thread

I went a different direction this year for Lent and chose to give up wishing my life was any other way than it is. As I wrote last time, chronic dissatisfaction has been my greatest temptation in this last season. So any time I have a thought about how it could be or might be or should be or would be, I just give it up. One thing that's shown up for me so far is the ability to get present to my gratitude for how rich and beautiful my life actually is. I don't think I've been able to see that very clearly this last little while.

Just this morning, I was watching Amelia delight in her bubble bath and I was waking up to who she is--my dream come true. The longing for children that so many of us experience just burst into my awareness, immediately followed by the soothing joy of that longing fulfilled. Amelia is the unique companion that I've always desired. My friends, my husband, my parents have never been the ones to walk through life hand-in-hand with me, observing all I see from knee-level. No one else has been small, trusting her life to my big-ness as she slips her miniature hand into the large grip of mine.

Now that she's two, Amelia-initiated cuddles are like endangered species who show up in very selective times and places. One of these times is the post-bath ritual. After draining her tub, my daughter wants her towel (the kind with the hood--this is very important) wrapped around her and she wants to be held by one of us--but we must be standing up. In this posture alone will she settle into the kind of long embrace that was the very ecology of her infancy. Today I was swaying side-to-side with the music, and she nestled her head into my chest. Then came the long blinks, as though she were contemplating a nap. Don Peris' gentle voice serenaded us:
Hold me now and do not let me go
Hold me now and do not let me go
I don't think the world could live without you
I don't think the world would last for long
Hold me now and do not let me go
The instrumental began and her eyes woke up. "Hear the drums?" She asked me. I told her I heard them, and she squinted her eyes tight and laughed for the rest of the song.

I told Justin the other day, "I recognize this season now. I've been here before. It's Humpty Dumpty time, when I'm broken to pieces and feel like I get reassembled again." I still felt sharply dismantled when I said that, but this morning felt like a thread of healing was poking through the rubble.