September has been a busy bee and Jeff tells me I have been grumpy and I know it’s all about the busy and the noise creeping in the time I keep. The words won’t come because I haven’t slowed enough for them to catch me and in the evenings I am limp with tired.
And the other night I lost it with the boys because they wouldn’t pump gas for the van, and “can’t you just show your mamma that you care in some small way?”
“But you should know,” Jeffrey said. “You should know that we care about you.”
“And how should I?” I felt the Spirit tug my heart; ask me to mind my tongue. I should know better. This type of whine is just the thing that shuts off their ears. But I can’t stop. “How should I know when there is no outward evidence that you care? All I ask is for a little help. You didn’t even make your beds this morning. All I have to show that you care is your dirty socks. And you don’t even turn them right side out like I’ve asked you to a million times.”
It’s a long evening after that. Jeffrey cried and Teddy wouldn’t talk. But he made his bed the next morning.
“I think I need to go to the doctor,” I tell Jeff. “I just haven’t been feeling well. This tightness in my chest…”
He makes the sympathetic noises but out of the corner of my eye I see him yawn and he knows.
We need to slow down.
But not yet. Because September isn’t over and the rich blessings keep pouring in.
In the morning I stand under the round eye of the moon and gape at the light coming over the horizon. It spreads out like a blanket and still the words won’t come. At night I stare up at the crowd of blinking stars and remember God’s promise to Abraham. And this waist feels too small to birth a nation—too small to carry this family. Too small to birth a difference at all.
In the late morning I gather the last of my tenderettes and I string them by myself in the kitchen. My fingers remember this work and my mind busies in the quiet of the crisp snap of beans. My dad’s birthday is coming up, I remember. And then I forget. And then I remember again, and that’s how our relationship is. I am feeling forgotten too.
Last night we sat on cold bleachers and watched our boy play in his first “marching” band performance.
Aren’t they just so cute in their own little band section? I kept saying to my friend Janet. I didn’t really watch the game because I kept my eyes on one not-so-little boy with drum sticks. And I let myself be all there. Right there. No where else.
When we left the field I looped my arm through my husband’s, sinking into his warm in the cool of night.
“I like going to football games with you,” I said.
And he laughed. It sounded good.