Saturday, October 16

Tick Tock

He sits on the floor watching as his guitar is restrung.  We've eaten dinner at the table and now he is there in the music room all full of food, relaxed, and engaged.  She is upstairs lost in the world of animated action controlled by her own hands as she tries again and again to navigate a make believe hard place: far preferable to navigating the hard places of real life.  She is clean, fed, entertained, cuddled, and adored and now she is up there relaxed and at peace.  I have driven, fed, bathed, supervised, entertained, been captive audience; I have cooked and cleaned, held, tickled, scolded, nagged, teased, cajoled, instructed, enforced, loved, loved, loved, and now I sit here in this space inbetween them both and I watch the clock.

In 14 minutes we will be in the car, in the dark, in the cold, on our way away from this day of love and reconnection, speeding onward to break apart again all that we built up in these few hours.  These last minutes go too quick - they each need their own space to process that our day is done and that separation lies in wait.  I can't help them except to offer that space, that safe space, the love that endures the separateness and the separating. 

I hate these fleeting last minutes - it is hell, a tick tock tick tock tick tock hell. 

Friday, October 15

Holding Love

When my first child was born, I was enamored with her ears.  They were the perfect little pink seashells in exactly the right place.  They were so fragile looking, so tender, and so beautiful.  I love many things about my girl, she is all grown up now and yet her ears still remain one of my favorite parts of her - she is a good listener, she hears people.

When my second child was born, it was his hands that I marveled over.  He had these amazingly big mitts! It reminded me of the way in which you can guesstimate how big a puppy will be by their big floppy feet.  My boy had BIG hands. Granted, he was a 9.5lb baby, and his hands were in proportion to the rest of him, but still - I looked at those hands and could imagine how big and strong he'd be; like his daddy.  I imagined the love he'd hold in those hands, the gentleness in them when he was grown. He's just a boy still, a large thrumming teen catapulting his way through these years on his way to adulthood and his hands have been everything I'd imagined so far - as well as few things I hadn't.

When my youngest arrived, everything about her was petite, tiny, a perfect package in exquisite detail.  I loved her hands too - her fingers were so elegant, long and graceful, each finger perfectly formed.  On the cusp of adolescence now, her hands are gentle and soft, still beautiful and long fingered, and always outward reaching.

In elementary school one year, my two youngest made these glass dishes formed partly by their hand imprints:

 They were so beautiful! I cherished them and kept them safe in a curio cabinet. 

These days though I have them sitting right out on my dresser.  They often hold the bits and peices of my days: earrings, pennies, paperclips, a guitar pick... the things from my pocket or my bedside table that I scoop up and deposit there. 

And now they hold the love that I tripped over...

Funny how things work out sometimes, isn't it?

Love, Mia

Saturday, October 9

Love Rocks

It was in May, warm and sunny and it was his 14th birthday. 

The year before had been mid-chaos and fractured, but I was still living at home and though there was very little in the way of communication between my husband and I, we'd managed to pull together a little party of sorts for the all important Thirteenth Birthday.  A few special friends playing basketball in the driveway, plugging in the amp and rockin out on the guitar in the late afternoon spring air, burgers and dogs on the grill, the gift of using an adult friends music studio to have a mini-jam session, and then sundaes and PS2. 

This year was different. How could I make his special day "special" when I wasn't even there?  I'm the mom - so I did what I could.  I spent my car payment on his gift: a used Ibenez Acoustic he'd be sure to love, all set with pickups and gone over in fine detail first. We baked and decorated a cake, piled picnic foods in a cooler, and drove the 70 miles to pick him up. 

Our new version of family: my now-14 year old boy, my youngest girl only 12, my grown up girl of 20 who had come home from across the US to live with me briefly, and me. We drove to a favorite hiking place and ate our picnic, blew out candles on the cake, and listened to my boy play his new guitar while sitting on a huge boulder in the middle of a beautiful park. Then we hiked.

In the past, my son had leapt and scampered and dare-deviled his way through the trails and this time was no different but one brief moment found us walking side by side, quietly.  I tripped, not an unusual thing, and we bent to see what (if anything) I had stumbled over.  My son held my arm for support as I bent over to peer at the ground.  I tripped over this:

An ordinary rock?  It seemed to be, but still I chose to dig it free from the ground and to our amazement, this is what I found in my hand:      

I tripped over love.