Come Back To Me

I am cleaning house today; erasing the evidence that five people and two pets live in this home. Everywhere I look there is pet fur and pet nose prints, lost socks and scraps of papers awaiting recycling. I wonder how on earth we could have accumulated so much detritus since I last did these chores just the other day. And I wonder if these bits and pieces of others ever actually leave me, or if they are somehow fixed to my being like I’ve been tattooed by my life choices.

img_1352On my shower door is a handprint. Several actually, but one stands out in relief. The Mister and I often pass by the shower while it is in use and place a palm against the glass…waiting for the other person to reach out and cover the other’s palm. Palm prints, warming the glass and leaving a reminder that even when separated, we are still connected. The odd thing about these handprints  is that they resist removal. As part of my cleaning rotation, I scrub the shower doors. And yet, ever so often I find that one still appears in the fog, days after it was placed there. It is as if when Mister Soandso and I take the time to connect even in this silly, small way, it leaves an impression. I like this possibility. And I like this tradition we seem to have created for ourselves.

I don’t know who started this tradition only as old as this house, but I do know Mister Soandso doesn’t know that when the light is just right and I catch a glimpse of one of those smudges on the glass, I put my hand over it and whisper, “Come back to me.” It is the same thing I say when I drop off my kids at their schools; “come back to me” I whisper to their backpack-covered backs and their youthful conviction of permanence and optimism.

Come back to me.

Life is filled with uncertainty. For every goodbye said has the potential to be the last time we say those words to that person. I am never not aware of that fact. And so I am always asking them for one more time–please come back to me.

I think we are all in the same boat as we find the souls we cherish – the people who make our lives better for having been a part of them. The challenge is letting folks walk away and knowing that someday they won’t return.

That is the type of thinking that can suck a day’s joy from me in a hot minute. If I let it. But one thing that helps me is remembering that just like how Mister Soandso and I leave our fingerprints on our shower door, no matter how far my children travel away from me in their lives and how many hours the Mister’s job takes him away from home, they are still with me.

This is true because no matter how far they go away, their fingerprints are tattooed all over my heart.

Just as it should be.

 

Things Are Puzzling

IMG_0288I try to get Mister Soandso or my family a puzzle every year at Christmas. For some reason, this feels like a good tradition to continue as both he and I grew up in families that completed jigsaw puzzles over the holidays. This year was no different. Christmas morning  Mister Soandso unwrapped his puzzle and then set it aside. Several days later, it made its way to our coffee table and we started working on it.1000 pieces of various types of candy. It seemed like a pretty sweet deal. Me, the kids, and Mister all puzzling away with cups of cocoa and Christmas musical in the background. Continue reading

I Will Wish As A Mother

My middle child is home sick today. This is the child who tries to negotiate with illness so that she doesn’t miss school. The child who once came down with scarlet fever while we were on vacation…who knows how long she was actually sick before she finally succumbed. She is not and never has been one to appreciate much attention while she’s sick. Just leave her alone and let her sleep.

Which is something I can fully support seeing as that’s how I like to deal with illness. Just leave me alone and let me sleep.

But today, more than anything I want to ignore her wishes. Instead, I wish I could scoop her up in my arms and hold her close. To sit so long and so very still that I can actually feel her heart beating, feel that subtle shake a body makes when it is still of everything beside a tiny breath and a steady heart beat. Continue reading

Baby Hands and Seeing Possibilities

I am not the sort of mother to ask other mothers if I can hold their babies. I do like babies and I think they are cute. I just don’t need to feel another tiny body in my arms, to hear that sweet snuffling sound they make in their sleep. I don’t need to smell the top of a baby’s head to be reminded that there is a heaven and it rests within each of us in the form of possibility.

I am not that sort of mother. At least not normally. Continue reading

Praying For Rain

The sky outside my window is gray, but the sun is stubbornly trying to break through. From the blue stripes, it looks like the sun will win.

The sun needs to lose. At least for a few days. Because what we need right now isn’t more sun. We need rain. We desperately need a week of gentle but steady rain because my corner of the world is on fire.

Here in the northwest, fire is not an uncommon thing. Fire season technically starts in September, but this year September came early and all those beautiful trees are very, very dry. And so are the grasses and sage brush and all the other growing things that makes the northwest such a very beautiful and cherished place in this world.

And so very much of it is on fire right now. Continue reading

Focus On What Lasts

Things have been hard lately. I won’t pretend that a bunch of that hardness hasn’t been manufactured solely in my own head. But it still is real, regardless.

It’s the end of the school year, schedules are exploding, high stakes tests are everywhere, some friendships/relationships seem to be fading, and I am so tired of packing school lunches I actually told Biggest that “I am tired of feeding you people lunch.” To which he replied, “We’re tired of eating, too. It’s so boring.”

If I had Bailey’s in the house, I’d be spiking my morning coffee. Continue reading

Crap on a Cracker!

Do you have a favorite idiom? I have many, and if I can’t think of one, I am very comfortable making one up. Of course, this skill is more often due to my inability to remember real idioms during my time of need, but whatever. I think my new favorite was the time I was irritated while driving. (As an aside, the older I get, the crankier I get while driving. Oldest wagers that by the time I’m 80, I’ll get out at traffic lights and harangue other drivers and then whack their cars with my cane. He may be on to something.) I was trying to clean up my notoriously potty-mouth and instead of shouting to the imbecile with car keys the error of his ways, I instead hollered “crap on a cracker!” (I grew up hearing ‘Christ on a cross’ often…so I suppose the alliteration stayed with me?) Continue reading