Today was a terrible teaching day.Â It was one of those days that strained my patience, my creativity, my charity, my energy.Â Â 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.Â 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). Â ” I NEED to do a run tonight,” I said.Â “I’ve got to get this out of my system.”Â 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 jogÂ 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.Â 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.Â I could hear Scott supervising and breaking up squabbles and I just lay on the bedÂ for a moment, in the room drenched with the evening sun, trying to get my breath to slow.Â I felt caged in by frustration.
And then I noticed the Madonna and child figurine on my dresser.Â It was sitting smack in a ray of sun, which lit it up like a spotlight.Â It was breathtaking, actually, that sunlight hitting the side of Mary’s face and the top of Jesus’ head.Â Even the fact that I could see a thick layer of dust on the mirror behind them didn’t matter to me.Â It was a Joyceian moment, almost: a little epiphany when I desperately needed it.Â 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. Â I don’t think it works that way.Â But there was a miracle there all the same.Â The miracle was that IÂ — in my pissy, nasty mood –Â noticed the beauty at all.