I’ve written about gratitude a lot over the past year and have spent considerable time working on myself, thinking about how to be more grateful, more appreciative, more generous, more open, more vulnerable, more happy, a better human being, less selfish, a better parent, have a better relationship with money, focus on experiences over things, my priorities…And I hope that nobody has to go thru what we went thru this week and in all honesty, it really wasn’t all that much…It could’ve been so much worse; but as a parent when you see your child in pain and you feel helpless and someone you love is faced with losing their health or freedom to get up and move around on their own, do the things they love to do, it puts things in perspective pretty damn quick.
I won’t bore you with all the details or dramatize the past week; just suffice to say that when you wake up each morning, send your kids off, do the best you can to put them in schools, places, camps, situations where they can live, learn, experience, share and grow….Sometimes, things don’t always go as planned. Accidents happen…
And in those moments, if and when you get that call (and hopefully you never do…) Your trip to Aspen won’t fucking matter anymore, the petty argument I had with Kate the other day will be rendered meaningless, the annoying aspects of parenthood like how often our boys play a video game or what’s going on in one grade or group of people versus another or did this client of mine get upset about some small innocuous detail simply won’t register on the scale.
There’s a certain irony in that sometimes it takes something unfortunate to happen to help you realize just how fortunate you truly are…To have that wake up moment of clarity as to what really fills your heart, what really inspires your mind and impacts your soul.
If we can somehow manage to keep that moment in the forefront I’m certain that it would positively affect how we live every day, the things we do, the choices we make, how we treat people, how we treat ourselves, the deals we make/don’t make, the places we go, the things we choose to do/not do and the people we choose to spend our time, with…
I don’t wish that anybody has to go thru a painful experience; a broken femur on their 12 year old son, a 3 plus hour ambulance ride from San Antonio to Houston holding his hand the entire time because there is nothing more you can do, a 4 hour surgery, a titanium rod and three screws being implanted into your little boys leg to get to this place of clarity but here are a few takeaways:
1. It can always be worse. Much worse. If you’ve ever spent any time in a pediatric hospital, you realize that immediately. Be grateful.
2. You are capable of handling anything. Breathe. Think. Act.
3. Kids are incredibly resilient and give you strength as an adult and as a parent more than I could ever possibly have imagined and could muster up on my own.
4. Bring your life into perspective and keep it there. Focus on what’s important. Write it down and keep it somewhere to remind you so that when shit seems to be going wrong, you can refer to it to bring you back on track.
5. Live every day. If you have your health, family and enough means to enjoy the things and people you love, you’re there.
6. It is about happiness. Period.
7. You have control. Not over every situation, not over people, not over “The system” but
over YOU. How you act, how you react and how you choose to feel.
8. Money cannot buy happiness. BUT it can hire an ambulance to get your boy from San Antonio to Houston so that he can have surgery at home, with our doctors and help make a bad situation better. Plan, save, earn, respect. It’s about access, not excess.
9. Your network is your net worth. We are so fortunate and grateful to know wonderful doctors that helped us every step of the way. Friends who reached out to offer assistance, kind words and lots, lots of cookies and co-workers and clients that stepped up and in with understanding and support so that I could focus on Harper.
Thank you all. We are in a great place. Harp’s on the mend and we’ve shared some amazing moments of connection, bonding and support that will make us even stronger.
The comeback will be even better than the come up.