My father was an English teacher and among the courses he taught during his career was English Literature. Unfortunately, the ability to read and understand Shakespeare was not a skill that he passed on to me.
So, if you are a Shakespeare illiterate like me, let me quickly explain the context and meaning of this quote and then I will get on with my story.
This declaration is made in reference to Cardinal Wolsey, the main villain in the play. Wolsey’s intrigues included attempting to keep Anne Boleyn from the king. When his downfall came, the cardinal recognized the futility of his ambitious pursuit for wealth and power and found an inner peace he described as a “fortitude of soul.” The character in the play who spoke these words described the cardinal’s transformation as “the blessedness of being little.”
I’ve been home recovering from an illness for most of a week. My recovery didn’t allow me to take care of the kids, so Conner picked them up at daycare, fixed them dinner, and got them to bed in the evenings. Then she came back in the mornings and fed them breakfast and got them ready and took them back to daycare.
My time laying around in bed was mostly spent despairing about not being able to take care of the children. The downtime mainly served to enhance my sense of helplessness in caring for the kids.
And I probably did an overabundance of soul-searching trying to find answers to the big question that’s the elephant in the room of our lives (or at least in my thinking): What would happen to the kids if something happened to me?
So during my recovery time I reviewed insurance policy beneficiaries, gathered information for my will, and re-enacted various “what if” scenarios in my mind.
Now that I’m through my recovery and my head has cleared (or maybe the pain killers have worn off), I can see that there’s not really any preparation I can make for the eventuality of my demise that would be enough preparation.
No matter how well I have their lives planned out, if I’m gone, then I don’t really have any control over their lives, do I? Even if it’s all well-planned, right?
And despite all my trepidation, the kids came home every day just as excited and enthusiastic about life as they are when I’m not sick.
Certainly, they showed concern about my condition. But for the most part, they enjoyed the blessedness of being little. They were pretty much carefree no matter how burdened with care I felt!
Now, I’m not trying to be cynical here. They’re the ones that have it right!
All my worrying doesn’t mean I love them more than they love me without the worry!
I think I just need to go back and find my inner child…
I need to re-discover the blessedness of being little!