Thursday, October 25, 2007

"Something's Lost and Something's Gained From Living Every Day"


Once upon a time Craig called from the airport. It was nearly 11:00pm. His arranged ride, a resident getting off a shift around the same time his flight would be landing, couldn't make it for an hour. "Can you wake up the kids and come get me?"


Ummm, maybe a taxi, just take a taxi. Yea, yea. Click. Ugh. Call back, "we're coming." Between protests he agreed.


[Why was my heart dragging through rocks to do this? Here is why: my life's work is getting those kids safely settled asleep in their beds by the end of a day, each day. Don't wince at the strangeness of it: that I feel this is my life's work. Those kids safely settled asleep in their beds by the end of the day means they have been fed properly, they have played, learned, perhaps cried and hurt, I have nurtured them through another day of this life, one step closer to where they are going. Their so soft warm cheeks on the sheets, those still bodies rising-falling, those eyes already swelling with slumber, all this means I have done my job.]


I lifted, like moving fat sleepy kittens, each one from their beds to the car. Each with a cookie, we set off for a midnight ride to collect their Dad. Undoing that day's toil seemed painful, in fact I tired-cried as they giggled giddy in the streetlights, down the freeway, talking night nonsense to eachother tucked in with seatbelts and blankets. What is wrong with me? Why did I do this with a grudge? Why I am only learning barely that we do things or un-do things because we love. To love is to lift your heart out of the rocks where it drags and soar it high where giving yourself is light as air. Why am I only just now beginning to know this? After 30 years?

19 comments:

Jeni said...

29 years...don't embrace the thirty until January.

I had a similar experience yesterday. Aaron left for school as I was feeding Calyn breakfast, both of us in our jammies. He called from our parking lot informing me that his car wasn't starting (it was really cold), and asked if I could drive him to school. I was silent for minute before I said, "Fine." Throwing clothes on and ripping our hungry baby out of her chair to take him to school IS love. Luckily he called a minute later and said, "Nevermind. The car just started." The things we do for the ones we love.

Amy said...

oh, the biting truth of this for me, as well. "We do things or un-do things because we love. To love is to lift your heart out of the rocks where it drags and soar it high where giving yourself is light as air." Yes, I just quoted a big chunk of yourself to yourself, but, oh my, that poetry definitely bears repeating.

Rebecca said...

Beautifully put--it is ALL about love. MOM

Rebecca said...

Beautifully put--it is ALL about love. MOM

rebecca said...

Hello again.
I can't believe you did it, I can't believe you learned from it. I discussed a semblance of this with Jer today through my own tired-tears, trying to explain that the symbol of what I accomplish often represents the closet thing I have to tangibility, some days.

rebecca said...

Oh, and I love the Portland twinkle in your eyes.

Krista said...

This is so touching. Thank you for these amazing thoughts shared.

It's killing my brain trying to remember the song that your title is quoted from though!

Michelle said...

I love this post and have been in that exact circumstance before- me going through the motions grudgingly when I know if the tables were turned I would love the site of my family and I know my other half would do the same job without a grudge. In the end those events make life really beautiful- A quick change of attitude can make a huge difference in the event.

Tanya said...

I feel the same way when I start to harbor resentment for Troy's long work hours and all the "doing" and "undoing" it leaves for me.
As if it's his fault or something...
I'll remember to lift my heart if it starts to sink. Thanks for the reminder!

p.s. you can find that song on radio.blog.

Jordan said...

Krista, it's Joni Mitchell's "Both Sides Now"--and I have it on my sidebar for your listening convenience!

Katy said...

Oh, it's an eternal process that we are all struggling with. Charity is not something easily grasped. I, myself, only catch glimpses of it here and there. You are on the road, though, making progress. Keep it up.

Ann said...

Amen to Katy's comment. Charity, most often, is so unnatural yet it is the most important gift of the spirit.

Shannon said...

I know exactly what you were feeling. You do love.

RT Family said...

What a lovely photo. You seem to be in a wonderful place for 30.

Elizabeth said...

That comment above was me.:)

Krista said...

Thank you! I can't believe I didn't know that. Love that song! I just got Joni's "Blue" album for my birthday, I've had it for years but needed a new copy, the old one was vinyl!

amy m said...

You wrote this so beautifully and I can totally relate, have felt this before.

I think knowing and understand what it is we need to give and how to give it, is a life long journey.

annalisa said...

I needed this post. I let disturbances bother me more than I should, particularly when it disturbs Alexis' schedule. But that is life, the way we deal with the changes.

michelle said...

I would have cried if I had to wake the kids for a midnight drive as well... I loved all of this. The description of getting through the day and getting the kids to bed. The lifting of hearts out of the rocks. Beautiful.