About a month ago I was on a search for a poem I had written when I was young. I was invited to speak at a fashion show for a Catholic group as their guest speaker. When I was invited to speak, I was nervous and honored… and immediately had an idea for my words. So I set off looking for that poem… I called my mom and asked her to look for it and some of my family who might have had a copy… and I went looking through a big tub of my old work my mom saved. I knew the poem for what I needed but wanted the rest of the words… I didn’t find the treasure I thought I would find, but many others.
Tonight I sat with my girls, as I do most nights before bedtime, with a big bowl of popcorn, a blanket, a burrowed dog and the girls ready to watch a movie. It is my favorite time of night. It has always been my favorite time, I think. The day I went looking through my tub full of my old art work, homework, essays and awards- I found a Father’s Day Card I had made for my dad when I was quite young. I giggled at the tie on the front, for I honestly only saw my dad in a tie like 5 times in my life. I remember him in his work uniform with grease and tools and pens and safety glasses coming home for lunch every.single.day. I remember him with his casual button up, with Harleys or Hawaiian flowers and khaki shorts. I remember him coming home to fix the vacuum, clean his guns, adjust his motorcycle, change my oil… or whatever else was needed that night. I laughed because this card had a tie… and it must have been chosen by the teacher. Inside was the treasure. I wrote to my dad “Happy Father’s Day. What I love best about my dad is watching movies and eating popcorn together.”
Tonight I sat with the girls and that resonated in my brain. I have always loved this time. I love sitting with the girls and not talking, or talking about the movie during. I love that we watched Goonies and they loved it, and I felt like the ‘little girl me’ that watched it so long ago… I also love that they thought Sloth was so cute and ‘God just made him different’. I love their perspective. Sometimes, I don’t love explaining swear words or inappropriate things but am glad that my explanation is the one they will know and listen to. I realized that these will be the moments that my girls will look back at and love, I hope. I also feel at those moments sometimes, when it is Sparky, Meme, Lucy and I- that Maddie has to be there to.
In this big pile of confusing, time just me and the girls much of the time… I was so sad for the dinners that wouldn’t be our whole family as they grew. I remember the dinners growing up and Matthew’s family was a ‘be together at dinner family’ too… I felt so sad that the girls wouldn’t get that. I confided that to a very close friend. She told me that day that “maybe dinner isn’t going to be that time for you guys”… and today we had a good dinner time, but the time that I felt that connection and closeness was in the movie time, in the snuggle time, in the potty breaks, in the mini talks throughout… maybe the girls will share and reconnect in that movie time as we all grow up and old… maybe that is our time.
Tonight’s movie was Charlotte’s Web. I love that movie and that story… it’s such a positive and kind story. To accept and love Charlotte- even though she was a dreaded spider. To embrace her different and see her beauty, and to help those other animals accept and love and see as well. I love the words they choose… I love explaining the meanings to the girls. The ending is sad/happy. It’s like our life. Sad/Happy. Lucy sat on my lap and talked about how she lost a friend Onja and how she is in heaven with Maddie. Amelia cried. She quietly cried and snuggled me. She loves the movie, I think she loves the end and the feeling of sad, if that makes sense. She felt safe. She felt her pain and her missing Maddie. She heard Charlotte’s words about life and death, and her Magnum Opus (her great work)… it felt good to sit with them and feel that. I cried. Even though it was a sad cry it was a cleansing cry and a happy cry too. Those word made so much sense to me as did the pain of losing a special person… but Wilbur took those eggs and brought them home and took care of Charlotte’s Magnum Opus. It just felt familiar. Feeling it with the girls felt familiar. I hope that someday these familiar moments and the safety we all felt in them will form those memories and bonds and strengths. Maybe that’s thinking into too much… who knows…
I wonder what things will bring back those moments for them… I wonder if a Mother’s Day card will evoke something so real… I remember Madeline’s mother’s day card (very clearly) from 3 year old preschool… My mom likes to… run, My mom always… washes dishes, Sometimes my mom… takes care of Lucy :). I literally laughed so hard I was crying in her preschool 3 year old Mothers Day Tea…
(for the record Lucy was fed pretty consistently, changed as often as needed and very happy and adorable :))