Covid-1

I decided to write again, as one does during a global pandemic.

I decided that the weight could be shared instead of constantly tugging on my own insides.

I decided that we needed a place to put the Good and the Hard.

Here. 

This morning we slept it.  This morning we fought.

This morning we had to slice the PB&Js in half because there wasn’t enough bread defrosted. And we prayed for the families who have none thawing on the counter.

This morning we walked around the neighborhood, left messages of hope on that one garage with the magnetic alphabet, and followed the directions someone left for us in chalk on their sidewalk (“hop 5 times” “downward dog”). We picked small purple flowers to put in a vase near the large purple spray can of Lysol. Then we Lysoled, just a lil’.

I’m not going to edit these, because how can we edit our accounts of a new reality? To what could we compare this? Editing implies that there’s an exemplar rendition somewhere keeping watch. 

There is nothing here. Nothing but lost wages, and Europeans singing on balconies.

Nothing but an email invite from Atticus’s room mom inviting us all to a Zoom chat during lunch so the kids felt less alone, and exhausted health care workers. Exhausted grocery store clerks. Exhausted…everyone.

Nothing but humanity, resting here in the blinding Rocky Mountain sun picking at our cuticles. While the dog chomps on a large branch. While the kids stagger down the stairs after naps. While we text our siblings and our soul mates and our bosses.

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Swoop

 

 

 

 

This story is for my four wonderful monsters, Lucy Pearl, Rae Margit, Atticus Paul, and Nell Garden.  You guys are so rad.

Love, Mama

 

 

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Some thoughts before you begin.  First, I swear.  I’m a sober Millennial, which means I curse because I can’t drink.  Second, Biblical writers didn’t always refer to God as a “He” which means I won’t either.  Third, I’m so glad you’ve read this far!

 

 

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Don’t die again

With that holy ruby mine inside

Still unclaimed

-Hafiz, Don’t Die Again

 

 

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What To Do When Your Grass Dies

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All the houses looked prettier this morning as I drove through my neighborhood to my chiropractor appointment.  Installed sprinklers and landscapers who visit weekly are the norm in Congress Park (a little neighborhood just outside downtown Denver), contributing to it’s recently-won title of “best place to live in Denver.”

Just so we’re clear, I don’t live in one of the famed Denver four-square behemoths that line the leafy streets of Saint Paul Street & Detroit Avenue; I don’t have a sprinkler system installed either.  And instead of paying for someone to mow my lawn and pick my weeds, I choose to see a chiropractor once a week who helps snap my poor pelvis back into place, #GiantBabiesRuinBodies.

My chiropractor is a Healer—she loves God and she believes that Love Wins, as do I.  So I get undressed and laid prostrate on the blue leather table, reverent and ready for the relief.  As she feels my body, I exhale.  Finally, someone to snap it all back into place.

“Hhmmm…”  She mumbles through her thoughts.

“What’s going on back there?”  I breathe sweaty breath into the crinkly paper covering the face/head rest.

“You’ve got to relax, Honey.”  She finally speaks up.  “I can’t even start working on you.  You’re too tight.”  Her touch and her words sink down into my flesh and bones.

Inhale.

Exhale.

“There you go,”  she coaches.  “What’s going on this morning?”

What’s going on is that my children yell “MR. WEINIE!!” without abandon every single time they see a dachshund while we’re out and about, and it’s embarrassing sometimes.

What’s wrong is that the two older girls planted pumpkin seeds in absurd places around the vegetable garden, and now we have pumpkin problems — huge pumpkins vines snaking around like hot lava, “No Mama!  Don’t step on my pumpkins!”

And don’t even get me started on the little boy who picks baby bell peppers before they even stood a chance—they chose life!  He didn’t.  At least the baby is sleeping through the night now.

What’s going on is that my sod is actually straw, because I don’t have sprinklers.  I know grass should look green, but what about when it’s brown and squirrels blend into it?  I know friends should text you back, but what about when they don’t?  I believe my pant size doesn’t determine my worth, but sometimes I get afraid that it is.

What happened this past week?  Life.  Life happened.

And here’s what I realized on that blue, sweaty, leather table:  I wanted a fixer, not a Healer.  I wanted a life that could be secured by sprinklers, obedience, loyalty, and weight loss. I held tight to my expectations of what a life should look instead of releasing.  Inhaling.  Exhaling.

If only the chaos and crazy (and beauty) of my full life could be snapped back into place with the same technique my chiropractor uses.

But that’s not how our Healer works, is it?  Nope.  God must go deeper, beyond the chaos, pain, and discomfort.  My chiropractor couldn’t do her job, she couldn’t access my injury, until I let her ease apart the scar tissue a shitty week left behind.

She laughed when I told her about the Dachshunds.  “Well I’m glad it made somebody smile,”  I chuckled.  And she reminded me that not every family of six is blessed with the outdoor space for three different pumpkin plants to comfortably invade.

Then she casually recalled that I’ve lost one-hundred-and fifty pounds, and I am a Love Hulk—fearfully and radically crafted by the Healer who cured my cancers and then gifted me FOUR miracle babies.

“Do you think any bit of your life is an accident?”  She teared up a little.

Snap.

Crackle.

And…Pop.

Everything adjusted back into the places God intended upon creation.

The drive home wasn’t nearly as awful.  Instead of resenting all the big houses I can’t afford to live in, I thanked God for the perfect little Victorian bungalow that houses all the healthy humans I love.

“I bless you, green grass.  I bless your lushness,”  I spoke while passing all the sprinkler systems.  And when I arrived home, to my own beautiful mess of a front yard, I thanked God for the hundred-year-old gate protecting the babies who make me better.

One day, things will stay tidy, I tell myself, noticing the chalk pieces and tricycles strewn about.

Life happens, all day, every day.  We don’t get to choose whether or not our kids listen.  We can’t control our income, our blood pressure, or the success of our marriage—even though we think we can.  Sometimes we choose to “fix it” by gripping tighter, controlling, manipulating, and ignoring.

But what if we choose Healing by inviting Truth and Gratitude into the fears that we allow to hold us hostage?

We can breathe.  And somehow, through the miraculous power of Love, we get snapped back into place, where we can receive the Good gift of content sort of kids, lower blood pressure, and happier husbands.

You are fearfully and radically made by a Healer who can’t wait to ever-so-carefully rip you apart, and then mend it all.  Once mended, you have power that puts superwoman to shame, and you realize that you can choose Joy, here.  Now.

Inhale.  Exhale.  Smile.  We are all gonna make it, even if our sod dies.

 

 

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🎃PS- It’s Halloween, which means I say a special prayer for all teachers everywhere tonight as I fall asleep.  “Lord, help them handle the cocaine-candy angels tomorrow.”  In our house, after we arrive home from our hunting and gathering, we do something that really pisses of the kids, but also really excites the parents and teachers.  The kids dump out their haul on the floor and pick three pieces of candy they would like to eat over the next three days.  You’re welcome.  Amen 🙏🏼

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