The last few days have been a bit heavy, their waters rippled with worry familiar and foreign. Despite the surplus of seasonal sunshine, sogginess has pervaded many moments. Smiles have been there, here, but sometimes forced. There are things, so many things, spiky and scraggly and real, bobbing under the surface. Things I'd like to say. To release.
This? This feeling? It is nothing major. It is life. Life does not boast smooth edges and permanent rainbows. Life is shot through with a universal gray that at once soothes and confuses. Life is clouded with questions, questions that nip at us, questions that make us look in. Questions that exhaust us.
And so. I am here. Being characteristically vague. Waiting for the time when I can articulate the passing fog more clearly, when I can give the questions life on the screen. I am here. Because this is a good place, a place where my words can hang until they make better sense.
I am here.
Last night, we enjoyed a big family dinner out. The girls behaved for the most part and ate well. I sat in my seat, playing with my angel hair, and my mind rumbled with inchoate thoughts about assumption and reality, about perception and place. It is amazing how we can be in two spots at once. In a restaurant and in an existential tunnel. We humans are indeed skilled creatures.
Back home. We tucked the girls in. In their new purple room. They were giddy still from the lemon sorbet, but they did not fight us as we flipped the light and whispered goodnight. For the next forty minutes, we listened to them on the monitor as they talked, and winded down. Their voices, sweet and unique, wrapped around one another. They had things to say. The stints of silence grew longer as time passed.
At one point, Toddler said something that made me smile. Something little and big, so silly and so serious. Something I will never forget.
"Tell me when you're sleeping."
At this order, Baby said it. "Okay."
I love that my little girl said this. That she made this request, this impossible request. I love even more that she had no clue about the impossibility inherent in her words, that there are times when we cannot articulate our state of being. Because, simply, we are not awake.
Or because we are confused, weighed down by life.
I think of their voices, little and melodic, and a smile appears. A real one. Unforced and golden. It lingers now as my fingers dance.
Even when life gets tricky, even when our minds are mangled with gray, there are things, sweet things, rainbow things, that cut through the clouds.
Thank you, girls.
- Are you ever weighed down by a temporary and largely inexplicable existential fog?
- Are there things in your life that snap you out of your own introspection?
- Have your kids ever said any silly and genius things that you will never forget?
- How often are you in two places at once?
- Do you celebrate or curse life's intermittent grays? (I do both.)