My baby slept through the night AND the time a guitar-playing prisoner made me cry

guitar playerLast week we moved my 11-month-old into her own room. The first night went amazing. She put herself back to sleep every time she woke in three minutes or less – without my help. Twelve hours and thirty-eight sweet sweet minutes.

The following nights …

Let’s just say it’s been a rough week.

However, since my daughter showed us it’s at least possible for her to go to sleep without my presence, my husband and I decided to go to the theatre – our first night out in nine months.

We saw Kamp, a dark musical comedy about homosexual prisoners in a Nazi concentration camp.

Yes, you read that right, a musical comedy about a Nazi concentration camp.

Dancing, laughter, an amazing mimed marionette scene, and a bit of drag. It worked.

It also had torture, sexual assault, so much death, and, thankfully, an amazing display of the perseverance of the human spirit and the power of hope.

Early in the first act, one prisoner tried to strip that hope away from a prisoner in another barrack. The skinny outcast, standing tall with a worn green guitar strapped to his chest, wasn’t having it.

He proclaimed his right to joy. The Nazis stole his wife, they stole his children, they stole his life.

But he had today.

Today, he was going to sing. Today, he was going to laugh. Today, he was going to be happy.

It struck me.

A lot of this week, I have not been happy. Emotionally drained and exhausted would be better words.

As, over the course of the week, I sat beside my baby’s crib for hours, knowing she wanted nothing more than to be in my arms, seeing her reach out for me, I tortured myself, desperate for assurance I was making the right choice. But, of course, no one could give me that assurance. Fears ran on repeat through my mind like a skipping record. Am I a horrible mother? Am I causing irreversible emotional damage to this precious little being?

I don’t want to raise a serial killer. I also don’t want to raise an unhappy person.

Too many of us are unhappy.

And, if you’re anything like me, when you’re tired and worn, everything in your life that isn’t going right, that hurts, that’s scary, piles on like a thick cloak you can’t shake off.

It’s easy to let the storm clouds come, to sink into despair or frustration or sadness. We’ve all got stuff that hurts.

The rain poured hard on me this week.

And then that skinny little Romani prisoner with his battered green guitar reminded me how lucky I am. I have today. I have today and I’m not in a concentration camp. I have today and my family hasn’t been stolen from me. I have today and my child is warm, fed, safe, and loved.

You have today too.

I don’t know what’s going on in your life right now. Maybe it’s incredible and you couldn’t ask for things to be better. But if it’s not, well, you have today. Even if it’s storming, you have today.


Have your own life lesson that reminded you to focus on today? I’d love to hear your story. Scroll down to “Join the Conversation!” and leave your comment.

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