Lightness of Less

My husband and I are musicians. And we’re parents. Our “backstage” experiences with our son (our little frog) deeply affect who we are. Recent insights: 

Now my son is four. With a stellar vocabulary, charm (i.e. bargaining skills) and physical dexterity, he is well able to move around in this world. It seems like he could still use a chaperone, more thoughtfulness for others and more sophisticated problem-solving skills. But he's already independent, helpful and happy in this world.

When my friend Norman lost his apartment, his wallet, phone, passport, photos and letters, laptop/work, all his home stuff (in the NY apartment explosion last week), he was immediately grateful to be alive. And he was also quick to admit grief at losing all his worldly possessions.

Of course it will be a long, tough challenge for Norman as he bounces back from the losses and sets out to rebuild his identity in the modern world (hours at the DMV, Social Security office, etc.).

But as young Nigel and I walked around our local zoo yesterday, I felt a touch of lightness that Norman could occasionally feel after losing all but the (sweaty) shirt on his back. (He was at the gym when the explosion happened.). If Nigel lost all his stuff, his reality wouldn't change much. He'd make more art, we'd stock up on library books, and friends would donate a few toys.

As I continue to sort through the contents of our home category by category (I'm on to media/books this weekend!), I am grateful for the CHOICE of what to keep. Norman didn't get that luxury. But no matter how many or few things we end up with, there is joy in walking lightly through the zoo!

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