I am in Charleston, South Carolina with my sons. Yesterday we drove from Tallahassee, stopping in Savannah to eat lunch at a restaurant my 13 year old, Corbin, found on Man Vs. Food. A restaurant known for banana pudding. Between Tallahassee and Savannah we stopped at Starbucks. When we left I jumped back on the interstate neglecting my maps app, certain of my direction. Thirty-five minutes later I realized my certainty was wrong. We had been driving back toward Tallahassee. I was so engrossed in an audio book my consciousness was impaired. My boys were not happy with me, I was not happy with myself. I did not beat myself up too much. Jackson, my 19 year old didn’t say much. Corbin was highly irritated. His pudding was waiting.
One hour later than planned, we arrived. I get a kick from talking about the best and worst parts of our day. We agreed that the banana pudding was likely to be the best, although we hadn’t had it yet. We then agreed that driving the wrong direction was the worst. I suddenly understood a concept I had been trying to wrap my mind around. What if everything that happens is supposed to happen because it did happen? Think on that for a second. I began to talk this over with my boys and listing scenarios that may have been avoided, the “what if”s. Jackson, wise for his age, said “mom, there is no such thing as “what if” in the past, only in the future." Perfect. I can just accept that what happened was supposed to happen because it happened without the need to attach a philosophy, theology, or superstition to it.
I continue to expound, for entirely too long, our pudding was in front of us and truly fulfilling our expectations. If what happens was supposed to happen, then we are no longer victims to anything that ever happened to us, they are simply tools to form us. We choose our response, regardless of how painful things were. We take the power away from a circumstance and place it in our response, the thing we can control. And then Corbin, also exceedingly wise, spoke the best line of the trip thus far….
“Mom, just enjoy the moment and eat the pudding.”
So that’s what I did.