I was snuggling Theo in his bed last night. Pure treasure time. Time when we can talk about anything; time when we talk about everything.
He told me more about solar powered panels for speakers (mostly all he talks about these days), we chatted about his room makeover and the possibility of a new comforter (NBA inspired) and a new reading chair. And then he paused and asked me if I would get the pillow potion - a new aromatherapy blend we started using this week to help him fall asleep (he has a hard time falling asleep).
I left and returned with a soft cloth dotted with the essential oil blend and draped it over his headboard, and snuggled back in next to him. Lying on his side with his head propped up in the triangle shape of his arm and hand, he began a conversation that is still with me this morning. A conversation that seeped into every bit and piece of me.
We started studying similes, he said. You know what similes are, right, Mom? And we started writing poetry. I started working on a poem about a doughnut today. I know you like to read poetry. I was thinking about you.
I know you like to read poetry. I was thinking about you. Every bit and piece of me.
We talked about poetry some more and he shared a funny story about his teacher from earlier in the day. The aromatherapy beginning to work its magic - on both of us.
Alright, I said, it's time to go to sleep. But first, would you like me to read a poem to you? Sure, he said.
I drifted down the hallway and plucked the book from the shelf, no hesitation. I returned and snuggled him again, adjusted his little reading light my way.
This poem is beautifully well used. I can almost recite it by heart.
Every bit and piece of me.
Who made the world?
Who made the swan, and the black bear?
Who made the grasshopper?
This grasshopper, I mean-
the one who has flung herself out of the grass,
the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,
who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down-
who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes.
Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.
Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.
I don't know exactly what a prayer is.
I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down
into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass,
how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,
which is what I have been doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn't everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?
A dream, anxiety, and the train's whistle woke me in the middle of the night. I looked around the room bathed in moonlight. I felt sweaty, anxious. I had been dreaming of Theo and Sully. The baby Theo that wore an Obama for President onesie and a helmet. The Sully that had long, silky, blonde curls and toddled around in a Grateful Dead tee. That tee. 2 T. And the Beatles All You Need is Love shirt, soft and red. I dreamt of that, too.
This happens occasionally. These clear visions of them when they smelled like apricots and honey. When I can still palpate every chubby fold, run my fingers over every soft crease, see their smiles and hear their screams. Remember that? All those nights of feeling tissue paper thin - the soul version of me that floated between rooms sssshhhiing bad dreams and smoothing damp foreheads while the human form of me remained asleep. I am absolutely certain now that women live between the worlds, especially when mothering. Because I was just between those veils again last night, only more solid now, less papery.
The train whistle, still. Sweaty. Heart beating fast. They are fast asleep, no need to worry. And I am not worried. I am sad. Sweaty. Why does it all have to go by in a flash? Theo will be ten next month. He's already on the 44 days until my birthday countdown. His birthday wish list sits next to my espresso machine. Ten? I miss the version of him in that Obama onesie so deeply that I... well, everything swells into heartache when I linger there. But this version of him now - he's amazing. He has such a thinking brain and inquisitive heart. He's a joy to have conversation with. He creates the best playlists on Spotify and wants solar panels to power his portable speaker so that he can ride around with it on his bike this summer. Sullivan has like no top teeth right now and I swear on my life, it's the cutest damn thing I've ever seen. I stare at the hills and crevices of his gummy pink mouth these days, solidifying every bit of it to my mama-DNA, as I do each and every thing about my boys that makes me feel gratitude and happiness unlike anything else.
Time is important.
Moonlit glimpses into all that is.
I am memorizing my boys. I am learning motherhood by heart. I want to remember it all.
It has been a very long time since I was last here. But let's not begin there. Let's begin right here, right now...
I am sitting on the floor in my new bedroom. I am sitting in a slant of light with a cup of creamy espresso and milk. I am looking out the sliding glass doors - a giant flood of glass which lets in the light - blue sky right now and two finches playing. I think I hear a whistle, but perhaps it's just my heart, shocked - not because I have allowed myself the chance to sit down and take pause, but because I have allowed myself the chance to remember my password - to log in - to write. I also dusted off the password to my photo account and uploaded this image I took of Theo this past weekend. December Morning. Or maybe I should title it: (not so simply) Theo, age 9, in love with reading novels, growing up way too fast for my heart to keep up with the beat of his, and what has this country come to, and oh - my heart aches when I think too far ahead these days, and oh....
What this really is, my people, is the start of something new. I am writing and self-publishing a book. I have had this idea for years. Now is the time. Coming here first to settle in felt right...
And let's just kitchen sink this post!
A few things I've been cooking and loving lately:
This soup. My boys love it.
This soup. We couldn't get enough.
This Pinterest board where I'm pinning inspiration for our new home, because I love a good design project (or 20).
And this book.
And this book.
Lastly, these words that resonate deeply with me these days.
This too shall pass.
walk the earth.