I was just a week or two away from delivering my younger son, Littler J, when I met Ra in person.
I’d read–and savored–a few of her blogs before I met her. I knew I liked her, but I was pregnant and distracted. I didn’t really know how much I liked her until I met her.
I met her and loved her simultaneous clarity/strength and vulnerability, a rare combination.
And then I delivered Littler J, and lost track of where she was, though I distantly knew she was in prison.
I came back on track far later than I’d have wished …
… and yet: What was, was. What is, is. The past is past when driving with Ra, when I am struck–though never so heartily as reading this blog about me and my guys!–by her rare appreciation for the good in a little chaos, and an ability to adapt (fairly) swiftly to whatever challenges the moment casts.
Farscape, Ra, kid chaos, burps/farts and lots of snuggles: These are all things that make my household what it is. And I’m glad for it all, even if I don’t know for sure what to make of The Great Big Everything ahead. I suppose I’ll deal with “ahead” then.
Now is now, and there is so much loveliness in it.
Mail is late and we’ve already been locked in for the night.
A letter is kicked under the cell door.
“Just one today,” the officer ponders, “Maybe they all stopped loving you.”
I laugh, a low peal of chuckles– revealing as much about my comfortable relationship with him as my confidence in my world. His booming male-guffaw follows him down the hall.
I pick the letter up off the floor, noticing that my tiles are a little dusty. In a minute, I’ll take out a maxipad and wipe it down by hand. Tomorrow supplies will be restocked, so it should be okay to use one.
But for now, I tear open the seal of the letter with my thumb.
It’s a series of notes.
One from each member of the family.
Just one I haven’t really met yet.
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If we were having coffee, I wouldn’t actually have coffee. Even a single cup a day makes me anxious, so I’m finally stepping away from it.
(I’d order peppermint tea instead.)
As for the conversation, one of three things would happen:
- I’d be almost completely silent, unable to find anything to add and not wanting to speak simply to fill the silence.
- I’d chatter non-stop about anything and everything, if I wanted to connect but didn’t quite know how. That’d be my way of fishing–most awkwardly–for the thing that’d make you bite.
- Feeling at ease, I’d share what’s most important to me at times that worked in the conversation.
I mostly blog as if the third is true, so I’ll coffee-share in the same vein.
If we were having coffee, you and I, I’d tell you that I feel ill at ease right now. Nothing feels quite right, and it feels not-quite-right all the time. Read more…
My five-year-old just finished his first week as a first grader.
He knows his mama doesn’t believe in bad people, just bad acts. When I chastise our dog, he says, “But he’s good! It’s just the act that wasn’t good, right? He’s still good.”
All the same, my little man finished his first week with the proclamation, “It was good! I’m a good boy!”
My faith isn’t as firm as his papa’s. It varies day by day, and sometimes minute by minute.
When Li’l D asked religious questions this week, I wanted to say, “It’s all mythology!”
Instead I said, “These are great questions. Let’s answer them together,
in the weeks ahead!”
at day’s end,
like all I am
is my work:
pay the bills-to
cover the heads, to
feed the bellies, to
keep water flowing
Juggling many balls to
keep things going, to
keep family sheltered, to
Who I am? Well,
just as long as I
keep paying the bills,
keep putting one foot after the other
as if I am no more,
in the end, than
the just keeping on
Tonight I took a picture of my husband singing to our younger son.
I snapped a picture and realized Anthony was singing a song important to both of us.
I melted, remembering that song playing on an evening that would prove pivotal to both our lives.
And then? Then he wrote a post about that song, lullabies, love.
How I love this man!
I used to draw a lot.
I’m not sure why I stopped, but I’d wager there were many reasons. For example:
- It wasn’t very practical.
- I wasn’t an artist. I was “just playing.” I found better ways to play.
- I was busy figuring out how to live independently, which took a lot more effort than I realized.
- I wasn’t innately an expert. (Back when I stopped, I thought you were either innately an expert or wasting your time.)
I revisited my sketchbooks over the weekend. I was surprised to see some of my drawings were pretty good. I wondered how well I’d be drawing now if I hadn’t stopped drawing. Imagine what twenty more years of practice would have done for me!
I was also surprised to see how determined I was to fill every inch of each page.
It was as if I was allergic to blank space. Read more…
My son started first grade today.
Except he didn’t really start; he only brought school supplies, met his teacher, his new friends and toured the grounds. I’d have taken Tuesday off instead, had I realized, but today was a good day to share with Li’l D anyway.
“I’m scared,” he whispered as we neared his new school. He wrapped his left hand tight around my right one.
“I understand,” I whispered back. “I feel scared when I start new things, too.”
I couldn’t vouch for anything we were about to see, honestly. Read more…