i barely recognized her, this girl across the bar table from me, beside the picture window in the perfect morning light at caribou. she sounded like my girl, but drawn out from her usual surrounding of brothers, i had to squint to really see her. i came prepared to talk deep into her & her into me, mother & daughter; she brought her notebook, borrowed my pencil, & drew a picture of herself drinking her smoothie. i was startled to see her this clearly. what a beautiful view. that i nearly missed.
this past weekend, in the face of a sink full of dishes amid the usual chaos & my parents coming in a few hours, we slipped out, just she & i, no boys. andy & i had been meaning to date our children, individual jaunts for coffee or pool or the park with icecream. with four kids at home all the time with both parents, the air gets a little thick. one-on-one’s seemed like the natural solution to lumping them all together (they all look alike anyway). but to-date, we hadn’t eeked out the time.
life, you guys.
there is so much LIFE in the way.
so, while i debated leaving the chaos, andy said, “go.”
i am ever indebted to his aggressiveness.
“And every day the world will drag you by the hand, yelling, ‘this is important! & this is important! & this is important! you need to worry about this! & this! & this!’ And each day, it’s up to you to yank your hand back, put it on your heart, & say, ‘NO. this is what’s important.'”
isn’t that the Truth? it’s super easy to spin our wheels (& when i say “our,” i mean “my”), to clean our houses & cook our meals, to work our jobs & pay our bills, & neglect what’s important. i blame my scandinavianness, but i love having everything just so before i relax & enjoy my life. as in, i actually had a revelelation a couple mornings ago (i’m flying my freak flag here) as i woke up & read a novel for pure joy by myself: i’m enjoying my life! before i’ve done any work! & then, then! i had not one but two(!) thick mugs of mint tea, deep with cream alongside my breakfast. i felt like i’d just swallowed summer.
as it turns out (& i don’t know who made this rule but i will kiss
them Him), we don’t have to wait for perfected doneness before we start living. it ain’t comin’. believe me, i’ve waited, a despondent girl sitting on her suitcase beside the tracks at the train station. perfect ain’t a-comin’.
let’s not hesitate as we scan the countertop, the inbox, seeing if we’ve done enough.
you have, & you are.
let’s not forget to be art as we do our work.
let’s not neglect the art for the work.
p.s. after much begging & pleading, we finally let the kids start their own blogs. my oldest, javin, writes at: javinmakesascene.wordpress.com. thalia, the girl in our world, will soon be at: thejanetrain.wordpress.com. i’m pretty proud of them for finally twisting my arm hard enough to let them on my computer. . . .