Every night when we go to bed, we carry our kids to their beds from ours, where they always fall asleep just after reading books. We know they will fall back into our bed with us sometime between 10pm and 7am. But for those two to ten hours, we have that entire Queen all to ourselves. Well, and our dog and one or two cats curled among limbs.
I went to log into my blog over the weekend and couldn’t remember my password. It’s been a while since I’ve been here. But I certainly didn’t think it’d take me a good bit to remember how to login. I changed my password almost a year ago when wordpress told me I had to. I know it was almost a year ago because it was the day after Alice died. And on that gray, cold day I changed my password to include the date of her passing.
At night, after I carry Margot across the hall, I place her feet on the ladder to the top bunk. It has been six months since the last time I would ever carry her with one arm and climb the ladder to place her up there. It was literally one single, warm night when I just couldn’t muscle it any longer. Now, she, half-awake, ascends the ladder with me steadying her from below saying I got you baby. Night. Love you.
Ruby is easier, mostly because she’s on the bottom bunk but also because she has just a bit of baby left in her. No matter how awkward the carry position is, her frame sinks against mine like the stars find their place in a constellation.
We leave our door cracked all night because if we don’t, Sam leans his claws into the wood to voice his disapproval. Sam is our 17-year old cat whom we’ve had since he was a kitten. He chooses to sleep with us every night but likes to know he can get out if he wants to.
We went to a college football game last Saturday with my in-laws. At this game, I was one of 25,000 people who wanted a distraction, who wanted to have fun and focus on the things we love about this life. For me, this had absolutely nothing to do with football. For me, I was lifted by our collective ability to breathe and collective craving for contentment, purpose, fulfillment, love and health. I was thoughtful about our crowd of people. The trust and vulnerability, the blood pumping through our hearts. And, what if.
Several times I drew in a deep breath and pushed a prayer out to those hurting in Paris and Beirut and all over our planet. I drew in a breath and pushed love at my family and my present moment of frivolity. The contrasting feelings felt uncomfortable and human.
“The moment you replace a memory of love with a memory of terror is the moment you lose hope. Don’t become swallowed up by fear. Don’t let this act of terror redefine your past experiences or your hopes for the future.” I love these words by Rachel Brathen (@yoga_girl on instagram). Hope and love. I chose to contribute to this world’s population, the next generation. I sometimes feel concerned, holding my breath against certain realities.
I am hopeful. I am full of love.
Sometime around the football game’s halftime, as the wind howled out of Hellgate Canyon and we all leaned into each other for warmth, a ladybug landed on my chest. She told me to focus on living and loving and the that the beautiful little things are not petty. They are supremely important. She climbed up and down every finger on my hand, so out of place but perfectly placed. She told me to trust people. To believe in goodness, possibility and peace.
Ruby is always the first to rise and shuffle across the hall into our bedroom. She knows that three steps into our room, she can fall forward and our bed will catch her. Andy barely wakes. He lifts the thick down comforter and heavy wool blanket in one stretch and Ruby rolls in. Safe and snug, dedicated to loving and being loved.
She turns six next week. She’s missing two teeth and has two loose teeth. She can scream higher than Mariah, break any record for the wiggliest human, mince garlic as good as any chef and give hugs that melt the world’s hurt. She loves socks that don’t bunch up, books, her sister’s friendship, good bread, piggy backs, tiny containers and playing kittens.
She asked for a nature party. Specifically, she’s dreamed up a scavenger hunt at the river, dancing, spaghetti, salad bar, doggie cake and Santa in attendance.
We left for and returned from our big road trip. It was everything I had hoped: a good mix of planned and spontaneous, with all the real feelings and experiences that naturally surface with travel for a month. I am not yet sure what the sharing of our adventure will look like. I will share some bits and photos here but I have so much in me that I want to write out into many essays. I’d like to write a book about it. I think writing a book is really hard and believe every single author of a book to be so brave and a little bit superhuman. I am currently working on drawing inspiration and courage from them. I did scribble down thoughts in my journal quite often while we traveled. And it felt good. And I’m ok with announcing my idea here even if it takes years or turns into something else entirely. Now I’m rambling and considering deleting this entire paragraph but will leave it. xo