"Some times I close my eyes and wish so hard for throw up," she tells me, taking a large bite from her fairy bread.
"Throw up?" I ask, raising my eyebrows for just a moment before continuing to sweep up the mess of sprinkles that have fallen from her bread and onto the kitchen table. A Chaotic Collection of Red, Purple, and Pink Castaways Begging to be Gobbled Up. Maybe my ears missed something, no one seriously wishes to vomit. "Why would you wish for that, Audrey?"
"Because when you throw up you get to sleep downstairs on the couch right next to a big bowl! And sometimes Daddy even comes and sleeps next to you!"
Now here is a trooper who looks on the bright side.
The prospect of sleeping on the couch, letting her head split its times between a pillow and a massive bowl while her Daddy snores next to her was enough for little Audrey to wish for throw up before a pony. Just Enough. More Than Enough.
Some days I am enveloped tightly in the memories of spending my summer days with a four-year-old who may one day grow up to have Belle, Ariel, and Jasmine all as her bridesmaids.I can still vividly picture Audrey rummaging through the bottom cabinet in the kitchen, finding an enormous white plastic bowl, and spitting into it from time to time. "Throw up," she would inform me, waiting as anxiously for the potential up chuck as she would for Santa. "It might be throw up coming!"
I have had all kinds of days in the past four months while living in the Bronx, New York. And some days are just throw up. Yes, that's right. Throw Up.
Before you grace me with a giant "Ew, Hannah, please be a little more eloquent," let me explain.
There are definitely days where we all want to cross our arms, stamp our feet, and swap out our brightly colored pastel crayons for a more suitable art set full of grey charcoal. To Color Our Days Exactly How We Feel. There are those Days. You know the Days I am writing about:
Days where we don't feel like moving. Days where we grumble instead of talking.
Days where Wednesday is acting more like an evil dictator than a hump day.
Days where Saturday is cross dressing as Monday and stamping all over our weekend.
Days where we swear that someone has shut off the christmas lights at the end of our tunnels.
And in some of the hardest times of our lives these days string themselves together. One after the Other after the Other after the Other. (I will ask one more "Other" to join the sentence, just for the sake of inclusion and emphasis).
Before Negative Nancy and Debbie Downs come Christmas caroling all over this blog post I would like to label These Days as perfectly normal, better than that, essential to our ever getting anywhere in this world.
Audrey might have squealed and clapped her hands in knowing that I spent my Thanksgiving Night with her favorite verb, throw up. I, however, was not so thrilled to be entertaining the flu instead of pumpkin pie. I don't want to be graphic but lying curled up on the bathroom floor, crying, while listening to what could have very well been a gun fight outside, did not exactly bottle the same excitement that Audrey assigned to being sick. I would have certainly been ready to rumble with her at this point, to argue with a preschooler over the fact there is not always a big white bowl or a Daddy in sight to sit with you until the fever breaks.
Maybe I would shatter her innocence by telling her that we grow older. That life gets harder. That sometimes Challenges and Adversity reel us in for a cup of tea. But while it might not be as easy to look on the bright side, life has a way of delivering Little Graces in the presence of a Great Dismay. Perhaps there is no plastic bowl, but there are comforts to fill our arms with in times of trials. Baby Steps. Hot Chocolate. Micro Movements. A Book that Offers Comfort. One Foot in Front of the Other. Letters from Home. Perhaps there is no Big Great Couch to sleep upon but there is a God who allows us to tuck our angst into bed, a God who allows us to throw our hands up in the air and say, "I give up, you take it from here." Maybe there is not always a Daddy in sight but there are friend who allows our hearts to come piling into their in boxes. And they respond to every pitiful sentence we type.
Looks like the Christmas lights at the end of our tunnels are on after all. We just forget sometimes. We forget that we don't need to see everything clearly or understand everything exactly to be in sync with the Day we have been given, a Throw Up Day or not. We forget that even in the dimness of a room, we can bask in the tranquil glow of the Tiny Little Lights that promise to never leave us fully in the dark.