So far, my son is one of my greatest spiritual teachers. I have to share a quick story with you that really moved me.
Jack and I took a walk to one of the Little Free Libraries in our neighborhood (we are lucky to have a few). We picked out a book together and sat down at a nearby bench to read it. Never one to sit still for too long, Jack wanted to walk around the grassy area barefoot. It was muddy and I let him for a bit, but soon he wandered into an area with lots of little spiky seeds scattered all over the ground. It was about time to go, I was worried about splinters and I tried to put Jack in his stroller, but he pitched a fit. I mean totally lost it. Crying, screaming, thrashing, arching his back, kicking. I tried everything to cajole him into getting into the stroller but, his fit of discontent took hold and I think it was too near nap time for him to regain his composure, even when he got his way. I held him, swaying and soothing but nothing would stop his tears.
And then a bird flew by. Jack saw it gliding and shouted “BIRD” so joyfully. His tears were gone and he was smiling again, delighting in watching the bird dance with the wind. Had someone turned the corner just then, they wouldnt have known he was in the throws of a tantrum just moments before. It struck me: what came before does not have to taint what comes next. We can choose joy at any moment, no matter what kind of sorrow came before. We can flit as freely between delight and disappointment as a bird on the wind, held back only by our own belief that one excludes the possibility of the other.