A terrible, very bad day
By Abby Henderson
Originally posted May 1, 2014, at A Journey in Accompaniment. Republished with permission of the author.
Note: Abby Henderson is spending a year in South Africa with the ELCA Young Adults in Global Mission program.
One of my all-time favorite children’s books is “Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day.”
For those of you who haven’t read it, I highly suggest you do, but here’s a quick synopsis: Poor Alexander is not only a youngest child with a proclivity for being clumsy, but he also is in the midst of a horrible day. From gum in his hair to no dessert to a cavity to the lima beans on his dinner plate, Alexander is fed up. He decides, like any logical child would, that he is moving to Australia. The book ends (spoiler alert!) with Alexander falling asleep at the end of his horrible day, thinking, “My mom says some days are like that, even in Australia.”
Well, I can’t speak for Australia, but I can tell you that there are such things as bad days in Cape Town. Some days, no matter where you live, are bad days. I had a few bad days this month. From being homesick to language screw-ups to spider-y surprises to a lack of sleep, I was feeling very Alexander-esque. On more than one occasion, I was knocked off the high horse I sometimes try to sit on; learning humility can be hard. I was about ready to pick up and move to Australia.
Here’s the deal about bad days, though: They are only days. Yes, sometimes a few come in a row, and suddenly you’re in a bad week, but that’s only a week. Things are bound to turn around. Alexander was bound to get dessert sometime, and I was bound to say a sentence correctly in Afrikaans again.
Growing up in the Henderson family, Alexander is often quoted on bad days. After listing a litany of complaints about a bad day to my siblings, there is a high possibility they will respond with “My mom says some days are like that, even in Australia.” It is a good reality check — today is just a day, everyone has bad days. Tomorrow might be better.
So on Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Days, just remember: Some days are like that, even in Cape Town.
Find a link to Abby Henderson’s blog A Journey in Accompaniment at Lutheran Blogs.
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