At the camp where Kevin and I met, there was a young boy who would come every year for a week during the summer. He was about 7, had a visual impairment and learning disabilities. He was very sweet and fast became a favourite of all of the counsellors.
One of the things I remember about him was his ability to spell the word, "Equanimity". He would repeat it over and over and all of us were incredibly impressed with his alphabetical prowess. It took a few days until we all admitted we didn't know what "equanimity" meant and asked him. It turns out, he didn't either. He had been taught how to spell it by rote.
Someone found a dictionary, and we learned that Equanimity means: composure or steadiness of mind under stress.
I think about that wee boy a lot. He pops into my head when I find myself rushing about in the mornings to get ready for swimming/playgroup/work.
I catch glimpses of him in my overflowing wash basket.
Or in the pile of dishes I have to scurry to get done before a friend pops round for a cup of tea.
Or when a small boy does not want to put his shoes/socks/coat on, every morning.
Or dealing with the third or fourth tantrum before lunchtime.
Sometimes I am able to remain equanimous...cool, calm, collected. But most of the time I find my blood pressure edging up ever so slightly and I can hear my inner voice tell me that I need to calm down. Then I think, "But at least I can spell equanimity." Its a start, right?