Monday, October 21, 2013

It's All a Little Better Now

It's 8:31 and I'm toying with going to bed, which means I'll probably get under the covers soon, read Bon Appétit, write in my journal, make some lists about tomorrow, think about cracking open the Bonhoeffer autobiography, text with Lindsay a few times because it will be pre-dinner making in her time zone, come down stairs for a glass of water, get back under the covers, make another list, probably about Christmas (seriously, I've started.  I love-hate that) or my brother's birthday party. And then it will be 11 and I'll be cursing myself for staying up so long.  This is pretty much how it goes every single night, and then it's 5AM, and Maeve is wide awake in America.

What do they say the definition of insanity is, repeating the same action and expecting different results?  Well, my "attempts" at being rested may fall into that category...

{oh, I should qualify that Ben is out, which is why there is no mention of him at all -- usually we do talk to each other, in case there was concern}

Today was a day of stuff: car that will barely start + really want sweet coffee = left the car running in the parking lot (for fear that it wouldn't start again if I cut the engine) and went in to order a a mocha with caramel drizzle (...) While there, the pediatrician whose office is in that same parking lot called to say I was, unbeknownst to me, supposed to be at their office.  SO, I left my car running longer and walked over to the doctor's where she told me that, yes, as I could tell from the lack of crying, fever, and sleeplessness, Maeve is better.  Thank you.  Next time I will ditch the $20 follow up... Gladly, my car was still running in the parking lot when I came out {small congratulations to the people who resisted the obscene temptation to drive off with a perfectly fine car} so I drove to the body shop to explain the starting problem and tell them it sounds an unplugged robot winding down each time I turn it off.  On the way home (in another car) I found a witch's broom for $2.99, some fluorescent tights with tiny witches flying on them for my big witch to wear, and orange and green hair spray.

Then I stopped.  Maeve napped for what felt like two days, and I sat on my bed.  Last fall I spent a lot of each day sitting on my bed nursing Maeve.  I watched leaves of the hundred year old oak trees change from green to yellow to golden against the bright flat blue skies, and listened to Ben and the kids raking, swinging, playing below.

Today we had that kind of sky, and wind whirled the leaves.

I almost can't remember those days of sitting on my bed with someone so small.  What did she sound like?

A friend just posted this on Facebook: "Pick up the nearest book, turn to page 45.  The first sentence explains your love life."  There is no book to be seen near me.  Bowl of edamame? Yes.  Eden's asthma chart?  Yes.  Pumpkins and gourds?  Yes.  Napkins, bulbs to plant, a tub of markers, school folders, a bottle of wine, a bottle of bubbles, some mail? Yes.  No book.  Oh! one book! shoved under Silas's homework folder.  I picked it up and turned to page 45:  "Who are you?"

I laughed -- I'm glad that does not explain my love life!

But then I thought.

Sometimes when people are so close to me, so in the thick of the every day, so familiar, I forget how utterly mysterious and other they are.  Today sitting on my bed was kind of about that.  After a morning of maintaining -- cars, children, caffeine desires, Halloween wishes -- I got to sit and remember mystery.  Sunday at the church we were visiting, each 2nd grader was given a Bible in front of the congregation.  The moment was personal and sweet -- they clearly knew each kid.  2nd grade Silas sitting two seats away from me (anger distance) was devastated to be sitting with us instead of standing with the kids -- an insult to the injury that we are visiting churches in the first place.  So today, I wrote him a long letter in the cover of a Bible that I "presented" to him tonight.  In that letter I wrote about mystery, God's mystery in the midst of all we learn, the mystery of the man Silas will be, the mystery of a book that's written Spirit to spirit.  Mystery.

So here at the end of the day, "who are you?" may actually be a good question for my love life -- another invitation to step back and look again.


mary bonner said...

lovely, funny and spirit-provoking as always, bronwen.

page 45 of my nearest book says: "the stench inside the house was of billy goats, dead mice, and unaired emotions." yikes! i burst out laughing and immediately got another book: "the hours fly." true enough. third-nearest book says: "we reach then into reality."

somewhere in the meeting of these three sentences is, i guess, some truth about my heart...and maybe about life after eight years of marriage.

Bronwen said...

Mary Bonner! I love to see you here! Your message prompted me to pick up the nearest 4 books and turn to page 45 -- all unexpected, but it feels like cracking a code.
I think of you often now that Silas and Eden are the ages when we knew each other -- lots of little things trigger memories of eating honey roasted peanuts in the basement with the green and zebra rugs, watching parent trap (which they now love). Sweet. xo

mary bonner said...

oh my gosh, the honey roasted peanuts! i had forgotten about those. (although parent trap continues to be one of my top movies of all time).

hard to believe that silas and eden are that big already...and that you are back in DC! it must be so good to be near your family. i miss that town. california is lovely but the fall always makes me ache for the east coast.

your blog is really wonderful. it inspires on many levels, and i'm grateful. rock on. xox