Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Waiting and Cropping as a Way of Life

When Laura and I decided it was time for us to have children,  so many years ago, we took the necessary steps, we fumbled a little (a lot) but we figured it out and several years later, Fiona was born. And then, of course, Cyd. (Did I ever tell you the story about when I got knocked up with Cyd? One chance. Natalie Merchant. It's a good story for another time.)

We learned about patience, good faith, and mutual wishes. What you truly want takes time. The waiting is full of uncertainty and needless worry. Everything we want happens, eventually. It always does. 

When our little family grew up, we started looking for the perfect place to grow along with it. Laura and I have wanted a wood burning fireplace for 15 years. And we've dreamed about having chickens, and a little land to sow and harvest our favorite vegetables. Maybe we'll have goats and make goat cheese. And we may adopt a dog. The sweet, smiling kind who will wag his or her tail and look happy when we get home. Because our cats, well, I love them more than they deserve.

So we waited, in our little house. We waited a long goddamn time. 

We have lived enough life to know that wishes wait until the stars and thoughts align in the most perfect way. The universe, patient as a flowering plum, gathers everything we think and hope and then -- poof -- here we are 

in our new (still) little house with lots of land and a dream. A giant one. It's the kind of giant that is endless, without rules or boundaries, and too heavy with promise to carry all at once. It's the kind of dream without a dishwasher or central air.

But it sure as hell has the fireplace we've always wanted.

You know how when you come home with all the groceries in the trunk of your car and you have so much to do and you're tired of the scrambling so you just want to carry as many bags as you can so you don't have to waste time taking so many trips because the kids are hungry and cranky and maybe if you hurry long enough it will all get done and you'll get a few moments of quiet time right before you have to start dinner?

This is how I feel every minute of my life. And I know I need to slow the hell down and be present. If we have tortillas and oranges for dinner, it's OK. And the laundry will never get done. Never, ever, ever.

The TV is still on the coffee table with all those disorderly cords everywhere, and the washer and dryer are in the dining room. The dining. Room.

Waiting is often inconvenient.

We have pockets of perfection. Cozy little spaces where everything is in order. Sometimes, I sneak away and sit quietly in the tiny nook upstairs, but they always find me, and usually spill something.

In the middle of chaos that is everyday, I watch the children in their total blissful oblivion, carefree in their play and I can't help but take a photo to capture the moment. And when I crop the dirty socks and Barbie shoes out of the shot, I think, damn, I'm living The Life. The key is to crop out what doesn't fill your heart with joy. Everything else is in the shot.

There. I've just told you how to live your life to the fullest: crop the crap out of it.

The kids don't give a damn about the horrid kitchen with its stupid electric stove and lack of dishwasher. They haven't even noticed the peculiarity of the bathroom, completely devoid of a single hook or towel bar. They like to leave their towels on the floor so, whatevs.

It's past midnight, and there's a fire burning in our new fireplace, and I'm sitting here in the dark after a full day of early morning dance class, and grocery shopping and baby chicken loving and plum tree planting, followed by a casual dinner, outside, of just sandwiches and pretzels and Dos Equis and milk.

It's sweeter than I had imagined. 

And I'm convinced (or at least hopeful) that we've done the best thing.  

If it wasn't for the waiting, what would we have to look forward to?
Peace out.

P.S. DID I TELL YOU WE'RE GETTING CHICKENS?! And one of them will be named Caramia. Mark my words.

P.S.S. Natalie Merchant is NOT the third mother of our children.