In a conversation with my 19 year old son today, he told me, “You inspired me . . . ”
I did not hear the words that came after
because my brain latched onto those 3 words
I looked at his sisters and brother,
“Will y’all carve that into my gravestone?” I asked
She once inspired her son.
Feeling vaguely pleased with myself
until I realized that I had rudely stopped
hearing my son, interrupted him even.
Chagrinned, “I’m sorry, you were still talking but I was not listening. ”
He said, “I said that you inspired me to get back to work on building that table for my elements collection.”
She once inspired her son to build something.
I just want to lay in this small puddle of contentment,
happy that in this one breath,
I inspired my child to create,
rather than to fracture or tear down.
At our church last Sunday,
Rachel plays the piano,
Lincoln the cello
Prairie the vocal cords
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,
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
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.
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
Last night, I picked up three of my kids from the youth meeting at a local church. The teachings are conservative, with recent discussions on women under leadership of men and election/predestination. My 12 yo, a self-published author, jumps in the car and says “Mom, I’ve got another idea for a new book.”
“Another book idea ??!!?” I ask jokingly. She has been working on a book sequel, a rebuttal essay on why women can TOO preach, and she writes collaboratively with her sister, Rachel, almost daily.
“Yeah, and I’ve got a title for it,” she continues. “It will be called ‘Liberal Thoughts of a Lady.'”