Last month we were in California and I want to remember how my daughter could not walk anywhere; running…always. I want to remember how she came to me for water at the beach, grabbed the bottle and then bolted back to the sand castle build, the water bubbling over her knuckle-less hands.
I want to remember how the boy child walked on the perpetual diagonal, on account of the fact that he is always noticing. Frequently (like every fifteen minutes at least) he would walk directly in front of us (or anyone really); There is no time to waste time on curved lines! So much to SEE! So much to DO!
I want to remember how, when racing to the bus, the boy on the diagonal and the girl who moves too fast crossed paths and the smaller one went spiralling into a metal pole. I want to remember how the bigger one, before he even fully felt his own pain, threw himself on top of her, begging for forgiveness, looking for the wound. I want to remember how she blamed the pole – so she would not have to blame the boy who can’t go only ever forward. I want to remember her fierce loyalty, his extreme compassion.
I want to remember her laugh on the scariest roller coasters. His thankfulness that a ride was closed so that he could get away from the noise and take a walk on a peaceful trail.
I want to remember how he has closed his door a bit since we got home, needing some space and quiet. I want to remember how she cannot sleep alone since returning to her bed; how she is lonely when we aren’t right in her face. I want to remember how our time for her and our space for him help them thrive.
She is the zig to his zag and they will be, their entire lives, on a collision course. And so we teach them how to be peacemakers. The hard work of picking up your person when you have ground them into dust. We will teach them to listen for intent, and to look past action into the heart. We will instruct them how, to never, turn another person into a one-dimensional character and to ALWAYS assume the best.
These days are strange ones. The kids are away right now. Gone to camp. We are in a new phase of parenting; it hit sudden. My son is no baby. My daughter no infant. They help the small kids now. They are becoming the big cousins. I sent them into a store by themselves. They pack their own lunches. They bathe themselves. But still, they always ask me to read just. one. more. chapter.
We are in an intense season of change. I’ve quit a job I’ve had for fifteen years. I am learning the dialect of a brand new culture….began a new career. I am looking back a lot these days, it is strange when a door that important slams shut. I am thinking about the path that led me to here, the lessons I have learned, the things I need to unlearn from the past. I am trying to learn in my new context, who zigs, and who zags and who are the ones I can trust. I am learning new things about myself and what I am going to need. I am taking the time to notice….
So…is this blog still on? Are you still there?