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Archive for January, 2013

I’m not ignoring you.

I probably haven’t left comments on your blog recently.

Or replied to your last email, or seven.

Or tweeted you.

This doesn’t mean I’m not thinking of you, or wondering what you’re up to. It just means my only internet is phone-based at the moment. If I’m posting online, it’s because I have something I really, really want to say before I forget. Or, like now, because it’s 4:30 a.m. and I’ve already streamed my quota of The Mindy Project on Hulu.

I’ve missed being online, a little, but I’ve savored it, too. Instead of constantly wondering what I am missing online, I have been immersed in savoring the offline. Instead of arising and running straight to the computer, I’ve laid in bed and listened to the trio of snores filling the air around me.

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I’ve washed the dishes, made my rice, read my daily chapter of Just One Thing, and sat on the living room floor savoring a sense of home greater than the one I felt at my last place. There, two friends anxiously began a journey of seeing if they could build a family from friendship. So much was uncertain then, and is certain now. Read more…

Dinner in spirit

I ran.

I used to do that a lot, but back pain stopped me in my tracks (hyuk, hyuk) many moons ago.

Down fifteen pounds and feeling the goodness of having so few food substitute toxins in my system, I felt compelled to lace up and go. I thought I might run five minutes, or eight, but I made it twenty whole minutes before I had to slow it down to a walk.

Yes, I’ve run a couple of marathons, but twenty minutes was a victory tonight.

Eight minutes would have been a victory.

Or four, if I’d pushed myself to my limit.

As I slowed to a walk, I thought about Elisa. I’ve written about her before, this law student whose death indirectly–through her memorial scholarship–paved the way for my finishing law school.

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She died while running.

What would she give to have twenty more minutes to run?

In my last post I complained about only being able to eat a dozen unadorned foods for the time being.

That’s twelve foods I can eat, because I am here.

Twelve foods Elisa cannot eat, because she is not here.

I wish Elisa and I could share a meal. That can never happen in body, so I must do it in spirit, thinking of her and being grateful for the abundance in my life today, an abundance throughout which memory of her will forever be woven.

Twelve foods. Twenty minutes.

One full life.

Too alight with love to care

“Mommy, you have pretty hair,” my three-year-old son told me as he reached to touch it.

“You do, too,” I replied.

“No, it’s not. It’s dark,” he said solemnly.

I tried not to show my alarm. “Who told you that?” I asked  as I reached to ruffle his hair.

Silence.

“Listen,” I said calmly despite the alarm still bubbling up within me. “You have beautiful, curly, dark hair. I wish I had your hair.”

“Oh.” Li’l D, no longer engaged in the conversation, got up and ran off toward more exciting endeavors. My heart remained stuck on those two jarring words: “It’s dark.”

I have no idea where Li’l D heard that “dark” is bad. I cannot undo his hearing it. But what I can do, and what I mean to do, is show him as he grows that misguided words are not all there is in this world. There is joy in abundance, beauty that cares naught for superficial distinctions, and the goodness of knowing that no matter what anyone else sees or says, there is a light inside each of us that demands to shine.

I will strive to teach him to see that light–in those who love him, those who dislike him for whatever reasons, and most of all, within himself.

If he can see it within himself, it won’t matter what anyone else sees.

He will be too alight with love to care.

Categories: Family, Love, Parenting, Teaching Tags: , , , , ,

Four more hours

I begin this post from the elevator of my nearly former home. I have just placed in my car the car seat that was my son’s very first. He came home from the hospital in it.

Soon it will be someone else’s car seat. I am glad for its future owners, but sad to part with it. I am startled and sad how quickly time has passed.

I am tidying. I am washing laundry. I am moving small items from apartment to car. I am thinking about how much there is left to move and it is a lot; my life is split between what-was and what-is-yet-to-be.

I am overwhelmed. But I know, maybe four hours from now, I will be propping up my feet and watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer, which kept me going through moves to South Korea, Japan, and back to the States. This is not such a big move by comparison, at least not in miles.

Four more hours. Just four more hours of this painful not-quite-goodbye work and I will be kicking up my feet and relaxing to Buffy.

That’s all I’ve gotta do: just get through four more hours.

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Enveloped in small wonders

sleeping littlesI nose-kissed my son, rubbing my nose against his after reading him one of my childhood favorites, The Rainbow Goblins. He grinned and giggled, so I followed up with a forehead kiss.

His eyes were closed and his breathing had slowed by the time I pulled my forehead away from his. A toothy grin alit his face, inspiring me to smile, too. I stroked his hair and savored the sound of his slowing breath as he fell deeper into slumber.

It’s been months since I last watched him step into dreamland. He usually wants to keep playing if anyone else is around, so our bedtime routine ends with a couple of stories and him humming himself to sleep, by himself, afterward.

I’d forgotten how magical it is to watch him transform from my little whirling dervish to my little sleeping angel. Something awakened in me last night watching this transition: a yearning to be enveloped in small wonders.

So busy looking for big bloggable events, I’ve lost sight of precious many small moments.

I’m seeing now. With a great big smile, I am seeing now.

Trash can parenting?

Dropping my son off for his first day of preschool was a challenge. Four days of classes later, picking him up is the challenge. He’s so happy at preschool, the thought of going home with me is about as pleasing to him as, oh, spinach and sardine cake. There’s kicking. There’s screaming. There’s biting, flailing, whining, limp-going, screaming, and all manner of behavior I didn’t even know my son knew.

Hand in hand: much better than either in the garbage can!

Hand in hand: much better than either in the garbage can!

After another showdown yesterday, complete with lots of screaming in the car afterward, I stopped for food. “Where are we going, Mama?” Li’l D asked.

“I’m going to dump you in a trash can,” I mumbled under my breath, or so I thought. I opened the car door, began putting on the shoes he’d thrown in a fit of pique and was marveling at the sudden silence when I felt a hand on my shoulder. Li’l D quietly implored me, “Mama, please don’t put me in the trash bin.”

“Oh, sweetie!” I said, mortified with myself. “I love you. I would never, ever put you in the trash can.”

He climbed out of the car and hugged me tight. “I’m not going in the trash can?”

“No,” I thought, feeling like I might deserve a dive there myself. “We’re getting food.”

“Oh. I love you, mama!” Immediately afterward, he began daydreaming aloud everything we’d eat, leaving me a chance to marvel at how quickly kids move on . . . and reflecting how I, as the adult in our relationship, should probably strive to seek–and communicate!–adult-appropriate solutions in the future.

Tiny sparks

January 4, 2013 Comments off

If Tori Nelson had never guest posted here, I would still have been delighted to guest post for her today.

But she did guest post here. And she rocked me so deeply with her beautiful words about being grateful for even absence and lack that I feel the ripples of goodness more than a year later.

It’s thus not only a delight but an honor to guest post for her today, and to do so in a way that almost pays homage to her guest post: by sharing one tiny spark that sustained me through dark times. Many sparks have lit my way, including Tori herself, but the flame kindled by this picture burns bright three years after I first found it in my inbox.

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Read about it at “Photographs of the Heart

The post might sound sad, but I share it with joy. The thing about loss, after all, is that it is preceded by having . . . a having the goodness of which can never be undone.

I have lost, but I have lost because I have had.

Categories: Death, Family, Love Tags: , , ,
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