Things I Love.
Always, I've been writing. For as long as I can remember the way that words sound and feel and pound so heavily against my soul when they are togethertogethertogether in just those right ways has taken my breath away. Nothing has taken my breath away like writing until I became a mother, and now I get to write about being a mother. And the combination is breathless.
A few days ago I was walking in a parking lot and there were these flakes of sharp snow shooting down so urgently that I felt like if I looked straight up it would sting my eyes. But it was so tempting that I did look straight up, and the snowflakes shot down like daggers. But they were soft peaceful daggers and for one sliver of a second I was taken back to this moment when I was 16.
There was a rainy night when I was 16. And it was summer, steamy, and about 2 in the morning. It started to rain and there was an urgency to be outside. I wanted to see it and feel it so badly I sneaked out on to the porch. I felt like I was doing something wrong. “Sneaking out.” Even though I was just on the porch. I remember everything, every thought and every feeling, I remember the sound that the heavy front door made when I turned the lock and pulled the handle as slowly as I could to creak that huge door open. And I remember how I sat with my bare 16 year old legs hanging out into a rain storm on this front stoop that my dad and I had molded ourselves out of wet cement. I remembered it being calm. Warm. I remember feeling connected with life and God and everything I was supposed to be connected with. I remember feeling transformed. And then I remember racing back up the steps to my 16 year old room to write about it.
So a few days ago when I was in a parking lot, squinting up at these darting snowflakes and remembering this powerful moment, I had to scour my archives to find what I had written about it so many years ago. It took about an hour, but I finally hunted it down. It was from June 30th, 2003. A time when I didn’t believe in capitalization and I wasn’t really in to punctuation or spell check either. But this is it, verbatim.
”when seen from the right perspective, rain looks like sparks falling from the sky. i experianced this for myself last night and i was blown away. sitting on my porch with my legs hanging out on the uncovered cement, i was so tempted to move them from getting soaked but i couldnt. i leaned back and stared at the sky begging god for passion and inspiration, it was then i noticed how the rain didnt look like rain, the rain didnt look like water, the water danced like light. a sparking firecracker was showering me and all i could feel was cold dew, not pain. i winced, and expected the droplets to hurt, but they didnt, yet i still anticipated them just the same. it was brilliant outside, two in the morning, and indescribable, though i wish i could. during my morning moment of rain i felt nostalgic, and found its synonym to be bittersweet, so bittersweet.”
During that rainstorm I was begging God for passion and inspiration and I was begging so hard I could taste it. And I think I remember it so vividly because I've been begging ever since. But I took a few pictures of a sunset recently, and it was beautiful, just like the summer rainstorm and the darting snowflakes in the parking lot, and it really made me wonder what I've been begging for. Because really, I have all I need.
That night on the porch I wanted passion and inspiration. And I am so, so lucky, because this is what I got:
I got babies. And I love babies. I love the sound of babies. I love the love creaks that they make. When I sneak into Teebs' room to put away his warm, folded laundry and his breathing and soft raspy sighs fill the darkness of his room---those are love creaks. His moans and sighs and roaming vocal chords with their barely there snores. And when I open a dresser drawer too quickly and it stirs him from his sleep and he raises his still asleep head to try and see me, so groggily…I love that.
I love the way babies smell. I love the ways boys smell. I love how I can scuff my nose across the top of a baby head and whiff in this overwhelming scent of softness, Spring, and goodness. I love that. I couldn’t love that any stronger if I tried.
I love the way Bub says “mommy.” Like it is a slur of mushy love. Just a mesh of one slammed together syllable. There is one mushy “mommy” in every single sentence. He doesn’t care how many times he’s said it, it still belongs there every time. I love it. I love not being able to wait until I have two boys that can say it at the same time, in the same way.
And I have people. Everywhere. I love the people I have around me. Tom and my family and Tom’s family. I love knowing that wherever I am there these people in every direction believing in me, often more genuinely than I believe in myself.
I have a house brimming with babies and a husband. And I love the work that I do in this house. I love the trail of toys and feeling like I'm the only person in the world who really knows the right place for them to be put away. I love the sense of completeness that comes with a tidied house at the end of the night, or the power of knowing when is the right night for the messes to wait until morning.
I love the look on these boys' faces when I really make a delicious meal, or when I don't and we get to laugh about it. And I love the look on my face when I say so discreetly, almost under my breath, I'm not in the mood for cooking, let's go out to eat.
And the laundry. I love clean laundry and an empty laundry room. I love waiting all day for Tom to get home so I can beam while I say "Guess what! Everybody has fresh sheets tonight!" And I'm giddy about it, because I truly, truly love what I do.
It's not all good, it's really not. And there are days when I am a hideous and mean, just an ugly version of myself. But still these moments always bring me back, reminding me of what I really need and what I really have.
Nine years ago I begged for anything to inspire me, fill me with passion. Though it's not what I expected, I can not imagine being any more inspired or any more passionate than I am right now. Everyday, if I look hard enough, there are still bare-legs-in-warm-rain moments everywhere. Sometimes in snowy parking lots, other times in sunsets, but mostly just in every nook of space in our home with our babies.
And I couldn't possibly love that any stronger if I tried.
Read more at www.bubandteebs.com