My kiddoes reveal their high drama gene

They totally inherited this from their Daddy.

Rachel and Prairie don’t come into until around the 1 minute mark.  They are on the far right, Prairie in a skirt and hair is braided.  Rachel takes a few seconds longer to come out from behind curtain. She is wearing pants and her red hair is bouncing everywhere.  Lincoln runs out on stage with the guitar near the very end.

St. Jude checks 3 of my 4 kids

Three-fourths of my children posing long and skinny outside St. Jude Hospital.  Their scans looked good.

We are so thankful for the people actively doing the work to cure childhood cancer, from the hospital employees to volunteers to strangers to family and friends who donate to the cause.  Y’all are the embodiment of our hope, the hands that carry us and other St. Jude families.

dna model

Infinite Christmas

Relaxed around the Christmas table, warm, replete,

all the time in the world to think of bigger things,

we are the privileged ones.

“There are different kinds of Infinity,” my son said.

His brother’s face reflects my own disbelief.

But isn’t Infinity infinity?

Eager, my son jumped up and drew a number line on the dining room chalkboard.

“The Infinite set of all numbers between zero and one

is larger than the Infinite set of all whole numbers,” he insisted.

How can this be?

Surely it is impossible,

a definite boundary,

the boundary beginning with zero and ending in one,

is no boundary at all.

It is both and.

.

.

I like to think that Love is Infinite.

At least some Love is, the cynical part of me whispers, but

Other people hoard something they call Love, yet . . .

Are there different kinds of Love?

That boundary I find impossible to scale,

that wall I build between me and the other,

can Love expand, fill it up and move beyond,

a limitlessness existing within imposed limits?

Easier to understand what is finite, within lines, boxed, defined.

We are primed to expect scarcity —

The beginning and ending of a life,

the last brownie in the pan,

a few dollars in the bank account,

Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches in a terrarium,

laughing together as we pull mystery gifts from stockings,

this is what we know.

 

We speak of Infinity and Love

as if they can be defined and explained.

We do the same with Truth

and Paradox.

My tongue cannot speak of these things,

my lips unable to form their shape,

They are beyond the veil

but I divine their presence,

an umbilical cord connecting me to

Whom I came from,

 

who confined Himself to flesh and blood,

to the margins of zero and one,

yet human life could not restrain

Her

He showed Herself to be

Infinity, Love, Truth, Paradox

with a beating heart, dusty feet, gentle hands,

a tired sigh,

so ordinary to the naked eye

with the vibrations of extraordinary

for the attuned ear.

 

This is also what I know —

If my Love feels small and limited,

let’s say that on a scale of 0 to 10,

I feel caught between zero and one.

And yet,

perhaps,

maybe

my stingy, narrow Love

is also boundless and all-encompassing,

as beyond comprehension

as Infinity between zero and one.

 

There is a luxury

in never getting angry, never showing emotion

a privilege of the powerful one,

the one who treads upon,

who has never been underfoot

 

But the one with the foot on her throat

must get angry to fight

or slowly suffocate,

fight to be heard while

the devout one cuts off her oxygen,

lungs straining to supply logic and words

to her brain

 

Her anger, indignation, sorrow

is judged emotional,

drama,

a lack of control

her own damn fault

for not being content

to find a comfortable spot under the shoe

 

She is shamed for not appreciating

the kindly smile and loving way he

corrects her,

for making him feel uncomfortable

with her struggle to breathe.

 

It is exhausting

this struggle to simply be,

this hope of living in love

when there are so many eager feet,

so many vulnerable necks

 

So much security cultivated by controlling another person’s inhale and exhale.

December Snowfall 2018

These are the days of . . .

snow hanging heavy on the trees

wrapping up on the couch with a blanket

catching up on my reading

nothing but the sound of kids laughing

breaking the cold, damp winter silence

 

These are the days of . . .

lights cutting off, the hum of the refrigerator falling silent

A different silence falling on the house

And the kids jumping into a game of bananagrams

waiting on the one who is missing, my eldest, to return home

from far away, with good news

waiting on another good news

 

This is the time . . .

for a lot of waiting

What else can one do with 13 inches of snow blanketing the house

and trees down across the driveway?

But wait, breathing in hope, breathing out fears

 

A Beautiful Life

my husband hanging a self-built bat house on the side of our deck, for temporary testing and observation

a daughter making raw carrot cupcakes, carrots never tasted so good

another daughter dropping a kiss on my cheek for no reason

teen brothers working in the kitchen, washing and cutting potatoes, dropping them into a large pot for boiling

all 6 of us around the table holding hands, praying Grandpa’s prayer “Thank you God. Amen.”

while at the table, *reading aloud about Enneagram number 1 (The Perfectionist), kids laughing, giving me knowing looks as I describe a One coming unglued over an inappropriately loaded dishwasher.  I am not a Perfectionist, but haphazard dishwasher loading will make me sigh, or quietly curse, or grump.

After supper, I see . . .

a son pushing the lawnmower while another son weedeats

a daughter coming outside, asking “Are you having fun planting your trolls, Mama?  Do you need any help?”  I give her the shovel, she digs while I drop in small celosia — deep red, fuchsia, orange, yellow

air dimming, colors and shapes muting

“Look at the sky, Mama,” a peach brushstroke against fading baby blue

fireflies drift, bats dart, we stand under the bat house, looking up, hoping

“I’ve heard that when bats come home to roost . . .” Sid says, sounding like a wise man uttering prophecy, “a whole bunch of them swoop to the bat house at once, all of them trying to fit inside that small hole.”  We laugh, imagining the sight and sound of bats pummeling the little wood house, like a Looney Tunes cartoon.  We stand there a little longer, looking up, hoping

Later, heading toward bed, I see . . .

my 3 teenagers and 1 almost teen, sitting around the kitchen table, chatting, laughing, the girls painting old turtle shells found in the woods, doing nothing really but enjoying being together, each loving the company of the other

 

 

This writing is my turning around, changing the way I see the world, pulling my heart from the pit of dread and despair (just call me Eeyore), and focusing on the Good.

Inspired by Erin’s post Small Step No. 17:  Say What You See at Design for Mankind

.

* The Road Back to You:  An Enneagram Journey to Self-Discovery, Ian Cron and Suzanne Stabile