This morning, I catch a glimpse of myself in the bathroom mirror as I’m brushing my teeth. I am a rabid dog with an eerie blank stare and foam oozing from my mouth. Deep inside I’m amused. I start channeling the sound of Scooby-Doo. “Rrrff rrrroooww.” My face doesn’t change expression.
“Hey,” I yell at the mirror. (All inside my own head, of course.)
“I’m still in here. Helllllooooo! Is anybody out there?”
My body continues its morning routine as if I haven’t heard this inner voice crying out for rescue. Suddenly, I can’t ignore my noisy inner self any longer. I sigh and shake my head hoping to bring me back to my senses. I close my eyes and whisper a silent prayer.
“God, give me a gift today! Something to remind me of who I really am. Something that will change my life.”
The plea surprises me. I didn’t know this was hiding inside me behind rabid Scooby-Doos and toothpaste.
I scold myself. “Carol, don’t you think you’re being a little demanding of God. Not to mention rude. . .What are you thinking?”
“I really need a gift today,” I argue.
“You’d better get busy and go out and find it,” a new voice says.
“God? Is that you?”
All I hear is a dial tone.
I rush out of the bathroom, past an awakening husband.
“Did Ruby do both potties?” he asks.
I fill him in on her “morning evacuations” and rush past him into the hallway.
“Andrew, Are you dressed yet? Come on, buddy. We’re burning daylight. Only ten minutes until the bus is here.” I half yell-half talk.
From behind the other bathroom door I hear a mouthful of toothpaste say, “I know. I know. I’m almost ready.”
Is he meeting the funny, yet rabid Scooby-Doo in the bathroom mirror cleverly disguised in an 11-year-old-boy body?
“Hey, Demander of gifts from the Divine, Isn’t the voice on the other side of the door one of them. . .one of the gifts?”
“Yes, I reply. I was hoping for a surprise gift, something unexpected, something I haven’t gotten before.”
This I say to the Someone that seems to be very busy trying to get my attention this morning.
“Hmm, I’ll have to get back to you,” the Someone says.
“Andrew, SHOES.” I yell.
He is standing right behind me. My bellow wasn’t necessary.
“Already on, Mom.”
I look down. His toes are in the shoes but his heels are not. He is wearing them like a pair of scruffy bedroom slippers.
“Andrew, what have I told you about wearing your shoes like that? You’re going to ruin them.”
He responds by slipping his heels into his shoe with a grunt. He won’t untie the laces. That just takes too much time and effort.
The bus comes. I wave goodbye until I can no longer see him waving back at me. Then, I hug the self-directed child a warm goodbye. I am so grateful that not everyone needs a human cattle prod to start their day.
“Have a good day, Mom. I love you.”
“Okay, Someone. They are gifts. I get it”
“Wait,” Someone says. “I’m not finished with you yet.”
It’s not raining as I drive to work.
“It’s not raining. Is that a gift?” The silence is deafening. This doesn’t really feel like a gift.
The day passes like most others. I am content. It is a good day. Smiling comes easily.
“Is this my gift?”
This doesn’t really feel like a gift either.
After lunch, a friend comes to visit. I am happy to see her. She is a gift. I watch her and listen with new eyes and ears. I love this gift but it isn’t new or unexpected.
Later, I run a few quick errands. I have a nice chat with the man at the UPS store. A stranger at the counter joins in. She is no longer a stranger. These are gifts too but they seems so ordinary. I wanted something dazzling, something big and amazing.
I want to be content with all that the day has brought. It’s been a good day. I question my morning frame of mind. After all I was thinking of rabid dogs and talking like Scooby-Doo in the privacy of my own head. I should be a bit skeptical of my early morning demands for gifts.
Mid-afternoon, I open an e-mail. . .from another gift. . .She has sent me a gift in the form of words. One sentence begins, “When we have His favor, we have everything. . . ”
I am rendered wordless. My wish is granted.