Dimples turned two today. Its hard to think is only been a mere twenty-four months since she graced the world with her presence. I don’t remember how I got along without her.
I have pile of drafts sitting here. I haven’t been able to finish anything. Lack of time and focus. Yet, today, a few things are clear.
1. I am still looking for the right words to speak about my thoughts about God. Yet, while I can’t seem to find my maker in a church, he always seem to make an appearance in the small arms of my children when they wrap themselves around me. I find his presence in those moments. There is a power behind that love. In the tight squeeze of their warm bodies, lies a lovely, reaffirming reminder of how our children love us. Without prejudice. With faith and forgiveness. With all their might. In that small space of my lap, arms wrapped around my neck, a firmly nestled head in the nook of my neck– exists evidence that love heals, lifts, and motivates one to try harder to be deserving of that affection. Love moves us. There is something miraculous in love.
2. I have been thinking on traditions a lot. About the rituals we create and follow. The variations we have. However, the traditions that mean the most to us are the personal ones. For myself, it is the ones we carry with from childhood. Today Dimples and Miss M made their own sundaes at a local, well known ice cream parlor with my father and step-mom. When I was little, they would take us for ice cream sundaes on our birthdays. For years, for each of my five siblings, we would visit the same ice cream parlor and make our own sundaes. It was a small,but much looked forward event. Picking a flavor, having autonomy over the rows of toppings you chose for your sundae, sitting together in the dining room with sticky fingers. It was a small event that we repeated many times. And, now, over thirty years later he take my children on their birthdays to the same ice cream parlor for sundaes. That is the power of tradition. That a mere act of choosing sprinkles, whipped cream, and butterscotch can span decades. That my children can share the same experiences I had. That a small event can unite a generation that has so much time and space between them. There is magic in how we can share experiences. Tradition can be many things… but my favorite is how it can bring us together. Usually when we need it most.
3. Happiness. It is such a goal in our lives. But I have been focusing on the pursuit of it. In finding what makes me feel happy. Honestly, I think perfect is over rated. I think sometimes things are more or less perfectly imperfect. Everyday, everyday since I walked away from my marriage, I have found a little happiness. It doesn’t last all day and it isn’t the same thing that brings me contentment each moment, but it finds me. Little, beautiful joys. A glass of wine with friends while our children run around dressed as princesses. Sitting on the couch with Match and his stinky feet in my lap. The sound of my children singing the words with exuberance–even if it for literally the millionth time– to Frozen. I mean, its there. Happiness. It is everywhere. You just have to let it find you.
4. Littleness. I have a serious soft spot of littleness. It is a gift. As a child we race to grow up… and once we get here it is a very complex place that, well, breaks you a little bit. But honestly, there isn’t any better way to do this life thing. Hearts break and get put back together. So, in the midst of those moments when either (a) the kids have driven me to almost crazy or (b) that they ask adult questions but lack the twenty years of experience that will provide answers in due time, I try to remember the moment. That they are little. That they deserve little. That they only will get to be little to such a small part of their life. I lean in the door frame and breathe it in. The silly, the nonsensical, the terrible messes, the fights over toys, the picky eating– I try to be present, For it all. Because it will not last. And for all those parents who lost their little ones before they grew up… I should remember to be grateful for what I have. That I have healthy, lovely little girls who bring me to the brink of madness some days, but also give me such purpose and peace. That they don’t understand what they are. Or that that natural hurry up they feel to achieve adulthood doesn’t have them rushing to anything that special. That they won’t realize they are actually in what’s special right now. So I do. I focus on it, remember it, document it. I try to make sure they have a childhood.
That’s it for now. We made it to two. Happy, little, and with an embarrassment of love. Happy birthday, Dimples. Mom loves you.