Wednesday, February 17, 2010

the heart of life

On our last day in Idaho two weeks ago, Bean and I threw a picnic party on our bed. We pushed aside the duvet and brought every creature comfort aboard (Whimsy: laptop playing some soft music; Bean: Trey the three-eyed pink monster, Herp the nearly mouthless blue monster, red-headed Elmo, her woobie Bo, and a generous helping of lunch).
We wallowed in lovees and music.

We compared our beverage containers (Bean: a green and blue sippy cup that's trekked across three states and back; Whimsy: a plastic water bottle).

We flexed our toes.

We ate lunch (Whimsy: leftover barbeque and potato salad; Bean: leftover pizza and bananas).

We laughed.

And as John Mayer's The Heart of Life played in the background and the rainy Boise sun fell through the window on Bean's still-dimpled fingers I thought about this thing I do every day.

I forget that I am the gauge Alice uses to test the world. I forget that my reactions tell her whether she should feel safe or happy or tired. This I know because I was once a little girl. If my mom told me we were having fun, whatever we were doing would become, magically, a good time. If my mom was stressed or worried or rushed, I couldn't help to feel that something was not right with our world.

I have long believed that my current place in Bean's life is to maintain her bubble - her sense of safety, her sense of regularity, her sense of order, and above all--- her sense of normalcy. Especially when you consider that we are on the road at least 25% of any given month.

I think that this life is full-to-the-brim with serious focuses. Regulation and responsibility sneak through the cracks regardless to the cotton balls and newspaper we've stuffed there to keep them out. In the last few months, I've forgotten that it's also my job to show Bean a sense of fun. I've forgotten that it's my place to teach her how to laugh.

So: a white-sheeted hotel bed, a cuddlesome almost-two-year-old, a tired-beyond-belief thirty-six-year-old mother, some music, some very-much-loved stuffed friends, and lunch.

How do I not wake every morning with the sweetness of my life still lingering heavy on my lips?

How do I not put down my work more often and hold her two-year-old body while she still lets me?

How do I not embrace the goodness of these moments while they're happening, while they're thick around my face like moths to a porch light?

How do I not confess each and every aching minute that the heart of life is so very, very good?

I hate to see you cry
Lying there in that position
There are things you need to hear
So turn off your tears
And listen

Pain throws your heart to the ground
Love turns the whole thing around
No it won't all go the way it should
But I know the heart of life is good

You know, it's nothing new
Bad news never had good timing
Then the circle of your friends
Will defend the silver lining

Pain throws your heart to the ground
Love turns the whole thing around
Fear is a friend who is misunderstood
But I know the heart of life is good
I know it's good, I know it's good
Oh I know it's good

-John Mayer, The Heart of Life


Sarah said...

Beautiful post. Loved it.

Midnight Rambler said...

No fair making me all teary-eyed on a Wednesday. Beautiful!

Alicia @ bethsix said...

I keep getting errors when I try to comment. Let's see if this works...

Okay, what I SAID was that my bright idea was to tell you that this post is beautiful. Because I am original like that.

And THEN, I said something about how I was glad you posted something so perfect immediately following the Minionlympics because I want all my cheerers to remain minions. So the pressure is on!

And then I said this.

wandering nana said...

Beautiful. I never really thought about the saying "If moma ain't happy, nobody is." When I became a mother this meaning made a lot more sense. Whenever I teach lessons about how we can be influenced by those around us I always go back to my home and how I began the morning. Your child will have wonderful memories about how happy her mother was when she was around her.

Heidi said...

sniff sniff, that was beautiful. Bean is going to love reading your posts someday. Before you know it your little girl grows up. And when you sit back and realize it's only a few short years that you can almost count on one hand it is really scary. Makes you want to not take those little moments for granted. You do a wnderful job with Bean. She is very lucky to have you.