A Playground Conversation.


Happy Tuesday and Happy Summer Solstice! 

“If I had to choose a religion, the sun as the universal giver of life would be my god.” –Napoleon Bonaparte

Today is the first day that marks the beginning of summer. Yay, finally. Here in Germany, I haven’t experienced too much nice weather the last couple of weeks but maybe this will change now that summer is officially here. Finally, spending more time outside and enjoy the sun. This is exactly what Petit Joel and I did today. We stepped out for a much needed playground visit, played in the sun and I cleared my mind and heart by just sitting in the sand building sand castles with him. In a way, when not looking at the toys and not paying attention to the other kids it feels like being at the beach with my feet in the sand. [Thoughts of a mother who spent three hours at the playground!] 

I packed a couple of playground essentials, coffee to go and cheese pretzels because eating outdoors is so much nicer. The sun came out just when we arrived at the playground. So while we soaked up some Vitamin D, I looked around a bit. I wrote a post on other mothers a while ago and I love observing people and things. Strangely, there was only one mother and her daughter at the playground for a long time. The daughter, four years-old asked her mother about love and why she played so many love songs on the radio while driving here. Mom responded that, “love is the best and greatest thing on earth my dear” and took her in her arms to give her a kiss. The girl looked up to her mom and it seemed that she did not understand fully what her mom said. While I observed her playing with my son I thought about love myself. I didn’t understand what love means and how important it is when I was that age. But over the years this understanding grew. It grew to the point where I can say that I love myself 100% first. Just the way I am. Sad, but unthinkable when I was a teenager. 

So both kids played and I smiled at the other mom who screamed in her phone to tell a person to “shut up and leave me alone”. I was just about to tell her that this is not a megaphone but a cell phone she is talking into when she started to cry. It turned out that “shut up and leave me alone” was her mother whom she had a huge fight with. “Oh, that is too bad, ” I said but thought what must have happened to upset her in this way. The kids had a blast with the water fountain while she started talking to me. Do I look like someone you can approach easily and be comfortable with? I guess so.

She told me, while sobbing, that her husband and her got engaged one year before their daughter was born.  The wedding was scheduled for September 2015. “We were both so excited and happy”, she said while I handed her a tissue at this point.”We had so many great plans and were excited about all the upcoming adventures with our daughter. Three weeks before the wedding her husband had a stroke and was rushed to the hospital. They doctors discovered that the cancer he suffered from ten years ago came back and spread already in his lungs and blood. He passed away three days later at age 39.  

This left me speechless for a while as I heard about her deep sadness. But I got reminded again that there is only this one little life and all we need to do is focus on the: Here, Now and Today! While I looked at my son playing in the sun, I thought about le husband and how fortunate I am. He is alive, he is healthy. He might be on mission and not with us at this time, but he is with me no matter what because we have this deep connection of unconditional love that is so special. It is so special to really be in love and it is pretty rare, looking at a bunch of people, relationships and couples I know. Of course, things get complicated and nothing is ever perfect and our partner drive us nuts or insane at points. And they might say the same about you. Many couples have tons of conversations that break their hearts in the end, destroy illusions and make each other feel bad. All this frustration about how a relationship should be or should not be because X, Y and Z do it this way. All this annoyance – I ask you: Why? Nothing is ever promised. We could die today, tomorrow – at any point really or we can lose the love of our life. If you have found the one, realize how special this all is. Treasure what you have, instead of fighting it or fighting him/her. 

This works for us: Don’t ever leave him/her in a fight. It could be the last time you see them. Tell them how you really feel and stop holding back. Don’t be afraid of love. I was scared in the beginning that I would lose him; you know this thought when something seems too perfect and that it will be taken away. It is way better to live in the here and now and enjoy it while he is here even if this love might be taken away. It does not matter. There is no “win”or “lose”. 

The woman at the playground stopped crying after our conversation. I told her that I am sorry for her loss. I handed her one more tissue and she smiled. She said that she is so glad that we met here at the playground because through this interaction she learned so much and grew. While she walked away with her daughter, she called her mom. 

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