Benjamin Button and the Fourth of July

This morning Uncle Jesse posted some photos from Independence Days past and they made me smile. My favorite is this gem of Benjamin Button holding a sparkler with a distrustful look on his face, convinced that this poor choice is going to cost him. I love looking back at pictures of my kids when they were younger because, who doesn’t? They change and they grow so fast but also at such a snail’s pace. The day to day feels like it takes forever, and then all at once you look back and realize that yesterday your child was 5 and today they are 10 and you don’t know what happened to the years in between. 

But this picture struck me not just because of how cute he is in his button up shirt and his flip-flops, but because the look on his face is how I have been approaching life lately. 

Ya’ll. Life is unpredictable right now, as I’m sure you’ve noticed. Every day brings on some new thing that we’re supposed to be afraid or or worried about or might kill us. It feels like we’re stuck in some hybrid of the Hunger Games and the plagues of Egypt in the Bible. But we keep going about our business, surviving. And today we’re supposed to celebrate our independence and our freedom when mostly I feel trapped lately, by my emotions and the sickness surrounding me and bureaucracy that sometimes seem to matter more than actions, and worry. 

When I saw this picture of Benjamin Button I thought, this is a picture of me and life. I’m holding it by the tail, terrified but intrigued by the sparkles. And you know what? There are worse ways to approach life. 

Today, I choose to see the sparkles. The chance to spend some time with my family, read a book that makes me laugh, eat Nothing Bundt Cakes (which I am sure God has recently placed in my town to apologize for my mom dying this year, like when church ladies bring casseroles).

I might wear an inappropriate t-shirt because I think it’s funny and I’m tired of caring what people think and life is short and I know my mom would say, “Take that shirt off! You’re supposed to be a Christian!” And then she would laugh, and I like provoking her into being with me today. And I will go swimming in all my glorious obesity because it makes my kids happy and I want to make memories. I’m going to watch Leslie Jordan videos on Instagram because he makes me laugh so hard, and I love him. 

I am going to enjoy the sparkles and push way way way back in the back of my head all the things I’m supposed to be worried about because one day the sparkles will burn out, and I don’t want to waste another minute of the joy I could be experiencing waiting on trying to figure out if I’m going to get burned or not. 

Happy Fourth from me and Benjamin. Enjoy the sparkles. 

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