Thursday, November 12, 2015

Stop and smell the hibiscus!

Last Sunday, a pleasant and unexpected surprise occurred. I was feeling more tired than usual after putting the girls down. Marc usually covers this part after dinner while I clean up or take a moment on facecrack. I then go up and do the easy part (tuck them in, sing 2 songs and kiss them goodnight). It works for us. That particular Sunday was rough on the husband so I took over. I'll say this. Our kids really get wired and hyper as they get tired. We see the early signs around 5h00pm and things decline fast from there. By 6h00, we call it "the pumpkin hour". If I can manage to get dinner on the table before that, great! A blessing. The truth is, it rarely happens. We usually grind our teeth and count the minutes till bedtime. We're not bad parents, it's just that phase we're in. Right?

It doesn't matter who puts them down or if we do it together, getting the girls ready for bed is the equivalent of herding cats! The "get undressed and put on you PJs" followed by the "brush your teeth" routine is just so mind numbing. Every. Freaking. Night. That's 2920 nights of practice with our 8 year old!! Yet she and her sister always act as if it's their first time! It's like Groundhog Day again, and again, and again! So we repeat, raise the voice, physically guide them, remind them of what's going on, rinse and repeat till they stop straying or goof off and end up between bedsheets.

I don't know where his expression comes from but Marc usually confirms the accomplished mission by saying: "The girls are planted!" Like I said, I usually leave this to him. He has stronger nerves and Seargeant Bé (that's me), isn't pretty.

Back to Sunday, I'm getting to the point here. The girls were hyper and us adults were drained. It was still sounding like a zoo when I left their bedroom as I dragged my feet into mine. My plan was to resist the bed, recover for a minute, change into cocooning clothes, maybe grab a book and escape into a world of deep ocean, ragged island, secret passages and pirate treasure. Unfortunately, an annoying voice inside my head was nagging about the messy bathroom, piled up laundry, neglected dishes... You know the drill. I was sensing the pressure. Tension was rising. I just sat in my chair in a corner of our room (the only uncluttered one at the time), with my eyes closed and took a moment before deciding on my next move. I should specify that this corner, when tidy, is like my personal oasis. When sitting there I'm surrounded by plants that don't fit anywhere else, there is also a vintage pole lamp, a bit of artwork, a side table and lots of books. A cozy nook!

So there I was, zoning out, eyes still shut. When I opened my eyes, to my surprise, this beautiful red flower was staring at me right in the face and somehow went unnoticed! It came from my hibiscus who had seen better days during the summer. A gift from my father.

Stunned, I just sat there and stared at the beautiful bloom for a while. I even smiled. How could I not? My hibiscus was recovering from a bug infestation, it had lost so many leaves since the indoor transition and was slowly healing in our room. This flower was far from subtle. Not only it was repaying me for the care I gave, it was a sign (as clear as daylight), telling me to chill the fuck out (pardon my French). I studied it in the low light and eventually felt relaxed. From there I moved on to more comfortable clothes, went downstairs to join my husband on a cluttered couch and watched what we considered a fun flick before heading to bed. I guess that was my moment to stop and smell the roses. To enjoy what I had (quiet time with my guy) instead of stressing over obligations and building resentment. Plenty of time for that later! I just hope my tree reminds me more often.

Also, hibiscus don't smell but they sure are pretty! Here it is in it's full bloom the morning after. Such a gift! :)


  1. It's nice to have those reminders sometimes!

    1. Agreed! This one was well timed too. Saved me from a frustrated evening. :)