I had a thoughtful post in mind. I think think I was going to talk about knowing when to pull the plug, when to walk away, when to just start fresh.
This wasn't going to be about quitting the Service or divorce or anything inherently consequential--so calm down--but only about our day at the gym yesterday, the 8th in a row. Boy has a gym-specific behavior chart. Three checks equals 15 minutes of iPad time after the gym. Twelve checks in a week equals a trip for ice cream (for them, not me). He's held it together most days, but yesterday one of the staff came to retrieve me in my final minutes of personal training. He had hurt three kids and it was time to just take him home. I agreed, upset not simply because it happened (he is often the oldest by far, so the kids he hurts tend to be quite young), but because he is nobody's fool. He'd rather be in the house than ever leave it, and the second he knows he can get me to take him home simply by engaging in some fisticuffs, it's game over. I was stewing on this, my frustration rising, when I decided to just let it go. It had been 8 days in a row. We played outside, both (!) kids took naps, and then we played outside some more. Two meals on the front porch, some up close observation of bees on the dandelions, and other kid-worthy pursuits.
In a moment, it all made sense, the need to step back, restart, recharge, let go, forgive, move on. In that moment, in a larger sense. In parenting, in life.
But then I clicked on a slideshow entitled "Justin Bieber through the Years" (thanks for nothing, HuffPost), and my brain oozed out my ear. I think I've heard one Bieber song ever and I find young celebrity too tragic to make him a punchline. I don't know why I did it. But any sense of larger meaning and human frailty and carpe-ing the diems: poof. Gone.