In like a lion

Hey and woah, was that some whiplash from this past week? British royals trothing, Bin Laden exiting, the end of my adjunctship. Seriously. Whirlwind. Surely I missed the release of a new Toaster Strudel flavor in there? Please inform.

My sister and her beaufriend visited for a long weekend, so I’m just getting back to life without their jocundity. They are lovely folks and very open to adventure-making. So much so that I have no not so many pictures of their time here. We were very busy mounting carousels and giving one another fictitious names and singing the throwback Care Bears theme song ad infintum. And talking about walking, parking, driving, and garages. And making fun of Shad for his iPhone dependency.  ♥ ya, Shad.

There’s a lot happening; even the trees are busy doing their pollination dance and hitting my sinuses with a meat cleaver. I’ve got a hundred squillion and one papers to grade and childcare is nil but it’ll all get done. I know this tried and true business of Getting Things Done. What I also know is that my strength comes from above. I was on my knees last week begging God as to why He was expecting so much of me all at once.  His response was perfect. “I’ve given you enough for one day, Kendra. So just unwrap what you need for today. And tomorrow, well, that’s tomorrow’s business.”

Amen.

***
Sights from a princess party at our wonderful and inventive friend LMac’s:

Daisies + Pimms

daisy a day, pimms

Bubbles on the porch

bubbles

Principesa Ita

ita principesa

AC and her divine twins Cal-Bow and Mooese

AC, cal-bow, and mooese

Viewing party

royal wedding viewers

Charley, king of his castle

charley

Tatum, non-plused

lil man tate

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On Missing People

If there is one thing that surprises me about the grown-up person I am becoming, it is my tremendous capacity to miss people.

Afterall. I’m a child of divorce, rendering me a seasoned household rotater, someone who knows the relationships you are supposed to be able to rely upon like bedrock can lose their solidity.  I have never been an overly sentimental person; I like an organized and tidy space and have no trouble purging little talismans.  I have a keen and sometimes incredible memory. I don’t need the physical stubs from the movie tickets to remind me that you sat on my left at the Cedar Lee Theatre and rubbed the elbow of my sweater and we ate Altoids.

But as a person who pays her taxes and rotates her patio furniture inside during cold months and thinks heavily upon discipline and societal inequities: I am really quite surprised that I have become this grown-up person who misses people.  All the time.

I carry a dull ache around everyday, missing my parents 1000 miles away and missing the people that they were to me when we lived closer, steady and quiet and angry and complicated and proud.  I miss my sister and I miss my brother and I miss that I’ve missed so much of their rites of passage.  I just walked with them to the bus stop on Bradley Road (irritated the whole time that they were dawdling).  Did the bus come and pick those children up?  Who is this woman with the grown-up handbags and this man who shaves before he goes to work?

And my friends.  I miss the familiarity we once had and somehow all of the ways we connect over phone and web seem so artificial; they do not bridge the distance between us, and sometimes makes the disconnect seem even greater.   We broadcast updates in 140 characters to no one in particular. We log in to tune out; we look down to see what is coming our way.

I miss my husband when he is away and when he is home I miss the way that we used to live and I forget to be spontaneous because I am always reaching back to that time when we were once note-writers and bad movie-watchers and latenight snackers. I miss us and I know that I will further miss moments of my life in this blessed present that is the present if I keep on longing for what was.  But sometimes…

Pastor Angelo was preaching at Boston Temple a couple of weeks ago and he pointed to the illustration of John, the beloved apostle, who was already missing Jesus before He had even left the earth.  How he, John, a grown man, was resting his head on Jesus’ chest because he knew that Jesus was going to have to leave soon.  And that is how I live my life.  Not only because I am 4’10” and I will only ever be able to rest my head in the crook of my beloved’s arms or on a loving chest, but the grief that I feel for the missing that is to come sometimes floods my heart all too prematurely.

I am already missing the home that I have not left yet.  I am already missing my children who have not grown up and left the house that they will fill with laughter and crayon wrappers that I do not own yet.  I already do not make sense about that which has not even taken place to be sensible-sounding.

I am tidy, so tidy on the outside.  Purging and packing away. But on the inside, I know I am grief-stricken and looking for a chest into which I can bury my face.  But of course I’ll keep my face pressed forward; I don’t want to miss anything.

***
Dare I look back at this.  March 2008.  Oh, I miss her.

i love being a mom!

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Relocation

As you can well imagine, the emotions that I am assigning to this impending move of ours range from Excited like a Tween Before Her First Junior High Dance –> to –> Paralyzed with Fear like a Tween Just Tapped by a Clammy-Handed Boy at the First Junior High Dance.

The place that I seem to keep hovering is a place of fruitless agitation. Intuitively I know everything is good, everything will be well, but I find myself agitated about not getting anything done, not achieving anything purposeful toward the move, and, huffff, this is of course neh-heh-HEVER my fault, it’s just that if everyone would just stop pestering me with the need for critical information that only I can provide for our federal tax return, or if they would stop sitting right next to me silently pawing through whole jars of VIX Vap-o-Rub and spreading it all over their faces like it’s a mud mask, this mama could get a move-on in deciding whether we are going to need two travel size packs of Prell 2-in-1 shampoo conditioner or can we do with only one? PRIORITIES. I haz them.

I know there are a lot of object lessons to learn with this move, and I feel the Lord pressing upon my heart this awareness that I need to enjoy this fleeting time with my family before I start working full-time, because –and this is where it gets a little spooky–this could be, like, the LAST time I ever work only part-time. Like, ’til I die!

But that’s all lofty talk. More pointedly, I’ve often been likening this move to writing the 5 paragraph essay. I’ve taught English Composition I quite a few times now. I feel I am close(r) to mastering it. I’ve learned how to time my lessons, how not to put the proverbial cart before the carriage when it comes to preparing my students with the tools they need to write the hook, the intro paragraph, the thesis, the body paragraphs, the conclusion OMG AM I BRINGING YOU BACK OR AM I BRINGING YOU BACK?

The mark of the first round of essays that always come back to me is: clutter. Heaptitudes of clutter. I always work hard with my students to declutter their essays. I say, your main idea is getting swallowed by all this tangential talk, by all of these cliches and global statements. Get to the point.

I find this is true of our move. What is the point here? The point is to get our lives boxed in the next few months, to rent out our place, to make this experience as smooth as possible, such that when we rip all of our limbs off, there won’t be any sloppy nerves still hanging out of their sockets, you know?

The process of decluttering my own singular life is not so taxing as that of a whole family and although it gives me perverse pleasure to spend hours liquidating closets, I really think that maybe I am missing the point.

The point is not just to purge the excess, to stack neatly and ready for take-off the necessary. It is to reflect on the life that we have built here as a family. It is to remember the second floor ovens we once lived in, the frat boy beds we saw delivered from 1-800-MATTRESS, which we broke in and outgrew. It is to take stock of the dishes we have still in tact versus the ones we have broken. The tiny bedroom where we thought we would store our skis and instead, we saw a plus sign on a stick and learned it would store a crib.

There are cracks in our windows and superhero stickers on our built-ins and I know the exact spot in the floor of the hallway where it creaks and I don’t want to change any of it, to make tidy that which is a testament to a life that we lived between walls where we tripped and hugged and danced and learned to be a family.

But beyond all this clutter, I think the point is that we’ll still be a family in that new place. Isn’t it amazing that the four most important things we’ll be moving don’t need a box?

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