Friday, October 26, 2012
Such Wonderful Mistakes
First I should explain - I still listen to the radio. Like, actual radio without satellite, without subscription...just radio. Usually it's hippy dippy NPR. But today I was flipping through the channel presets and I heard a fantastically horrible song from the late 80's. And I had to listen to it all the way through because the memory it triggered was too near and dear to my heart to pass it by.
What I love at the very top of this is that had I been listening to an iPod, or to a subscription service like the kids are doing these days, I'd have missed this song. Because it's BAD. I mean, not Enya bad, but bad.... Okay it was Bon Jovi. Bon Jovi's "Dead or Alive" from the runaway hit album "Slippery When Wet." Apologies if you live and breathe by Bon Jovi. I did not then, nor do I now.
But my super adorable mother gave me Bon Jovi's cassette in my stocking for Christmas in 1987. Why on earth she thought that was appropriate is hilariously unknown to me. I remember her specifically sitting there on the floor, Japanese style with her hands together in her lap, a big anticipatory smile on her face. She was POSITIVE that I was going to be thrilled with my gift. And...um...not so much. But I told her I loved it because seriously. You don't murder your mother's soul on Christmas morning when she's so obviously proud of herself! After assuring her that I LOVED Bon Jovi, and no I most emphatically did not want to return the cassette to Columbia House, I put the tape in my room and possibly forgot about it forever.
Now it's 2012, and my mom has been gone for over 8 years and when that song came on the radio it made me think of her in such a wonderfully touching way. I laughed at her and me and the day. I remembered her smile and her healthy body and her loving face....especially I remembered what it felt like for a few moments to FEEL a mom's love. In my day to day life during the 8 years that she's been gone it's easy to forget what that feels like.
And finally we get to my point: every day I am so consumed with NOT making mistakes. I want to be perfect for my friends, for my children, for my spouse and family...everyone. It's important to me to get it right. Except that sometimes, in the NOT getting it right, we get it right. This perfect moment that came to me out of nowhere on a rainy Friday happened because my mom got it wrong. She missed the mark by fathoms. But why do I possibly care about that now?
Her mistake in 1987 brought happiness, laughter and a remembrance of her love 25 years later. I don't really think it can be considered a mistake by that standard. This string of thought I had, that I'm sharing with you, kind of feels like I get permission to be fallible, to make mistakes that might someday be cause for a smile or happy memory. The cliche that someday we'll laugh about things is true. So maybe give yourself a break every once in a while.
Because it might be the stuff of happiness later.