It was just a Sunday night. A night when homework was finished. Piano was practiced. Dishes were done. It was just a night…
In the cold of the winter we occasionally pull the ping pong table from the garage into the living room, shoving all the furniture aside to make space. What normally follows is a fairly sedate tournament of games. Not this night. Instead it was an epic Kids versus Parents Ping Pong Game and Dance Party.
Balls went flying into the dining room thanks to the open floor plan. Others bounced off the ceiling. A few smacked into the antique Chinese plate we were given as a wedding gift. After the third ping! I moved the plate. Disaster averted, I so smugly thought. Nothing could go wrong now.
In between serves and volleys we were singing at the top of our lungs. The music was loud enough the dog retreated to the laundry room. “One more song!” the kids would beg, and we would acquiesce. What could be better than more?
Nothing. Nothing could be better.
Riiiiggghhhht up until the moment it wasn’t. For three of us, the fun naturally came to an end. Everyone simply wandered away as the final notes of the last song played.
Everyone but one. Who wanted it clear that She. Was. Not. Happy. “I’m never, ever, ever playing ping pong again!” (thank you, Taylor Swift). The post-party meltdown included throwing herself on the table and sobbing.
Not how I had hoped the evening would end. There had been so much joy—I don’t think we’ve ever laughed so hard together. And now I worried that it was completely lost.
This was the disaster.
I fretted during the hours between her bedtime and mine. What should we have done? What can we do? What’s the best way to…?
It was the first thing I thought about when I woke the next morning. It had started as just a night. Then it had been a spectacular night. Then, it wasn’t.
I worried until I saw her face. Her enormous smile as she shouted “MOM. Mom. Mom. MOM! That was the best night ever!”
All that worry. For nothing. I had forgotten. Forgotten that worry mires us in place, when what we need to do is keep moving. Because perspective comes only once we have distance to see.
It was just a night, then it wasn’t. Now, it is spectacular again.
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How do you remind yourself to set worry aside? How did you move? We all have a story. I’d love to hear yours.