Big and small

by thelifesavour

I started this post a long while ago, on a late May Sunday, a day of firsts.

First day at the swimming pool as a family of three; baby’s first taste of her papa’s favourite fruit- launching her love affair with watermelon, and the first rockets of the year fired into a Hezbollah suburb.

At the time, it was hard to get a sense of perspective. Somehow the swimming seemed momentous and the rocket attack far away, like looking through the wrong end of a telescope.

Later that day my husband tried to get some clarity from the baker, one of his key local informants on ‘the situation’ along with the barber (who has since relocated to Canada because of ‘the situation’).

Is this rocket attack a big thing or a small thing?

It’s a small thing says the baker

No, it’s a big thing another customer interjects.

The baker speaks to him in Arabic, perhaps chastising him for worrying the foreigner, then smiles and reassures again that really it’s a small thing.

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Now three months and many big and small things later I still struggle with perspective.

My baby won’t sleep through the night. Big or small?

They might fire missiles over our heads while we’re sleeping (or awake). Big or small?

What should I be concerned about? What should I be losing sleep over? Both? Neither?

As I wrestle with these questions I keep thinking of a Buddhist idea I heard years ago, before ever imagining I’d have a baby in Beirut, about world peace and the happiness of all mothers being inextricable. There is the belief that a truly happy society is one in which the suffering of mothers has been entirely eliminated.

Maybe that’s what I should be focusing on-being a truly happy mother- in all its bigness and smallness.

 

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