Monday, February 14, 2011

Dedicated to the Ones I Love

My love had to travel this year, to far-flung places, and some that only seem far and so it was last week that I was standing in line at the Post Office, mailing boxes of pink and red to children of mine who are somehow now adults.   I thought of young parents, the joy of all that awaits them—burbling vowels and consonants unspooling into language, construction paper and Valentine boxes, hope and heartbreak—life.

We have some extra genes in this family, the Valentine gene for one.  Sara Kate and Glenn taught me that it was a day to be celebrated, perhaps even a month, and so February has always been more bearable than the rest of the winter for us.  But the Baby Freak gene is another.  Go ahead, hold your adorable bundle in front of any of this crew and watch us TRY to walk past you without stopping--peripheral vision on the alert, we will screech to a halt every time.  And so, in that Post Office queue I remembered kissing tiny feet and hands, precious words written in faltering letters, and the years when a broken heart was a simple repair.  I thought about how much I loved those days, how fascinating those children were to me....and how little I knew.

Today I see the Love that birthed these five amazing humans, that carries them still; the sonorous resonance of lives I cannot fully comprehend--mystery engraved on their very dna.  The persistent will to climb, or figure things out by yourself, or eat books like food, are not simply personality traits, they are hidden doors that will unlock the life you are meant to lead.  I look back to years gone by and realize, We have no idea what wonders are hidden in the people around us.*  How could I have known; how could I have lived without constant gaping astonishment, if I had understood then, the true nature of the flowers that were blooming before my eyes?

We are an imperfect crew, lest you get the wrong idea on this day of love.  We’ve had mountain highs and Death Valley lows, and we’re in some of them right now.  But this year, on a day when I will not see any of them face to face, they are in sharp focus in my heart, shoulder to shoulder and atop a hill, the sun coming up behind them.  It is glory only partially understood, but from where I stand, it's quite a view.
* The Guys, a play by Anne Nelson


  1. Nice. I think I met you all when they were all the ages in the photo...

  2. wonderful post!!! LOVE THAT PICTURE. my sweeties. :)