Today was a terrible teaching day.  It was one of those days that strained my patience, my creativity, my charity, my energy.   If someone had offered me a job doing anything else, even sewer repair, I’d have taken it: THAT sort of day.

And when Scott came home, he got to hear every detail.  I unloaded over the dinner table as the boys watched Veggie Tales (a singing cucumber is preferable to hearing mom skate on the edge of profanity).   ” I NEED to do a run tonight,” I said.  “I’ve got to get this out of my system.”  I thought of the evening routine that would have to come first: the cleanup, the baths, the bedtime.

“Why don’t you go do your jog  now, instead of waiting until the boys are in bed?” asked Scott.

Oh, dear God: How I love that man.

So I headed back to our room to change into my running gear.  From behind the closed door I could hear the boys’ feet thundering down the hall, and the bumps and wails and clatter of toy trains that is the typical soundtrack to our evenings.  I could hear Scott supervising and breaking up squabbles and I just lay on the bed  for a moment, in the room drenched with the evening sun, trying to get my breath to slow.  I felt caged in by frustration.

And then I noticed the Madonna and child figurine on my dresser.  It was sitting smack in a ray of sun, which lit it up like a spotlight.  It was breathtaking, actually, that sunlight hitting the side of Mary’s face and the top of Jesus’ head.  Even the fact that I could see a thick layer of dust on the mirror behind them didn’t matter to me.  It was a Joyceian moment, almost: a little epiphany when I desperately needed it.  It felt like a miracle.

When I say that, I don’t mean that Mary deliberately made the statue blaze in the evening sun, just to cheer me up.   I don’t think it works that way.  But there was a miracle there all the same.  The miracle was that I  — in my pissy, nasty mood –  noticed the beauty at all.

There’s hope.

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