Tuesday, March 4, 2014

The Just Before

I'm sitting here watching Jim pace back and forth by the front door. He's on an important call, and I wish I could close my eyes and float on the expertise in his words, but I can't, and he's wearing sweat pants. Our five-year-old's holding his hand and pacing with him. Also, there's random....just...trash on our living-room floor. Half a cheese stick. A long piece of toilet paper. A sucker stick and broken pieces of crayon.

Jim was supposed to have his truck repaired yesterday and leave for his mom in Knoxville, today, but we're snowed in again. My big kid's sleeping in the cave of his room: puts me in mind of a big cat, these days. The baby and I haven't been up long enough for me to attend to the living-room floor, which has been trashed by my daughters just this morning. We call this rat behavior.

"Were you a good girl, today?" Jim will ask one of them, some evenings.

"Yes, Daddy," she'll answer, "excepting some rat behavior."

Speaking of rat behavior, the five-year-old cut a big hunk of hair from the front center of her head, the other day. (Thank you, Nana, for her scissors that I should've locked in the school cabinet weeks ago.) The good news is that it should take only 2-3 years for the hair to grow back to its previous length. For now, she's sporting a bit of a spike. It suits her; we don't call her the Wild Orange for nothing.

And I feel thankful to be snowed in with these, my people: my man in his sweat pants, my lean and lazy big kid, my Wild Orange Spike, my redheaded ninja (who's asked to be called Pinkie Pie), and my Chip of a yumster (who started adding smacks to the ends of his kisses just yesterday). Soon enough, the snow will melt, and we'll have to share Jim in ways that will require his leaving the house and, probably, the state.

Yesterday, I started a Daniel Fast because I recognize this season for what it is: the just before. It would be easy for me to sleep, or better yet, bake! through this moment, but I'm choosing instead to pray and watch and go a little without. My brother's having spinal surgery, tomorrow (It'll be the third time someone tries to do the same durn thing.), and my mother-in-law's very sick. Please cover our people in prayer.

The other day in the grocery store, I inhaled hard and felt my lungs fill to the brim with air. How long has it been, I wondered, since I've taken a deep breath? And so I declare it good, in times like these, to create a calm environment for my babies: to watch them drift down, down like loosed and colorful leaves, to watch them sleep in peace wherever they land.

**writing in community with Heather


  1. I remember, as a little girl, when I took my safety scissors and cut my hair down to my scalp. My mother laughed through tears.

  2. Yeah, we weren't allowed to have scissors. I think mom had ESP (or experience in another life).

    The pictures of your sleeping little one are awesome! Aren't they just the cutest when conked out? And I'm sure the "big kid" is loving the time off, but boy, they're all going to have to push hard for SOLs!

    Peace <3

  3. I love this!...and those toes!!!!

  4. I personally love to get snowed it. Better yet, when the power goes off. It suddenly slows the world down and reminds of what really matters. Are we safe? Are we warm? Are we together?

  5. Cute post. It hasn't snowed here yet in England. Sorry you've been snowed in!

    Thank you. Love love, Andrew. Bye.

  6. I LOVE the sleeping photos.

    (and I too cannot wait for the snow and winter to end!)

  7. awww.cute pics of your little one....
    and the hair will grow back you know...smiles...its all part of growing up....
    we got snow again today...most melting in the late afternoon.

  8. I especially love the toe photo....oh my beautiful charleigh .....<3 you brandee

  9. Oh my goodness, the scissors! Crazy that we all have similar stories about that one :)
    LOVE the photos!