Thursday, February 20, 2014

Headin’ fer Texas

I’ve been thinking lots of serious little thoughts lately. Serious . . . big thoughts? Yes. Big. Thoughts on birth and death and the fleeting bits of mortality in between. But (and listen, I’m just going to quit worrying about “and”s and “but”s at the first of sentences. I like them there. Sometimes I really want to make a stop – not with a comma-like pause – but FULLY. And then I want to continue. Just like I did there. I’m sorry it’s wrong. I’m sorry it’s troubling. . . . I’m sorry it will continue.) On to where we were: But, the trouble with those big types of thoughts is that they come floating about – gentle little wisps at first, occasional fireworks, and often often more feeling than word and more image than sentence.

It’s difficult to put wispy little trails of smoke, a strange constricting of your lungs, and tears stinging the corners of your eyes into words. I want to. And, maybe I will; but not yet. Not today. Because today . . . I am packing for TEXAS.

I’ve never been, you know; and, it occurs to me that, perhaps, one can’t fully claim being an Ameri-can without having ever set foot in the state of Texas.

Which isn’t really why I’m going of course.

I’m going simply because the opportunity came. It came in the form of my dad offering to flip the bill for me, my mom, and three of my sisters to fly to Dallas to see our other sister! That’s a lot of sisters. (Though, I should add, that we will be just as eager to see my brother who is also a Texan these days – and who lives, as luck would have it, mere miles from my sister.)

I’ve been bustling about all day – anxious, nervous. I don’t know why. It seems like there is so much to do, when, in reality, I am probably making up things to do. Surely Mike would be able to find clothes for our younger kids if I hadn’t laid out outfits for the next several days. Surely the world wouldn’t end if the windows that are already messy are simply still messy when I return (rather than cleaned in a frenzied state of pre-trip jitters). What is all of this “doing” I’ve been up to anyway? Nervous energy? Once I am actually gone (and suddenly basking in the lovely rareness of “no responsibility”) I am fine. More than fine. WONDERFUL. But until I go, I do feel anxious. Anxious that everything must be done, and set, and taken care of . . . because . . . I take care of things. It’s what I do. And sometimes I find it hard to believe that things and mostly people (my people, my precious little people) can go on being taken care of in my absence!

I’m leaving them in good hands though.

There’s no arguing that.

So . . . off to Texas with me! (And it is going to be lovely. So so lovely.)

I leave you with . . . a Valentine’s weekend with cousins:

One, tiny, happy moment of . . . sort-of . . . warm weather:
(Where, pray tell, did that hair come from? Mine has never grown more than an inch or two beyond my shoulders and the whole of it can probably fit into the tiniest baby elastic you could find.)

And, word on the street (I mean . . . word on the cell phone? I guess?):

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

A Glimpse of Life Around Here

We are driving home after dropping the kids to school when Anders begins to cry over the bright sun streaming directly into his eyes. “Mom,” he whines. “It’s too bright. Will you turn the sun off?”

“Anders,” Jesse cuts in. “The sun doesn’t have a switch. It’s not made of gears and things. It’s just made of fire . . . and plastic and stuff.”

“Mom?” Penny asks me. “Can we make it so some music is on . . . like outside? In our front yard? And then we could put a can or somethin’ in front of me, and I can dance and people can stop and put money in it?”

The girls have just attended a scouting court of honor with Abe. When they return I teasingly ask them if they got dessert at the end to make the experience worth it.

Before they can answer, Abe inserts some remark hinting that they got more than their fair share of dessert.

It was an innocent enough comment, but, in a flash, the girls are shouting and denying and defending.

Mike wanders by and mumbles some version of Proverbs 28:1 “The wicked flee when no man pursueth.” The kids have no idea what he is talking about, but it makes me laugh. Loudly.

I have just put Anders and Jesse in the tub for a morning bath when I hear a heart felt plea go up to the heavens from Jesse’s lips, “Dear Heavenly Father, please help Anders not to go peeps in the tub.”

I suppose that’s as legitimate of a request as any.


The “M” and shark were sewn, respectively by Goldie and Daisy. The “M”, of course, is for “mom”. Penny is playing with a neighbor who, with her blonde, straight hair may as well be one of my own children. Also, Penny reads to her younger brothers. A lot. On couches. In laundry baskets. Snuggled in beds. How did I ever manage small children when there were no older children to do all the things a good mom does . . . for me??

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