Yesterday, Lucy asked to “play costumes.”
“Uhh, sure!” I said. So innocent. So stupid.
I let the girls get dressed up in their Halloween costumes believing they’d continue to play happily amongst themselves so I could finish watching an episode of the Holiday Baking Championship, in peace.
I had them barely zipped when they ran to get their pumpkin candy buckets and announced it was time “ta go Tricka treating!”
Rob and I looked at each other, wide eyed and terrified. No amount of explaining that Halloween was over computed. They just blinked, slowly. And kept asking, over and over until infinity.
It didn’t end well.
It had me thinking that things don’t change much as we get older. I shared (first mistake) a Cinnabon Cheesecake at Cheesecake Factory with my husband and I can tell you, I didn’t want that to end either.
But the truth is, I knew I didn’t want it to last forever.
Very few of us want to die, but when polled, nearly everyone said they’d rather die than be immortal.
Instinctually we just know, good things must end or it’ll eventually turn bad. Or maybe it’s because we saw Interview with a Vampire – either way – we get this concept on a biological level.
In fact, we only treasure the thing precisely because it will end.
Even Cinnabon Cheesecake gone too far will create endless regrets. Christmas lasting until March would be deeply disturbing. Too much booze will make me slowly pelvic thrust my boss at the office party (happened) and too much Netflix makes me lethargic and depressed.
As corny as it sounds, the only thing that’s everlasting – is love. We can live on it forever. It’s the only thing that never gets old, or annoying or makes us sick or slovenly and sad.
And not the Pepe le Pu kind of love that’s superficial and gets on our nerves.
The kind of love that reads to us at our bedside when we’re sick. That loves us just as we are, even in yesterday’s makeup and an ill-fitting bra. The kind of love that makes flowers grow and knits a baby in our womb. Love that forgives and gives us grace and compassion when we lose our freaking minds. Love that gives anonymously or simply says, “I know you’re in pain. There’s nothing I can do to fix it, but I’ll share this space with you until you’re able to get up and wash your face.”
So it’s weird that we tend to invest and place such a high value in all the crap that won’t last. Things we don’t even truly want to last, if we were being real honest about it.
Then, we go about taking for granted – or reject or ignore or refuse or postpone – the only thing that lasts forever.
Maybe it’s just human nature to know not what we do. But maybe we can learn.
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