To celebrate my daughter graduating university, we decided to go to the Picasso exhibit.

Now usually a day that has a lot of expectation around it I get too worked up and likely ruin. Or at least annoy everybody with reminders and a lot of  nagging.

But this was her day. She had a long go of  it of  putting herself through school herself so I wanted to celebrate by being patient and present. I was going to be Zen. Or maybe  just a little less –me.

So on the morning of her convocation, I read a daily reflection book that said, “Just for today I will not argue or criticize not one little bit.” (oh boy this will free up my time–I might solve world hunger by lunch)

These “I am going to be good”  intentions usually go badly. But lately it’s been easier. Maybe I am older, or wiser or maybe I have lost the taste for argument.

So for convocation I thought the rules of improvisation apply-

Say Yes.

And Make people look good. ( especially her-it was her day)

Besides I only had to keep this up  for two days, and then I could go home and go back to being difficult and ornery.

So when she informed me I had to drop her off at York two hours early I didn’t argue, I brought my book to read and said yes.

When the parking caddy pointed me to a parking lot at least 2 kms away from the stadium I gave him a thumbs up affirmative.

At least that’s the digit I think I used.

When my son and ex husband flew in with minutes to spare I pulled the granola bars out of my purse.  ( I may be Zen but I am still a Mom)  I even gave thanks that I am on good terms with my former husband. When he said something I would have normally have thought was a bit silly I looked at him as a a great father,  and generous man he is.

It was beautiful. And the  next day our tour of Picasso’s exhibit was too. We have always tried to do something together that would mark special occasions with good memory.  And Picasso seemed fitting for a graduand of the arts.

At first listening to the audio we enjoyed learning about Picasso and how his genius evolved. How he kept pushing past normal restraints of art. How he said, ‘my diary is on the canvas’- a true innovator and improviser.

Of course, by room four we were mocking the pretentious curators who were interpreting his work.

We laughed at how hard it would be to be Picasso’s girlfriend, especially if he said he was going to do a portrait of you.

“Can I see what the picture looks like honey?  Oh. Oh. Really. Does my eyeball go off to the left like that?”

But the real victory of being Zen,  I let my daughter have her opinions about the exhibit. I didn’t try to persuade her to feel what I did.

When we sat and drank lattes in the redesigned gallery, I thought how blessed I was to be with a lovely woman who started life so prematurely –Born three months early, never in my wildest dreams could I imagine she would have achieved what she did, that her love and friendship inspires me far beyond the bonds of familial. Together with Picasso we have pushed past the conventional relationship into something resembling joy.

Tell me about an important day in your recent memory that you did right.  A small incident where when you practiced patience, and were rewarded with joy?

( by the way–if you’re looking for a laugh,  swing by the Shop and get my new book, ‘That Which Doesn’t Kill You Makes You Funnier.’)