I was all dressed up to go shopping—a cute T-shirt, my only clean pair of jeans, and a bra that hid my back fat.
“Well, don’t you look all cute and sassy today,” the saleslady behind the counter at the Gap told me.
It amazes me how a kind word from a total strange can make your day. Suddenly, I couldn’t have felt any more fabulous than if I had been walking the red carpet at the Golden Globes and Ryan Seacrest himself had complimented me. Pleased with myself, I smoothed my T-shirt as if it were a Vera Wang designer original.
“So what kind of peace do you want?” she asked.
“I’m sorry…what?” I quickly leapt from complimented to confused.
“Your T-shirt. What kind of peace do moms want?”
I laughed. I was wearing my “Moms for Peace” shirt that I bought because it seemed so “in”, so “now.” But I hadn’t really thought about what the saying actually meant.
The first kind of peace that I thought of, and the obvious choice for any mother, was Peace of Mind. I’m all about the whole anti-war, beauty contestant answer of wanting World Peace, but I’d simply settle for my own Peace of Mind. And in this day and time, Peace of Mind comes at a high premium.
There are a lot of us that would be happy with a little Financial Peace right about now. The stock market, the housing market, and the job market have been anything but peaceful. There’s Democratic Peace which is a nice idea but virtually impossible, Peace and Quiet which is also impossible when living with small children, and the Peace Lily which is the only houseplant that I’ve never killed.
Yes, there are many types of peace. Fortunately, unlike religion, it’s perfectly acceptable to believe in more than one. In fact, it’s preferred. The more peace, the better.
There’s no doubt that I’m a Mom for Peace. I want my world to be a peaceful place—free of war, free of injustice, free of inequality, free of chaos, free of children begging and whining and causing general household unrest. I want all of those kinds of peace and more. I’m just not sure about how to go about getting it.
We hear so much about Peace and Love, Peace and Joy, Peace and Happiness, but we rarely ever see it. True peace, the kind mom’s wish for in the midst of a trying day, often eludes us. At times, True Peace seems so distant as if it only exists in an altered universe where rainbows and unicorns live. But like any faithful believer, I still believe that true peace can be found.
I felt it once. It was in the middle of the night when I woke to get a drink of water. No lights were on, no televisions or video games making noise, just…peace. No rainbows, no unicorns, no altered universes, just…peace.
I tried to recreate the moment the next morning after the boys had gone to school. I turned everything in the house off and sat quietly, waiting for peace to make an appearance. It never did. The doorbell rang as the UPS man delivered my new window treatments.
Peace had been replaced by Pottery Barn.
In his song about peace, Cat Stevens’ sang, “Now I’ve been happy lately…thinking about the good things to come” which makes me think of the week ahead.
Tomorrow is a day to honor an extraordinary man who was all about peace. Dr. King not only believed in peace, he was doing something about it. And thanks to him, we get a peaceful day off of work.
On Tuesday we will witness the historic inauguration of a new president. As President-elect Obama officially takes office, we will all be hopeful of the peace that he will bring to our country. I’m sure that World Peace and Financial Peace will be on the top of his list, but I’d appreciate it if he could bring a little peace into my home as well.
“Oh peace train take this country…come take me home again.”
Perhaps that was what my T-shirt was really saying after all.