left hemisphere jolt
A particularly hard day has me wanting to reflect on the positive things in my life. Some days it feels as if the universe is conspiring against you. I was going to rant about the lady who cut me off on the freeway, or the refrigerator that is on the fritz, but instead I will choose to fill my mind with other things. My daughter Penny. Today, amongst all the angry thoughts, all the hustle and bustle of the world outside, all those adults racing around trying to make their meetings and lunch dates, we are all so oblivious to each other.
I glanced back at Penny in the backseat, she was bobbing her head to the music, staring at the world outside the window. She loves going barefoot, and kicks off her shoes whenever it tickles her fancy. To her the world is simple. She wants to watch some Handy Manny and go to the playground. She wants to play with other kids. I am an introvert and she is super outgoing. She has a soft heart, and loves everyone she meets.
Every parent knows that feeling of being bombarded in the supermarket by anyone and everyone because you are pushing around a little newborn, I loved and hated that all at the same time. I just assumed that it would eventually go away, she would grow up, and people would stop noticing, and she would blend in with all the other kids and it would stop being such a big deal. Wrong. It is almost getting worse. I cant go to the store without having at leas three unwanted conversations with people that Penny puts me in direct contact with.
Penny is awesome. She challenges me daily and drags me out of my comfort zone regularly. The routine usually goes like this: Penny finds a random family and just barges right onto their picnic blanket,table,tent, or whatever personal space you can think of. I rush in and apologize, a struggle ensues as Penny insists on hanging out with her new “friends”. Random stranger parent asks her name and age. Penny states her name and indicates she is three years old They reply: “Oh my, you are tall aren’t you?”… and Penny proudly agrees that Yes, she is growing really fast.
Half the time, I don’t even know what she is saying, I just let her go socialize until I get the vibe that the family doesn’t appreciate it, then I go and snatch her up. Today after a lady on the highway cut me off, almost killing us in the process, my brain went dark and I lost my cool. I cursed and shook my fists in anger. When it was all over, Penny asks me: “Daddy why did you say: Fuck?”, and I was just in shock. I never swear around her, I tried so hard to keep that ugly word out of her mouth, and here she is saying it with perfect clarity and pronunciation. I was so ashamed of myself. I instantly felt guilt and remorse. All I could think of to say was that is not a good word and daddy shouldn’t have said it. The cool part is, that seemed to satisfy her. She just dropped the whole thing and never mentioned it again for the rest of the day. Hopefully it doesn’t stick.
Being angry is no excuse, but I suppose that every once in a while in my life an F-word might slip out of my mouth when I am angry, I am a Marine after all. I guess I could try and train myself to say something like “You cotton-headed ninny-monkeys, you guys really get my dander up!” or something similarly goofy, but that just is not how anger works is it? It’s usually a knee jerk reaction that you instantly regret. I am grateful to have my daughter with me to remind me right away how pointless it is to let anger consume me. Yes, that lady on the highway cut me off, was driving recklessly, and put my family in danger. All of the terrible things that could have happened did not happen. I should just let it go, but some days that is more difficult than others. Penelope is my reminder to keep cool when adversity strikes. These are my thoughts of the day. Daughters are amazing, mean people suck, and life is beautiful.