Monday, October 29, 2012


is happening.  So far, it's a big fat rainy day with gusts that bend and wave the towering trees.  I've driven to the post office and my parents' house (neither of which was recommended), hung out with a cluster of men in the neighborhood hardware store, but mostly we've stuck inside.  Ben rigged up a little zip line (we have just over 6' ceilings) in the basement and a swing.  We've done what we can to prepare as Washington expertly panicked around us: yesterday the gas station was out of gas and the grocery stores sold out of water and batteries.  The main road we take to my parents' house has been preemptively shut down for flooding, and the metro and airports are closed.  Schools are closed today and tomorrow, and Halloween is up for grabs.  Our bathtub is full of water just in case.  Margaritas are in the fridge.  We've bought bags of ice and borrowed a cooler to store pumped milk (the single must-save -- liquid freedom).  Our electronics are charged.  The kids are bathed and ready for no hot water.  The outdoor drains are raked and covered in plastic mesh in hopes of saving our basement from an impending flood.  We've been eating out of the freezer -- frozen peas, corn, chicken nuggets and sweet potato fries for lunch today.  We've drawn the curtains in case branches fly at the windows, and that's about what we can do.  Now we're going to have a bed-party in my room with a stack of books while Maeve sleeps in the swing that ran out of batteries yesterday right when the stores did, but my mom refilled today -- huzzah!


Saturday, October 13, 2012

More Maeve

Where We are Now

This week marks the move from honeymoon to transition: when husband's job resurfaces, when mother's life grows bigger than a babe, when adrenaline gives way to exhaustion, when the resolve to fight sloppy emotion flags, when the four year old erupts into strings of meltdowns and wakes screaming in the night and keeps screaming when her dad comes in, when the cheery six year old's eyes spring with instant tears at any thwarted expectation, when, in short, change hits.

Small victories mark the days: Silas's spelling "one" and holding the baby by himself, my picking Eden up from school alone, pumping for the first time (the stash of freedom begins), and remembering gratitude -- for the baby in the house, a person who continues to strike me as impossibly lovely.  That humans arrive so tiny and perfectly complete is brand new all over again.  And for people -- meals continue to arrive on my doorstep, people have picked up diapers at the store, driven S & E to soccer, taken them to the park, thrown laundry into my washer, folded mountains of clothes, emptied the trash...  *thank you*

Fall has ripped through billowy summer and arrived -- the sky yesterday was taut and blue behind yellow leaves, and today wind gusted through the huge trees all day, sending showers of leaves and acorns in the yard.  The air is cool and drying, the dogwoods deep red, and orange seeps into the edges of the sugar maples.  The world is transitioning, too, around us, its wind against our skin.

Saturday, October 06, 2012

Eden. (still articulating this, but words from my journal yesterday)

Eden changed under my hands.  Literally.  She walked into the hospital room two weeks ago as the little Eden I've known, there to meet her new sister.  But when I touched her, she was different -- substantial, solid, a child.  Hers was a new, grown body.

Until that day, she had been Tiny Joye -- our small one.  Then in one day, after only four hours of a newborn in our hands, she suddenly wasn't.

Each day since then, I have marveled at Eden.  Her capability is not surprising.  Her bright chirpy helpfulness I have seen before.  Her lengthening legs we have noticed, stretching before our eyes.  But to touch her -- this is different.  To pull her on my lap, which I guess I haven't properly been able to do for a couple of months, she is BIG.  How did I not see this three weeks ago?

There is nothing "baby" about Eden.  The one shy of seven pounds and floppy-limbed, yes, she is a baby.  Eden, articulate and full of songs, is become something else, the big and the little at once.

Through the weeks, I've heard Ben say it again and again, almost to himself, "you're so big, Eden" -- he can't seem to keep the words from tumbling out.  We are struck.  

She is well named: Eden.  The garden God made when He closed his eyes and imagined the most beautiful place he could -- a place of Shalom, of creative joy expressed, fresh, vivid, sweet-smelling -- Eden.  I imagine that the vibrant beauty would knock us out, that those who lived there must have been surprised again and again by what was given, by how their understanding had been limited.  How could they not live in a constant discovery?

In some way, Eden, you were also born on the first day of Fall, born into a new Light.  We all were, as happens on single days that rearrange our lives as we've known them.  You, my sweet girl, who calls me Mama out of a night fever and let's me hold you and rock away your tears, you have become, once again, new to discover -- and we marvel.

marvel: (v) to be filled with wonder or astonishment
(n) a wonderful or astonishing person or thing
from Old French merveille: wonderful