Welcome to December!
Personally, this is a hard month for me, because it’s the month of endless holiday parties and I don’t really like to be in close spaces for hours with…people.
Thank goodness for the Internet, because I can fraternize with kindred spirits without having to put on pantyhose (okay, you KNOW a man invented pantyhose. Asshole!)
I wanted to let you readers know how much you mean to me; to wrap you in that proverbial fuzzy blanket that gave us childhood comfort and sweet dreams. So I decided to give y’all the Gift of Great Writing this month. In my corner of the
world crawl space, nothing gives me more faith in humanity than the words of kindred hearts.
We are separated by distance, but somehow I know these women, in ways that count, and I am so honored to feature the words of them this month.
I’m starting off with Lindsey, who writes so eloquently and with such delicacy that it makes my foul-mouthed butt ashamed at times, but she reminds me to look. And stop. Please welcome her with open arms. xoxoxo–kitch
Moments of Wonder
Last night I folded up a big Target box and put it in the recycling bin. The box was covered in sharpie words and crayon drawings, and has been a major focus of this house for several days. As I took it out, noticing that the air is positively swampy with spring as I did so, I thought how thrilled I am that Grace and Whit still find a cardboard box to be a thrilling thing to play with. The arrival of a big cardboard box is met with celebrating, and provides days of fodder for playing together or alone. I love this.
It reminded me of the night, a few weeks ago, when I decided to make a chocolate fudge cake that I’d first made for Whit, on his request, last summer. I surprised the kids with the cake in the morning, and gave them each fat slices for breakfast. They looked at me, bewildered wonder on their faces, suspecting, I think, that I was going to announce that I was joking and snatch the plates away. I wasn’t, and I didn’t. They were thrilled beyond all reason at this tiny surprise. Grace even told me recently that she had written a “whole page” in her journal at school about this, and I groaned at her that she wasn’t making me look very good in front of her teacher.
I get the same sense of awed pride when I asked Whit recently what his favorite part of spring break was. He said, without hesitating, “Disney,” but then he went on, “but close after that, our trip to Walden.” Or when, after a dinner full of rowdy, obnoxious bickering, they calm down, within minutes, when we go for a pajama-clad ‘notice things’ walk. Furthermore, that they ask, over and over again, for these walks.
Or there’s the way that both kids have adopted the small sparrow that sleeps under the eave of our porch. “Still,” they have named him, and each night they peer around the door, checking to make sure he’s there. Still is less a pet figure than he is a reminder that if we pay attention and slow down – if we are still – the wild magic of the world at large can come to rest, for a moment, in our palm.
I know for sure that this is one of the things I most want to pass on to my children: the propensity for delight, the willingness to be amazed, an openness to the hugeness of small things. Whether it’s a trait or an inclination I’m not sure; I don’t know that it matters. I do know, however, that it is one way to assure a life full of joy. That doesn’t mean there won’t be great sorrow, too. As far as I can tell they are often twined entirely together. If there’s one thing I want to do as a mother, it is to help Grace and Whit hold onto their capacity for wonder.
There is surely a reason why this is the subject to which I return over and over again: the wonder of ordinary life. The wonder of that vast design, of which we sometimes glimpse the contours, though never the whole. The wonder of human relationships, the sky, the turning of the seasons, poetry, the power contained in the light of a day.
The wonder of living in the slipstream of time, whose eddies are both utterly unique and totally universal. That’s why I write, more than any other reason: to record my moments of wonder, both in their thunderous joy and their swelling sadness, and to bow in thanks to the small guides who showed me the way here.