Sometimes I wonder if it is true that certain people come into your life to challenge and teach you. I wonder this when I watch my extroverted son initiating conversations with neighbors and acquaintances while I smile politely and look away uncomfortably. I wonder this when I watch him running towards me happily with untied shoes, dragging his new jacket through a mud puddle. I thought about this a lot this morning when I walked him to his classroom and found his cubby overflowing with papers and little bits of things (four pennies, a small bead, a piece of tape - in case you are interested). I was shocked by the mess and immediately thought to myself, "Miguel is the incarnation of Pigpen". I know, I know...he is only 5 but his cubby stood out from the rest. Without a word, I began to scoop up all of the papers while he smiled and said, "Mama you can take everything! You can have it all!" like I had just come across a treasure chest on a deserted beach. As I sat at work sorting through his pile of papers, I looked around at my desk and into my desk drawers and there is not a single item out of place. This picture captures it all (and yes, my drawer always looks like this and was not organized for this picture):
I then thought about Pigpen and the description of the character as "happily messy". Happily messy. That is Miguel. Really, there are worse things to be in life. Uptight, being one of them. In that moment, I made peace.
I hope that he will always enjoy the feel of sand on his bare feet and mud between his toes. If he is lucky, he won't forget that there are treasures to be found in chaos. I was reminded of that today when I found this note in his pile of papers:
It reads: Zeca mom and mãe lav Miguel
A corny ending, I know. Sometimes, though, you get what you get...