Important

The world is full of wars, conflicts, political arguments, societal inequities, and many other unpleasant things we humans deem important. We fixate on everything that is wrong, twisting ourselves into knots trying to figure out who we are supposed to hate, who or what is the enemy. We bury our noses in news, gossip, and arguments while life goes on around us. This week has brought a particularly negative onslaught, but as loud as it has been, it’s really a very small part of life around the globe. Many seemingly tiny, insignificant events occurred to bring joy.

My last baby turned six years old. As mommy, every birthday observed is a little bittersweet, as pieces of myself grow to be more and more independent of me. For my big girl, every birthday is exhilarating. It means she is one year older, with new privileges and skills on the horizon. It means cake and decorations that she has chosen to reflect who she is in this moment. It means people she loves gathered around her focused entirely on her for at least a little while, a privilege often craved by a child in a large and busy family. For my little diva, one short party is just not enough, she’d like a few days! It means presents, all of which from ponytail holders and handmade pictures to a new doll are equally delightful. Because of all the joy it brings, my baby turning six was one of the most important events happening in the world.

My ten year old son lost his first molar. The tooth fairy has not had occasion to visit our house in some time, although several teeth are being subtly encouraged to invite her, so this was quite an event. We had to take pictures and make sure every family member knew about this momentous milestone. Notes had to be written with dubious spelling but painstaking care so that the tooth fairy would leave the tooth for the treasure box that every little boy stashes somewhere. The prize left alongside the hoarded tooth, a simple rubber chicken target game, brought hours of side-splitting entertainment for every kid in the house, since the chicken darts managed to stick and dangle from the oddest places though never from the intended target. Because of all its simple joy, my son’s lost tooth was one of the most important events happening in the world.

We live in the country and rarely mow our yard until well into spring. Every year it becomes a carpet and then a prairie of wild-growing things filled with happy pollinators. This year the clover has been especially abundant, and my little Irish-blooded crew loves to hunt treasure in the leaves. The finding of three four-leaf clovers in the space of half an hour caused an uproar to rival election day victory. These precious gems were displayed with aplomb and recorded on screen for the benefit of anyone not immediately present. All three have been carefully pressed in the big dictionary for posterity, in case such a rare find is never repeated, while the heralded searchers rest on their laurels. Because of the innocent joy it inspired, finding clover treasure was one of the most important events happening in the world.

These critical events of my everyday life leaves little room for me to worry about the hazards of politics and war. They leave me with little desire to fight over disagreements and hate my fellowman. I pity any who cannot bring their focus to even the simplest of blessings or appreciate even the smallest of celebrations. Where else can we find a way up and out of misery? Where else can we find the ingredients of peace? What could possibly be more important?

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