Saint Noah the future Pope visited on the weekend. Sweetest kid I’ve ever met. Maybe the sweetest kid I’ll ever meet. So sweet, it’s hard to believe he’s related by blood to the rest of us.

When he was small, even smaller than he is today, he interrupted a full-blown belly-aching session round our dining room table, with a soft little suggestion.

‘Maybe we should think of something to be thankful for…’

Got me, right in the heart.

A timely reminder, in the middle of the current and ongoing chaos of my life, to not sweat the small stuff. So this morning, I stopped scrabbling around like a headless chook and came up with this list. For Noah.

Things to be thankful for…

1. Rain, drumming its fingers on my tin roof. Turning the poop on the front lawn into liquid fertiliser, curling the puppy into a tricolour ball on his red-and-white chequered ruggy on the back deck. (He’s exhausted, poor thing, after howling down his first storm last night.)

2. The cat limping past, staring me down, and settling on what was once an expensive fringed cushion. His arthritis is acting up; his patience has run out (the puppy needs to connect that beguiling grey twitching tail with the razored claw that slices the air in its wake). He is old, our cat; he’s earned the right to shed where he wants.

3. Working alone, in silence, in a room that was built almost a century before I came to this city.

4. The completeness of life (all those half-finished jobs, notwithstanding). Echoes of loved ones: homework, a flute and saxophone, crocs and socks lying chewed, under the dining room table, journals piled high on the open roll-top desk, a published novel, works-in-progress, the jumble of notebooks, files and folders obscuring my desktop.

5. An airline carry-on (mine) and a camping bag (nine-year-old’s) sitting open, waiting for the clothes to dry.

Tomorrow I’ll be in Sydney. Forty-eight hours to catch what I can at the Writers Festival, drop in at the RHA office, animate facebook friendships, and investigate the new Bongers stronghold at the University of Sydney.

Meanwhile, our youngest child will be on his first school camp, at Stradbroke Island, in the rain. He’s so excited. Please God, let there be whales.

6. The gift of our girls, eleven and seventeen years old, capable of taking charge of one old cat, one young puppy, one overworked Fajah while I’m away.

7. And finally, that visit from the Bilo branch of the family last weekend that reminded me what’s important and helped produce this, a quiet moment’s reflection, before the day’s work resumes.

  1. Hey
    I’ve a six year old in the house who is not really small or quiet. She teaches me a new lesson everyday though. Mostly they are patience related.

    Also wanted to mention that I’ve followed in your illustrious industrious footsteps. I’m racing tonight with the peeps at Awonline.

    Hope things go well in Sydney and up the Coast at the industry launch.

  2. Lynne Green says:

    Bless you. I needed that.

  3. Great post. It always warms my heart to hear how young ones guide us toward a brighter path. I hope both your bags are full of blessings and you both enjoy your journey ahead. I’m doing the combo Book Festival Whale Dance for you both, right now…

    Safe travels, all around…

  4. chrisbongers says:

    Oh, if only we had webcam, Lynn! 🙂

  5. chrisbongers says:

    Thanks Angela.
    Just heard that the camp was submerged in twelve inches of water and my little man is heading home. They’ll probably close the school next due to rising floodwater. Lucky I’m in Sydney, huh?

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