Thursday, August 17, 2017

Just Another Day

One night at dinner Devin was discussing his research.  I consider myself a fairly intelligent person with some skill at maintaining basic conversation but I will admit that sometimes when he gets particularly science-y, it's hard for all of us at the table to stay focused.  We try so hard though.

This night in particular, Heather was struggling.  She said in a low voice to me, "What is he even talking about?"

I caught Devin's eye as I responded, "He is telling us about something exciting that happened at work today."

Then I noticed the four blank little faces staring at me from their various positions around the table, and knowing that we would lose all four of them soon, I said, "Listen carefully, he is talking about Shopkins!"

(We don't actually own any Shopkins, so I'm not sure why this was the choice of toy that my brain came up with, but from the looks on their faces, it was going to work.)

Having satisfied them into silence again, and after watching their heads swivel back toward Devin, they seemed ready to give him another shot at being interesting.

Devin resumed his science talk.

A few minutes later a frustrated Hanna interrupted him.  "This doesn't sound anything like Shopkins."

These girls are never going to have to study for any chemistry test, ever, if they digest the words their daddy says at the dinner table.

If only.


One day, Hanna was telling me about her day, and a friend at school that she likes to talk to at recess.

"What do you guys talk about?"  I asked her, because I am really good at this mom thing.

"Um..."  she hesitated, thinking it over.  I tried to prompt her, "sunshine and flowers?" I suggested.

There was no response.  I waited for a moment, then tried again.  "Which boy is the cutest?"

This time the reaction was swift and severe.  Immediate shrieks and giggles broke out in the backseat.

I gave it my best interpretation and concluded, "So... you guys don't talk about boys?"

Hanna put on a very serious face, and used her strongest I'm A Big Kid voice.  "Mom, dad is the cutest boy for you!"  Each word was emphatically stated to remind me of this Very Important Truth.

"Oh, sure I know that." I reassured her.  "Daddy is definitely my favorite cute boy.  But, what do you think about boys?"

"Mom," she began, her voice clearly showing evidence of the strain it was for her to remain patient with me as she tried to explain.  "Cute boys are for falling in love."

"Hm, yes." I agreed, as she continued.

"And so!" her words were crisp and clear, she was not risking me getting confused again about this topic.  "if we talk about cute boys too much then we might think we are in love with them.  AND I," each word was now punctuated with importance, and my mom ears were perked and ready, "am. not. ready. for THAT. yet!"

I kind of wanted to give that speech a standing ovation.  "You are so right about that! Plenty of time."

My prayers were extra grateful that night.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

To Africa

Sometimes the world is tiny
as a hand
wrapped around a finger
and sometimes vast
as oceans, stars, and words
left unsaid: unspoken - unheard.
Hugging you now
I am caught
somewhere in between.
Squeezing you tightly
is never tight enough
to let you know
how much of my world you fill.
And holding you close
the clock is already
pulling you away
from me.
I do not know how
to let go
of you.
So I whisper
"I love you"
one more time.
But it cannot be said
Cannot be heard
In all the ways
I mean it.
It is that distance
between hearing and meaning
that crushes me
almost more than
the newly incomprehensible
distance of oceans
I love you - do you hear it
I love you - can you know it?
(Whatever you need from my love,
take it.
Strength, support, serenity.
It is yours on this adventure.)
I hold you tight
One last time
Then breathing slow
I somehow let go.

All their bags are packed, they're ready to go.

I feel really grateful to have had this summer full of memories with her.  Can't wait to visit her in Africa and make more.