything was hot, sticky and wet, and no one wanted to play together inside because everything was hot, sticky and wet.
Attitudes quickly deteriorated and insults were on the rise. Dinner was a sullen affair, a tasty meal served to a testy bunch of people. I found myself longing for bedtime, just wanting the entire day to end.
Then it struck me. We needed to pray. For one another. For peace and harmony in our family. We have no right to expect peace within the world if we can’t have it at home.
Gathering the family in the living room, we began to pray the rosary. I asked my dear husband if I could say a few words. I said more than a few. It went something like this:
We have a problem children. We have become lazy with one another. We, and I mean everyone of us, are taking the easy way out when we it comes to the way we treat each other. Today, I’ve heard every single one of you insult someone in some way. Saying “move over” instead of “excuse me” or “give me that” instead of “may I please have that back” and so on. I can only think that my own frustration over the day has filtered down to you all, until what began as a trickle at the “top” formed a large puddle at the “bottom.” I’m so sorry. I want us to become better. More loving and considerate of one another. Mutually helpful and encouraging. Respectful. I want each of us to pull our weight instead of waiting for someone else to do the dirty work. Let’s say you’re walking through the house and you noticed something on the floor, say, an apple core…do you yell and say “hey! Someone left an apple core on the floor!” and then walk past it, or do you pick it up, thinking “I sure wouldn’t want to step on that!” It’s such a small effort to make, but it’s something that needs to be done…
I had a few more brilliant and insightful statements to make but was briefly interrupted by my husband who asked our oldest son to open a window. Having raised the window, Arthur returned to his seat…but not before he deposited an apple core at the foot of the statue of our Lady which we had set upon the table prior to prayer.
He did this so solemnly that we all paused in silence for a few seconds…and then he said:
“I sure wouldn’t want to step on that!”
Hysterical laughter erupted all around!! It was ironic, but I suppose you’d have to had experienced this day to grasp it. That apple core spoke volumes to this family and we lightened up considerably, amused that the example I had used just moments before served as Arthur’s test.
They are all sleeping peacefully now. Prayers have been said, hugs have been given, Church clothes are laid out and shoes…all six pairs of them, are lined up and ready to go.
I’m still unwinding all the thoughts and emotions of the day, but with a much less troubled heart. I’m sure there will be other bad days, but as always, the remedy is just a prayer away and a bad day can quickly be turned into a good night…