Have I told you that Abby has been going by the name Potato for the last couple of years? Surely I have, and if I haven’t then I’m so sorry…It speaks to the character of who she is that she not only has no interest in whether someone else thinks that’s silly, but also that I don’t know anyone who doesn’t accept that as her name. It rolls from her friend’s mouths naturally, even her teachers have to think about it for a minute if I say “I’m Abby’s dad”.
About a year ago I gave Potato a phone. Living in two households, her having a way to contact each of us if she needs to became a necessity, but the way she lives her young life thoughtfully and responsibly made that choice easy. That’s not to say she’s perfect, by any means…neither of us are. Sometimes, okay often, I forget to send her a text to say good night. And she’s not great about always answering. That’s something that happens, but the important thing is that we’re remaining connected, and I receive so many “hug” gifs. We have conversations sometimes, but so much of our talk is through gifs. They’re just such an amazing shorthand for containing big thoughts. For that, I’m especially fond of movie quote gifs because it expands an idea into something so much bigger…at a glance.
I love this one from Dumb and Dumber, it a great reminder of my fallibility. Sometimes it doesn’t matter how right I think I am, I’m still wrong…and sometimes it doesn’t matter what it says on the case, I’m right. So what does one do with this duality of truths? It set’s up a situation where I could easily second guess myself into a hole in the ground. I step around it and embrace teachability and my circle of trust…and I have faith that It’ll all work out even if I make a misstep. My friend Lucy told me nearly two months ago as I prepared to take a leap into a new unknown “…there are very few choices we can make in this life that can’t be adjusted if they don’t work out. All will be well.” It’s such a simple statement of faith, and that’s kind of what makes it a big deal, isn’t it? This is leading me down into a rabbits warren that could become a whole set of posts on their own, and it maybe doesn’t fit for a post that I intended to be about intentionality to end up being a meandering ramble. haha
People come into our lives, and enrich them in ways that are simply unpredictable at the onset. I was talking to my friend Kelly the other morning about waking up sleepy and happy to know her, and telling my plants about her. Laughing, she said that her puppy yawns about a hundred times and won’t open his eyes in the morning, and that’s her morning devotional. I liked the ring of that so much, obviously as I come out here and water the plants and talk to them. Sharing that intentional, quiet moment of closeness in the morning with another being.
This morning I noticed that one of Delilah’s leaves was very wilted. Alarm bells ringing, Did I damage her when I transplanted her to the new pot? Was it too cold for her? I certainly didn’t intend her any harm, but I felt this series of guilt statements bubbling up. A part of the relationship that I’m developing with these plants, these little beings is that I talk to them. Out loud. The story that wove itself through the lines was one from an old argument I had as part of me detaching from a relationship that was very difficult. “I’m sorry you feel that way but I never intended to hurt you.” they said to me and my response was “Sometimes it doesn’t matter what your intention was…the outcome is more important as the intent.” Here I am, talking to this little plant and my words come back to haunt me.
Can a plant answer your questions of deep hurt? I don’t know. Maybe just hearing my own words out loud allowed me to see them through a new lens. Either way, Delilah very gently said “The intention does matter. The outcome does matter. The most important thing though is what you do with the combination of those two things. You say sorry and learn from it. I forgive you and we move forward together.” Instead of having faith that everything will get better, we have to act and fill in the gaps in our ignorance. Be teachable. Grow. Together if possible, on our own if necessary.
So I got on facebook and asked my friends who are much more knowledgeable about these three wards of my living room, and I’m learning and growing.
Until next time, take care and be good.