Brian has been horribly sick, when he bent over to kiss my head, he sneezed boogers all over my hair. I wondered if that is the sort of thing that warrants a new “love looks like” post. Evelynn had a bout with impetigo and it was not good, another round of antibiotics. Anne had a fever for two days. And Joe has had a rash all over his face, a snotty nose, a racking cough, and I have done a lot of laundry, a lot of late night writing.
I went to a Bible study at church and cracked open part of my heart for other people to see, terrified but hopeful. And I got together one night with two of my dear friends and we laughed so hard, I nearly cried, because the waiter was ridiculously good-looking and we were so obviously three mothers out for the night, and my friend said, with wonder in her voice, “Wow….just…good job on that one, God” and then laughed even harder because he was standing right there, long suffering, bless his heart. We shared stories and talked God stuff and foster care and writing and marriage and real-stuff-of-life and I loved them right down to the lines on my hands.
Yesterday we all drove to Regent for what is likely the last time. It felt like decades since we first walked on campus, just me and Brian, nearly 7 years ago. Now it’s been all of these twists-and-turns, all of these beautiful babies, all of the growing and the hurting and the moving and the figuring it out, all the glory and the mess of it, and it’s just over. We picked up Brian’s final coursework, signed off, and discovered he’s received an A on his thesis. I cried. We took pictures of J.I. Packer’s door since he wasn’t in his office. (His door is covered with Peanuts cartoons about theology. Who knew he liked Charlie Brown so much?)
We ate mediocre sushi at Granville Island, drove home in the fading light of the day with our babies in their car seats, holding hands in our minivan. We watched Jon Stewart together after they went to bed with their teeth brushed, we kissed and coughed and kissed some more.
Just more. More coffee. More cleaning. More books. More mess. More toys. More noise. More need. More kissing. More laundry. More bills. More doorbells ringing. More meals to be making. More kilometres to be running. More love. More joy. More peace. More star gazing. More rain falling. More sparrows arriving. More leaves blooming. More more more moremoremoremoremore.
I worked this morning. When I came home, our babysitter had folded my laundry for me. I wanted to ask her to marry me.
Joe is so worn out and sick but, like most boys, unwilling to just rest. I finally got him into bed at 3 in the afternoon. I woke him up at an hour later and he cried and fussed and stomped and whined for an hour, until I broke and gave him the now-banished soother just for one moment of peace, for the love.
I want to be fearless.
I want to be beautiful, to make beautiful things, to create life and love and redemption. And I thought that looked like making chicken soup, chopping carrots and seasoning things with thyme. But I used the wrong pot and the house filled with smoke. I flung open the windows even though it was pouring cold rain outside. I snapped baby blankets around the house, shooing the smoke outside. I nursed the baby, I tried again to make soup. Anne and Joe decided they liked it and ate whole bowlfuls, Brian pitifully said he hadn’t been able to taste anything for two weeks but it sure looked nice.
I nursed Evelynn to sleep, she’s so long now that her legs hang off my lap, but she still needs me so much. I went to the library while Brian called his older sister. I came home, I had a glass of red wine, read a book. I decided to stop caring what people think about me and my motives on the Internet. I decided to have another baby. I decided that having another baby is probably not a good idea. I read another bit of my book, I ate popcorn.
Evelynn woke up, as usual, and I lifted my shirt in darkness to nourish her, her baby flesh curled around my stomach, criss crossed with silver stretch marks. I rocked her slow and I thought, as the chair creaked and squeaked, she exhaled and sprawled and finally fell asleep again, that, sometimes, the most fearless thing we can do is keep showing up.