small good things

Here is a list of nice things people have done for me lately:

  • After I had coffee with Margret, she insisted on giving me and Holden a tour of the remodeled Blair library where she also insisted on buying Holden some children books
  • A colleague from a decade ago contacted me and told me single parenting gets better
  • my mom sent me a graduation card which I received on the same day as my diploma
  • Colleen brought me scratch tickets after my first shift back at the restaurant because she knew I’d need a glimmer of hope in things getting better
  • my boss gave me Saturday night off so I could make it to writer’s group
  • at my restaurant job where it’s usually every-server-for-herself, Tammy asked me how she could help when I was in the weeds and did the wine service for my big table without asking for anything in return
  • Steve worked it out to watch the kids so I can teach poetry at two high schools without paying a babysitter
  • Jen hugged me when I cried, on the verge of breaking down all the way, about how hard it is to do it all, and the next morning, when I woke up at 6:30 to open the coffee shop, she had made Holden’s bed and folded his clothes and I cried again, this time at how lucky I am to have her as a friend
  • Holden hugs me whenever I need it, Brandon helps me clean up. They are giving back in the ways they can

It is difficult to do this thing, live a writer’s life while raising two kids as best I can while piecing together gigs to make enough money to get by. But there are other ways to live which are even harder and I think of Raymond Carver’s story, A Small Good Thing and realize I have all these small good things which, even though the giver might not have realized, propel me from one hard thing to another.

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