The little things
Mother of the Munchkins
Bethany J. Royer
Two weeks before Thanksgiving my optimism came to an abrupt halt.
No matter what I did - write, run an extra mile, walk about the park on several cold mornings and throw myself into my studies, nothing, I mean nothing, removed the sudden gloom that enveloped me.
Of course, being an armchair psychologist, I tried to find a worthy cause for the sudden change in my disposition.
Being a newly single mom
Those were all very logical reasons but the knowledge, even the acceptance, did nothing to alleviate the heaviness in my heart.
When I walked into my weekly divorce support group meeting last Thursday, I did so with something of a chip on my shoulder.
I wanted to act out.
I wanted to argue with the group leaders.
I wanted to manically laugh out loud, or better yet, scream.
I wanted to be as mean to the universe as it has seemingly been to me.
By the weekend things were not any better.
I went out-of-town to house-sit for a good friend of mine, and rather than enjoy the quiet time alone I paced, languished in my mysterious woe, and wiped the tears from the corner of my eyes. (Maybe it was the fact I’m allergic to cats and had five of them underfoot?)
Whatever the reasons, my mood was not on the mend. So I did what anyone else would do in my case. I worried about how long it would last and how low it was going to go.
Sounds about right, to add yet another worry to the mix, but it seemed so unfair, too. I’d been doing so well these last six months and desperately want a happy holiday season.
Plus, I’m the lemons into lemonade girl and there are no tears in lemonade!
As I sat alone at my friend’s house, a cat tucked directly beneath my chin, I indulged in my angst. This translates to my anxious logistical calculations of being able to toilet paper the entire universe over a single weekend when a text message came across my cell phone.
It was a message from one of my fellow divorce support group members:
Beth, I just wanted to let you know that I’m praying for you and your kids. I hope you and your kids have a great Thanksgiving.
I completely forgot my toilet-paper filled angst as the waterworks, I mean the cat allergy tears, fell in buckets.
Someone going through a difficult time had taken a moment out of their hectic holiday schedule to reach out to me, to let me know I wasn’t alone.
Sure, I like to give the impression I’ve got everything figured out. That I have a heart made of steel.
Yet, after that text message, my supposedly steel heart softened, the angst quieted, and I wept with a relieved smile plastered across my face. The kind of smile where I acknowledged the fact I’m only human, that I’m not alone, and should put the case of toilet paper down.
It’s amazing how a very simple gesture, a few words in a text message, made all the difference in the remainder of not only the weekend but my entire week.
The universe was saved from a sea of white thanks to the kindness of one individual.
Without a doubt, the little things in life can be so powerful. Something as simple as a smile at a passing stranger, a little note with the words, “I love you” tucked into your child’s lunch box… or a text message letting someone know they are not alone.
No matter how insignificant an act of kindness may seem we should just do it.
It may make an enormous difference in someone’s life.
The mother of two munchkins, Bethany J. Royer is an independent contractor and writer currently studying psychology with Florida Institute of Technology. She is actively seeking a publisher for her first completed novel while working on a memoir about her personal trials and tribulations with divorce. She blogs prolifically at motherofthemunchkins.blogspot.com and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.