i promised you tulips a while back, & after we got home (from meeting my new nephew!), both the purple bulbs & the yellowy-orange ones had bloomed. hall.le.lu.jah. this is what hope is made of, i tell ya.
my & thalia’s shadows. artsy or silly. . . .you decide.
tulips are my kind of flower, not only because they’re early, they’re pretty, & they’re strong (all things i’d like to be), but also because i can’t screw them up. all this loveliness in my yard & i did nothing. wal-mart did more than i did. the best $7.98 i ever spent, probably.
transition: waiting for tulips is kind of like waiting for a baby. (i couldn’t think of a real way to connect the dots without sounding like a cheesehead, so, there you go.)
meet my first, honest-to-goodness, blood-related nephew, my only brother’s new bean: zachary john.
i’ve been waiting for this sweet little gem for a while. (okay, a decade. since javin was born. it’s alright; i’m unbelievably patient. ha ha.)
leif is already totally down with zachary. he’s the first baby/kid i’ve ever held that leif hasn’t pitched a holy fit over, sidling his way alongside whoever it is taking up his mama.
they’ll be thick, these two. this is the beginning of good things.
isn’t he edible? 7 hours old. mmmmm, fresh baby.
& then after handing zachary back & wishing jay & jen rest, we made our merry way home, buckled in for the grandma hangover (sorry, mom. it’s true & you know it.), & unpacked the swim gear (my parents had come down for zachary’s birth & put us up in a hotel with them (my parents, not jay & jen).).
it was such a beautiful day, so after landing & unloading, i went outside with the kids. before long, leif took my hand & started toward the backyard. i tucked the phone andy & i share into the top of my skirt & followed. then thalia & kieran wandered back to where we were & asked if we could go down to the river. our land doesn’t slope easily to the shoreline, but the neighbor’s does, & the kids love to throw rocks or watch for jumping fish there. after plenty of both & some good, deep river water inhales, i reached down to pick up leif. this is where you’d like to rewind the movie to & hit pause. & stay there. but no: sploosh. i set leif down so fast & immediately jumped in up to my knees. frantic as i was, no amount of feeling around produced my phone. good grief. every rock on the invisible bottom felt smooth & rectangular, like a cell phone. good grief. i scrambled as far in as i dared go before the bottom nose-dives toward the center of the river & the rocks are spit-slick with slime. (i’m told it’s 37′ deep in the middle.) no phone. plus, the river’s high & fast right now, with spring still on. good grief. all 3 of the younger kids just stood there, silent, watching me berate myself & pray, scrounge around & get wetter & wetter. good grief.
i never did find it, & really. it would’ve been so impossible to use again, after like, what? 5 seconds in the water? kieran ran ahead to tell daddy while i sniffled & drew my soaking self up. the thing about it isn’t even really the stupid cell phone. no. it’s that thick sense of shame that bolted into my heart the minute i realized what i’d done. no matter that it was an accident. that, “really? i just did that? what am i, 5?” oh, yes. shame does its work, all on its own.
just so you know, i hate shame.
when i finally got up to the house (our backyard is a two-tiered endeavor, so it’s an actual hike from the water’s edge. not that i’m complaining.) & retold andy what kieran had already excitedly relayed to him, he just laughed. of course he did. because he doesn’t care, & it really doesn’t matter. it actually was a cheapy phone, a clearance, $30 model which was hard to hear callers on & had kind of started coming apart after we dropped it (i don’t even know what to say here.).
so because it’s our only mode of communication (no land line & no other cell phone) and our internet was down & in need of repair (raining, pouring, la la la.), we went en masse to wal-mart to fit ourselves with an upgrade. thank you garage sale money, i love you.
& so, i’m not sure how all this fits together, from tulips to zachary & on to my drowned cell phone, but i think it does. maybe hope & waiting, maybe that bit in romans about all things working together for good. God’s pretty wacky like that. good wacky, i mean.
none of these things came easily or were immediate. but they came, yes. yes, they did.
all i know is at the end of the day, i had a plot full of beauty, a new bean to love in our extended family, & a new, better way to keep in touch with my handful.