One of the great things about my kids growing up is the depth we have now in our conversations. Last night, eyes rimmed with tears after seeing The Fault in Our Stars with Asher, we deconstructed the movie on the car ride home.
Better to have loved and lost than to never love at all.
Live each day as if you were dying. To not do so is arrogant.
And to really have a chance to love deeply and fully, take it. We all deserve that kind of love.
Which led us to a calm and peaceful conversation about my relationship with his father – which I do not classify as a failure because it brought Asher, Eliana and Shaya into this world. I explained to him that yes, we did love each other, but love is sometimes not enough to make a relationship succeed.
That led us to a conversation about what makes a good marriage. We talked about whether we believe in many lives or one life (my vote: many – perhaps I’ll write a blog one day about my past lives) and how it doesn’t make sense when a young person dies, and that led us to discuss that really we don’t know much, we don’t understand how the world works, so we should stop trying and live to the fullest.
A pretty heavy conversation for a Thursday night.
It was late when we got home, 11:30, a time when neither of us is rarely awake. I took Dan’s face in my hands and looked in his eyes. I really love you, I said, kissing him.
Asher was revved up, and so was I, and so after brushing teeth and changing into pajamas, we climbed into my bed, and continued to talk, unwind. Finally, we all fell asleep, perhaps hours later, and all night I tossed in dreams of dying teens and love that slips away.
This morning, Shaya climbed into my bed somewhere around 6. He was cranky to begin the day, a rare occurrence, and so I asked if he is coming down with the cold that his step-father had earlier in the week.
When we turned on cartoons around 7, he settled down and snuggled in. I tried to slip back into sleep. The birds were loud outside the window on the stairway landing; Dan said he thought we had monkeys in our yard from the sound of it.
Shaya said this morning that when he hears the song for Haiti that all the famous musicians and singers created a few years ago, it gives him chills. He went to find the iPad to play it. He’s sitting at the kitchen table as I write, listening to music. The windows are open. The morning is overcast, with sun peeking out, and we are on our way to go strawberry picking.
We all have another healthy day. I can walk miles in the sun. We can bend and pick and carry home a flat of ripe strawberries. We have another day and another day and another day, Thank God.
Being grateful for this life, that’s a key message of this movie. We never know how long we have left. If we assume it’s endless, we live stupidly. We get caught up in the tiny details and the petty feelings.
When we wake up with gratitude and go to sleep with gratitude and show love to everyone who crosses our path, that’s a life well-lived. Sometimes it takes a movie to remember how important it truly is to love well and live fully and appreciate every single minute. (And now I have to read the book!)