Monday, January 10, 2011

Mixed Dozen

Okay, I discreetly remember sending a request through my direct line to The Big Guy Upstairs for no turbulence on this flight, and I even had a few friends send that same request through just for added bonus. Did God forget to write this one down? Do I need to get Him a new day planner or new stack of Post-It Notes? Maybe that delivery of sprinkled cake donuts got lost and he’s angry. (I can relate.) Because seriously, folks, this amount jolting and rocking should only take place in earthquakes and bouncy houses. (Which, by the way, I rock the Kasbah in bouncy houses…children beware! They should totally rent them to adults for drunken birthday parties. We have more fun in them than the kids!)

So I’m back up in the air at 30,000 feet after a two month hiatus on travel. It feels good to be back in this chair, although leaving Princess behind amid her tears and frustration caused by a job that brings joy to my heart but pain to hers creates a bittersweet reunion with said chair. She is my family in my Tiny World. She keeps the smile on my face, the grey in my hair (Ha ha! You can’t see it because I’ve dyed over it!), the worry and joy in my heart (Amazing how kids can allow you to feel both emotions at the same time.), and the encroaching wrinkles on my face (Shut up.). Without her, I would not be where I am today. Her existence has compelled me to push harder and love more.

I came to my Tiny World in 2002 after leaving a much tinier world for bigger and better things. Tiny World didn’t exist to me until my world became unraveled. But now I wouldn’t trade Tiny World for anything. I have learned a great amount since I moved here, and beyond the biggest lesson of self-sufficiency, I learned that the concept of family doesn’t exactly have anything to do with blood. Family is your network of friends, coworkers, and blood relatives. My blood family lives hours away from me, so when I moved to Tiny World, I developed my own family.

If you haven’t gone through a divorce as a parent, you’ve never realized the full depth of that old adage that it takes a village to raise a child. When you’re a divorced parent doing “it all” on your own, you soon realize that you need that village just to be able to get through the day. My family here in Tiny World is made up of friends that I treasure more than a box of a dozen donuts. If you put us all together in one room, we resemble something of a mixed dozen…

You’ve got your nutty ones (Mama Bestie’s Hubby fits this one), ones with sparkly sugar coating (Smudgie), ones that are so much better once you unravel their layers, and some that have such a rainbow of sprinkles on top that you can’t help but smile when you’re near (Nurse Betty and Mama Bestie). They come in all different shapes and sizes, and some are real donut holes! (But I love them anyway!)

My Tiny World family is there for me in all my good and bad times. We support, encourage, and redirect each other (…they redirect me home when my car mysteriously ends up in the parking lot of a donut shop). We are there to act like fools together, get drunk together, and create new traditions with each other. When holidays come around and seeing relatives is impossible, my Tiny World family invites me in as one of their own. We walk Christmas light-lit streets in the rain and wish each other Merry Christmas at the stroke of midnight.

We fight with each other, bring each other back to center and back to God, and introduce each other to our Tiny World families, thus creating a bigger network of villages. (I am not the village idiot, contrary to what some – Nurse Betty – may say.) Our mixed dozen may seem like a motley assortment of characters, but it’s just as zany as any American family, blood-related or otherwise. This collection just has a few more nuts than most!

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