Sunday~November 29, 2009
I pass by crusts of peanut butter sandwiches, the ones strewn about the table, pushed off the sides of small plates by small hands. I don't have time for the mess, so I head from one room to the other, attempting to quiet bedtime demands. Back and forth I go through dark doorways, one I need more water and I'm scared at a time. I try to calm anxious thoughts about what it means to move house, yes you can bring your bed and even your poster, yes. Now please go to sleep, child.
Our plates are so full, we're watching half of our bounty roll to the floor for the dog. Blessings and curses together, spilling over for the much. Then we panic and clench our fists and our jaws and we scramble to make sense of the mess on the floor. We are trying to prioritize what to keep and what to release to the slobbery canine jaws. Sometimes it feels like we're getting it all wrong, hastily scooping up dusty and rotten things rather than the food we need to keep us going.
Show me a grown person whose plate is not piling high, food rolling off the edges, and I will sit with them and ask them to teach me. I'd say, show me how to gobble up only what's healthy. Show me how to find the time to slow down and sort through, less careless and more present. Show me how to strip it all away so I can relax just a moment or two.
Because the peas are rolling and the bread crumbs are sticking to my feet. I'm having grown up hissy fits that my children are seeing and I'd like someone else to clean my plate. Or to at least show me how to take the time to feed myself without creating such a mess.
My kids aren't sleeping enough and I'm too scattered to make good meals. I haven't started packing for the move and I still don't know where Miles will go to preschool. Speaking of Miles, I'm silently wishing he wouldn't feel everything so much, that he wouldn't react out of his sensitivity, the way that I do.
But he does. So he is erratic and emotional and irrational and scared, throwing childlike hissy fits like mine over broken Lego creations. They are the kind of fits I can't calm because it's not about the Legos at all. It's about having too much on our plates.
So my heart is breaking for both of us, for who and what we'll miss when we move, but there's no time. I need to get boxes and pack boxes and make plans. I need to pay this and call them and show proof of this and fax that. All the piles of paper are getting higher and the to-do list too long. I need to mend my husband's fences, the ones I've trampled down while frantically trying to keep the bounty from spilling over.
So I get sick, I mean really sick. The kind of sick that means I can't stand up for very long so I'm in my bed all day.
I've been slowed.
Physically, I feel pretty disgusting right now, but I'm thankful to be here in this bed. Because I can think. I can breathe and I can snuggle small bodies up close and warm, hoping not to share my ugly bug with them. I can see the bigger picture as I'm forced to rest, the goal on our hearts and minds to simplify. It's coming closer. I can believe that all the small things will work out because that's what they do, these hundreds of small things. They pile high on the plate and then we gobble and gobble, and sometimes we can't breathe and we lose things over the sides. But even so, we'll look up and we'll still be together. Then we'll slow down or be slowed, and we will breathe easier and fill our bellies with just enough.