Karla’s Korner: Step Stool Moments
In September 2007 country music singer Kenny Chesney released his hit song “Don’t Blink”. The song revolves around a television interview of an elderly gentleman sharing his secret to life; what he believes is an important life lesson. “Don’t blink, just like that you’re six years old and you take a nap and you wake up and you’re 25…..” The song goes on to include thoughts of how quickly our children grow up and how we should pay attention to those growing up moments that quickly turn into years.
Asking my husband to put a blanket on the top shelf of my closet this week he conceded that he was unable to reach high enough to put the blanket away neatly and would need a stool. Directing him to the bathroom our children share to retrieve the step stool that has been there for as long as we’ve lived in our house (12) years he turned and asked how long that stool had been there? My answer brought about a discussion at how our now 16 year old 6 foot tall high school senior of a son needed that stool to reach the sink when we moved into our house. Completing his task of putting the blanket back on the shelf and returning the stool David noticed our son’s razor lying on the bathroom sink; a far cry from needing the little plastic stool to reach the sink. Apparently I blinked at some point because the little boy in need of the step stool will walk out the door today and head for his senior year of high school.
As I prepare my mind for lunch boxes, homework, Friday night football games, homecoming, senior prom and graduation in just nine months I struggle to put our life events in some sort of order. So much of the mundane ordinary things that make up life as we know it are often overlooked because much like that little plastic stool that has not been needed for at least ten years seems at the time insignificant and becomes such a part of the “landscape” of our lives we no longer notice or need it. As David tucked that little stool back in its place we chuckled because there really is no need for it be there any longer yet somehow I couldn’t imagine it being anywhere else. It belongs in the children’s bathroom so we put it back where it belonged next to the sink where my son’s razor waiting for him to “clean up” in the morning before school. Somehow the little boy who needed a “boost” to brush his teeth now needs a shaving razor. Yet another “step” in the ladder of life that somehow went by quickly and unnoticed.
Life happens whether we pay attention or not. Quite often the days seem to run into one another without anyone really noticing. We find ourselves wishing and waiting for the mountain top experiences such as vacations, parties, social activities, etc., when it is in the little step stool moments life really happens. Life is about the journey, not about reaching our destination. It is in the journey that we are supposed to live, learn and love with all that we have.
I encourage you to pay attention, focus on each step that life has you take no matter how small or mundane it may seem. Instead of wishing yourself through life waiting for the big stuff, take time to enjoy those step stool moments before you find yourself tucking it away knowing that time has passed and it’s no longer needed. Embracing all aspects of life, the good, the not so good, the so called day to day insignificant stuff that really does matter. Author and activist Charles W. Chesnutt once wrote “We sometimes underestimate the influence of the little things”. Pay attention to those little things; recognize them, live through them and remember them as they really are the things that make life full.
I think we all need a touch point a place we can go to be inspired. Karla is my children’s teacher, a good friend, and a person with a heart of gold. I hope that her words will inspire you to do more. We are only as good as the people we surround ourselves with. It is important to listen with your heart and proceed with your eyes open. Enjoy!
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