|My fuzzy-headed human alarm clock wakes me with kisses and snuggles.|
|Bed is made. The day can begin now.|
I do miss writing though. I keep thinking to myself (and occasionally people ask), "Why did I just stop writing, all of a sudden?" And I really can't come up with one definitive answer. It's busy-ness and lazy-ness and then there's this feeling that maybe I've said everything I have to say and a wondering if I've got voice enough or wisdom enough to contribute to the online buzz. It all seems so much more important these days.
And I'm still just me, you know? I don't have the answers. In fact, at 46 years old, I find myself more full of questions than ever. Which surprises me, but in a good way. Life is constantly showing me how very much I still have to learn and I'm okay with that. I love learning. I love the constant promise that I'm free to pursue getting better in any way I choose. Makes me feel alive. Still green and flowing with bright, pungent hope.
|Every morning I turn on the same lamps in our living areas in the same order. The house goes from cool pre-dawn grey to lively, rich warmth. These simple rituals of the day are so comforting, aren't they?|
Everything is so good, though. We have everything we could ever need. And we have one another, Al and the kids and me. We've really consciously dug deep roots into that blessing over the past year. It'd be hard to look around at all the pain and loss and chaos and turmoil and devastation in the world and not just want to lock a tight heart onto the people and the love that truly matters, wouldn't it?
Back in September, my birth month and always a reflective time for me, I looked hard at my life and my heart and made a resolution of sorts to let some things go. Things that inadvertently distracted me from the people and love that truly matter. Stuff that spun my wheels and left me depleted, even though for a long time I'd pinned a bit of hope on it doing the opposite.
I go through cycles in my kitchen, filling up the countertops with things, some of beauty and some of convenience, thinking Here, this one more thing will fit. There's just enough room. And then one day I wake up to make breakfast and the sun hits everything hard and it's cluttered and too much and I'm suddenly frustrated and overwhelmed. And I put it all away and start again with the bare basics. And it feels better. Clean.
Maybe it's the right kind of jarring. Maybe it makes me think about what I really need. All I know is, I appreciate the space and the simplicity while it lasts, until I'm adding just this and just that, knowing full well that soon it'll get to be too much and I'll have to clear it all off and start again with the basics.
That's exactly how the flow of my family's life works for me, as well. We fill up and fill up more, and then we start to stumble under the weight of it all. We take stock and clear out to revel in the less.
|An egg McMama for Bean and a cheese tortilla with salsa for Peabody.|
|Bean leaves for school.|
|I think I'll turn on the TV for Peabody and take a quick bath by myself before we have to be anywhere.|
I am mistaken.
|Green corduroys. Polka dots.|
Lately, what used to be never quite enough is just exactly right.
|He finally eats the breakfast I made him. Four hours ago.|
What I thought I wanted but couldn't have looks a little ridiculous to me now, like when you peruse the dessert menu while you're ordering dinner and get all excited about the Death by Chocolate, then when you finish the main course you couldn't imagine ever wanting another bite of anything. My life right now is main course big and main course nourishing and main course satisfying.
Maybe I'll want a butter mint or something when I'm 75. I do love butter mints.
|We build a model of his favorite grocery store, with cars in the parking lot. He plots mayhem as we build. It lasts about 38 second before being leveled. Hurricane Peabody. |
|He leaves for school. I have almost three hours to myself each weekday now.|
A certain bend in the path at the back of my neighborhood brings me to tears some days. The slanting sun, the water, the smell of wild tarragon or gracefully decaying wildflowers. Everything works together so perfectly.
Nature doesn't ever seem to strive or envy. It's vulnerable and raw, accepting of the truth about itself and living in this really rare honest community. Nature, teach me your ways. (If possible, I'd like to stay near the top of the food chain, please.)
|A little indulgence during my quiet hours.|
I cherish my alone time. (/understatement)
The kids continue to grow bigger and more mature every day, like kids do. I'm so proud of each of them, for so many different reasons.
Bean is a better person than I will ever be, I think, on the inside at least (I can fake some things well.) The kind of person who just wants to do the right thing without fanfare or praise. She bears very little resentment when doing the right thing doesn't reward her with anything. Her compass is already steered by something I haven't even discovered yet, and it makes me wonder and admire her. She also makes me laugh more and more every day - she has Al's sneaking, sharp wit. She's officially a tween now, and I'll admit that we have a moment of drama or two here and there. It makes me clench up my everything and pray my ever-loving guts out for the inadequacy I feel in handling this stuff (again), but so far, we're getting through one thing at a time, relatively unscathed. SO FAR.
Peabody is much easier for me to understand but sigh over, because he's me. He makes me proud by overcoming what I know he's having to struggle against internally. When he breaks through something, he smiles sunshine and Christmas lights and fireworks -- the unmatched brilliance of triumph and confidence in a boy who could easily be crushed by his own fears. I vacillate between holding my breath and sighing these long, heaving relieved sighs, because his precious eyebrows and mouth express things that make me realize he's probably going to be okay. Watching him get on and off the bus makes all of my insides rise up about two feet in the air. If I could tap-dance, I'd be clickety- clacking all over my driveway two times a day. He's doing this thing.
|Clean laundry. Of course.|
I'm coming to the conclusion that when it comes right down to it, a life with less clutter makes me feel the kind of full I truly want to feel. I think the best things in a life are the things you end up wearing down to smooth familiarity because you handle them so much. Like the shiny wooden spoon that fits just right in your hand or the faded quilt, threadbare and heavy with 30 year old batting and history and smelling like Grandmama's closet. Or the same pile of towels I wash dry and fold twice a week each week and love it every time.
I want my family to be worn smooth and solid in the places I've touched and loved and cared for them well. I want them shiny and fortified - sturdied up with our good history. I believe that's what will see them through, in the end.
|Breakfast for dinner.|
Yep. That's what I believe.