Thursday, July 17, 2014

Swirl. Noise. World. Spinning.

In the moment when my seven-year-old son ran into the room full of knitting Ethiopian ladies excitedly exclaiming "Moooom!" as I scooped him up in a hug even though he's way too leggy for that these days, we were on display.  The room was packed.  There was a summertime energy in the air with the door and windows open, and I know that the knitting Ethiopian ladies were not the ones excitedly yelling my name.

There was conversation to the three new ladies about who this kid was who had his arms and legs wrapped around me.  I don't like feeling on display but I also know that I would write about this more except currently my house is full of the noise of the Disney pandora station, my kids cleaning the kitchen and discussing the little they know about World War 2.

Then I'll brush and brush and brush and brush my hair...wondering when my life begin?...lights will appear just like they do on my birthday each year, what is it like out there where they ... dishwasher loaded.... "Mother actually doesn't know best in that movie, you know, because that's not really her mother--it's a witch. Mom, is Tarzan really popular? So that's why there's so many songs that keep coming up...Mom, you usually really cry in this song..."

I will be here don't you cry.  Cause you'll be in my heart...from this day on now and forever more.

Lump.  Throat.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

The Best Thing Ever Written About Adoption

She likes the word mother and all the complications it brings.  She isn't interested in true or birth or adoptive or whatever other series of mothers there are in the world.  Gloria was her mother.  Jazzlyn was too.  They were like strangers on a porch, Gloria and Jazzlyn, with the evening sun going down: they were just sat there together and neither could say what the other one knew, so they just kept quiet, and watched the day descend.  One of them said good night, while the other waited.

                                                                                  --Colum McCann in Let the Great World Spin

Monday, July 14, 2014

The thick middle

I hear that old 10,000 Maniacs song "These Are the Days" in my head a lot of the time.  Maybe it's that the summer so far has allowed us time to slow down in the best possible way with no hard schedules to follow, but I seem more aware than usual lately that I'm living the rich middle years of life where we pour out the best of ourselves to those in our orbit who depend on us showing up every day.  We show up whether we feel like it or not, and most days I feel like it though not always.

I keep having moments lately that often center around our front porch.  There is early evening soft light and a lot of green.  Perfect temperature.  Warm, not too hot.  Windows open.  The dog at my feet and the kids playing on the block somewhere.  I have a glass of cold tea with little to no ice.  A book.  Last was The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry and now nearing the end of Let the Great World Spin, a book that swallows me up, leaving my head in a fog (the best kind).

I feel self-conscious about the French housemate seeing my box of savignon blanc from Target.  Maybe she's judging me, maybe not.  She just sits there at our dining room table with her library book and cup of tea, in her long skirt and black tank-top, hair pulled in a loose ponytail at the nape of her neck, being all beautiful and French.  I taught her last month how to pronounce the word 'banjo' with a nasal /a/ sound because seriously, she was pronouncing it so horribly that we couldn't understand her.  She rides her bike around town, sitting with perfect posture on her borrowed fixed-gear bike and she goes on long runs and she bakes Brazilian breakfast rolls with cheese so delicious and chewy that my head was spinning.

I must remember these things because the middle years don't last forever.