August 2, 2012

This Magic Moment

angry bird pizza
Angry Bird Pizza
Yesterday afternoon, I had to run to the grocery store for a few items. I realized I didn't have any cheese to make an "angry bird" pizza that had me smiling all morning. How a bird with a scowling face could make me smile... well, it just did. I don't even have little ones, I have teenagers... but the angry bird pizza was something I was compelled to make.

I didn't really need to go to the store, and I kept reminding myself that my busy teenagers were not as likely to be amused by the angry bird pizza as I was, but I still took the drive.

I'm apt to do that sort of thing these days, as I straddle the line between young mom and empty nest. I see my beautiful young adults stretch out before me, planning their futures, while I just cheer them on. But in a quiet place in the back of my mind, I remember the days when something as simple as an angry bird pizza could make their day. I remember painting shells and rocks, spreading a plaid blanket on the grass on a summer day and calling it a picnic, filling a blow up pool at the bottom of our backyard swingset slide.

Before I sound maudlin, I want to reiterate, that while I remember those days fondly, I also anticipate the joy they bring me as young adults and the excitement of the future. But nonetheless, I had it in my mind that angry bird pizza was just what I needed and set off to procure the ingredients. I figured it was a perfect panacea for a slight case of "they are growing up/that means I'm getting older" blues that afflicted me.

I got to the store with little other purpose than cheese and pepperoni, when I spied a young father pushing a cart that looked like a fire engine. Actually, I shouldn't say I saw him, but rather I heard him, as well as his young boys. They were making "Vroom vroom" and siren noises as he pushed the cart around the store. I felt like I had been rolling channels and was compelled to stop. The dad was preoccupied with his boys so I hope he didn't notice me watching, but my internal smirk at my silly need for angry bird pizza became a genuine smile as I watched the young family. I watched the boys zooming down the aisles bringing colorful boxes of joy to their dad, cocking their heads asking if it was okay and then slowly walking back to put whatever enticement caught their attention back on the shelf.

I heard them excitedly talking to their dad amid gleeful traffic sounds to accompany the fire engine cart navigating the aisles. They were loaded with energy and giggles. I couldn't stop smiling and finally at one point, our carts passed and I said, "Nobody could possibly be unhappy hearing your boys!" He smiled tiredly and politely agreed.

Then it hit me. Sometimes it takes a stranger's words to impact a moment. Sometimes when we see our lives through their eyes, our angry scowl becomes a smile. Our furrows become joy. Our eyebrows rise with glee. We know, that the moment we seek is now.

P.S. I didn't wind up making an angry bird pizza, but rather filed away the idea for when I have my niece and nephew visit. My angry bird was too busy smiling to be brought down by a scowl.  

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