Well, as so often happens, that evening I came home and picked up one of the books that I am currently reading, a YA novel called The Spectacular Now by Tim Tharp (book review will be forthcoming...once I actually finish the book). And I read this passage, which beautifully describes the life lesson that Marcia gave me:
...Ricky says..."Everything's fabulous when it's new. Like when you're a little kid. Everything is a sparkling wonder."
"Oh yeah." I take a long pull on the martini. "Childhood was a fantastic country to live in."
"No doubt," says Ricky. "I remember going to a bank with my dad when I was like four or something. And, you know, nowadays a bank lobby is the most boring place in the world next to the post office, but back then it was magic. They had this little pool of water in there with a fountain in the middle of it. I couldn't believe my eyes. A pool of water--indoors! I'm calling my dad over, telling him to look at this, and he's like, 'Yeah, it's a fountain.' Like it's nothing special at all."
"But then I see that it's not just a pool of water--it has coins in it. So I'm like, 'Dad, look, there's money in there!' And he goes, 'Yeah, people throw coins in fountains and make wishes.' Wishes! Dude! This is getting better all the time. It's a magic fountain. I'm in total awe. But there my dad is, writing out a deposit slip with no idea of how completely amazing the world is."
"Yeah," I say, "I had a moment like that with my mother and a dead cow along the side of the road."
"So then what happens?" Ricky asks. "You get to be about eleven or twelve and everything's old hat. They've drummed the miraculous out of you, but you don't want it to be like that. You want the miraculous."
So thank you, Marcia, for reminding me to look for the miracles where ever I go.
(If you want to read the original blog post about our visits to the fire stations to remember 9/11, which Marcia organized as part of her Kindness Project, see my post at: http://teachingyourmiddleschooler.blogspot.com/2011/09/what-to-teach-your-children-about-911.html)