July 1, 2015 § 2 Comments
Yesterday we skipped town, stealing a day away from work and home to return to a place of Us. Holding hands and dreaming big we stepped outside the present moment to look beyond the worries that cloud our perspective to a time past and the days to come.
There have been many worries this year. Heartache born of personal and professional challenges all tied intimately to unhealthy relationships. We have lost days to the tenderness of old injuries, each turning us further inward until our future and past felt hopelessly disconnected from the moments between us.
We were so busy working at creating a life we forgot the shape of our dreams.
Life is more than an inventory of necessities, but our dreams cannot exist without the foundation of our labor. This is not to mistake contentment or happiness with the more complicated sense of fulfillment that comes from faith and confidence in the presence of challenges. Life need not be easy to be rewarding, we cannot thrive without effort.
Today I am thinking of the work of marriage, family, and home. The space of Us that centers our attention and informs new dreams. The places we have been and the path of dreams to come.
June 27, 2015 § Leave a comment
It is an ongoing conversation, a place of home. The comfort of familiarity over the lure of possibility. The temptation to move tickles the quiet of our ease into an enthusiastic wondering. The balance of our uncertainties, little voices of worry dressed as practicalities, caution us against impulsivity.
I’ve been making spreadsheets of change for as long as I can recall; notebook paper scratches tallying choices into an accounting of probability. Almost every outward decision stems from an internal question of wants and needs, responsibilities and opportunities.
In motherhood I have come to list my children’s hopes and fears in the same space as my own. Inseparable and unequal, there is an imbalance of importance; like a hand that lingers too long against the scale until it is impossible to weigh the value of change. Do I guard my children’s fears more closely than their dreams? What of my own or my husbands?
Are we selfish in our wants or crippling in our protection? A lesson in change or an unnecessary experience of loss? Do we wait for life to pull us into change or march fearlessly by a map of our own design?
My children cannot imagine a home without their friends anymore than I can imagine never moving. In the same way they crave stability, I itch toward the temptation to explore.
For now our decision teeters between the freedom to choose for ourselves and the burden of choosing for our children. Drafting daydreams and counting excuses.
June 26, 2015 § 4 Comments
There is irony in the passage of years, I feel the humor intimately in my morning routines. I am a woman looking to my reflection for the girl of my youth, no longer so eager to cheat the years in a mad race toward maturity.
I thought time would deliver me into an image of more worldly expressions, that I would evolve into a glamorous stranger. Instead I wake each day to a funny recognition of self.
My eyes recall the errant efforts of youth, the eager ignorance of hard lines and clumsy shapes. Blemishes and stray hair, I have exhausted my skin with harsh chemicals and sharp ends of overused tweezers. I was unkind in my attention, unforgiving in my imperfections.
I never matured into an image of sophistication, rather I settled into the shape of my truth with a fondness for a simpler expression of self; a gentler appreciation for lines that tell a story of heartache and joy.
It is a beautiful undoing, years of well-intentioned manipulation washed away for a wiser recognition of a naked knowing. I am both the girl behind the mask of old dreams and the woman in the mirror; a complicated and contradictory skin of experiences that shelter memories.
I have come to spend less time creating an image and more care nourishing grace.
June 22, 2015 § 2 Comments
It’s a funny thing, the interruption of silence. I can’t remember the last time we didn’t intrude upon one another’s day with a quick message, silly picture, or distracted phone call. We began our courtship on paper and over the phone, filling the miles of uncertainty between us with conscious effort. But here, in the unanticipated place of waiting, I feel unfamiliar with the quiet between us.
Our days overlap with care for our children and home; never far from the same place we tend to assume the other’s company. Today I am savoring the sweetness of the details left unknown, anticipating the occasion of unraveling our days apart with stories unspoiled by images sent casually between conveniences.
Just for a moment, I am happy for the inconvenience of broken technology that affords us the richness of waiting for hello.
June 22, 2015 § 2 Comments
The house is too quiet and the rooms too tidy without the parade of distracted play that so often litters your path. I miss your nest of early morning tangles and your stubborn late night tangents.
I’ve enjoyed every stolen minute with your brother in your absence; still, there is a place in my day where only you fit and without you the hours feel a little lopsided. I wonder at the whirlwind of personality that dislocates the molecules we cannot see into a feeling I cannot escape; there is an energy to your stillness that fills unexceptional moments with an intangible source of comfort.
Today I’m counting down to arms that fold neatly around my neck and stories that chase away the chores. Give Daddy a kiss for me, I’ll see you both tonight.
June 21, 2015 § Leave a comment
With your father and sister out of town I woke today wanting to offer you a special day. Something dressed in my best attention without the cumbersome tug of formality. I considered all the places we used to visit, old favorites that seemed a size too small in their sentimental familiarity.
Instead I traded activity for attention. I folded up my laptop and turned the volume off on my phone. I let the household tasks for tomorrow and settled in for all the thoughts so often postponed for a minute that too often is lost between us.
There is nothing remarkable in the shape of our day, rather there was a companionable contentment threaded between each distraction. We were more patient in our attention and more generous with our time.
I don’t want this day to end for the nagging worry that tomorrow I will wake to the routine of procrastinated promises. Let this note to you serve as a reminder for me; the ease of your company is directly proportionate to the availability of my attention.
June 18, 2015 § Leave a comment
I knew this moment was coming, it is an inevitability of our experiences. A handwritten message on a speech rubric, a casual note on eye contact. Except, for us, there is nothing simple about this encouragement; something in the words themselves strikes at a tender place. I have to remind myself that the author means no harm, but still I wonder if they understand the assumptions of effort in the critique.
To my son’s teachers,
There are years of patient practice in the art of looking up into the faces of expectation. My son does not meet this expectation lightly.
The young man who looks up, however inconsistently, has worked very diligently to do so. He does this to earn approval, knowing it is important to those he wants to please. He is emotionally invested in the effort, but the act itself is often a battle of wills.
Watch his body as he bends toward himself, the wheels turning as he debates eye contact over the internal pull to riffle through endless files of information he might extract if only you will forgive the social stumble as he navigates the cluttered cabinets that hold his thoughts. He’s looking to offer you a piece of himself, to gather his worth into something you might value.
When he remembers to look up, to please you, he’ll gauge you briefly for a hint of interest before scurrying back to his files.
If you smile, he’ll slip into comedy eager to draw more joy. If you look sad, he’ll forget his place, anxious to offer you comfort. If you look angry, he’ll shuffle into an assumption he has failed and retreat into his own disappointment. Every look means something uncertain and the weight of all those choices is sometimes insufferable. His hope is hidden in every sidelong glance, each fleeting glimpse to measure your expression for encouragement.
It is such a small thing, to be seen. Look tenderly at the young man you are asking to see and offer sight in exchange. If you smile, he won’t need a written reminder; he’ll mark his sight by your effort.