The thing about thirteen is that the physical connection of picking them up and cleaning their bodies, bathing and dressing them and playing on the playground and putting them in and out of their carseats and laying with them and reading to them and having them sit on your lap it's all over. It's all over.
Marriage is the end. It's not the beginning. It's knowing that at the end you have all the memories and all the friendships and all the dreams with one person. And you trust that person to be with you at the end.. and you want that person to be with you at the end. It's not a big secret. It's a big commitment. It's wanting.. it's a lot of waiting. And it's only if you are willing..
Even though I believe in God and many other Christian beliefs, I am not so keen on forgiveness. For the most part, it's unnecessary. I have already forgotten or have been completely oblivious to any petty machinations, slights, comments or outright bold assumptions against my person. I have no idea nor do I care what one person might have said or thought some time ago..
We fear that we have lost our potential or ourselves. We fear that we will not look a certain way. And who cares anyway? Nobody that matters. The real truth is that we do have love and we do have friends. We have everything. But our ego always wants us to suffer: but nothing from the ego is real. Good or bad, high or low. It's not real.
A good friendship is undefinable but undeniable. Like the weather friendship moves and bends to the breeze.
As I sit here watching Mall Cop on Day 10 of our foreign exchange student's visit I cannot help but feel a mix of exhilaration and failure. It's been a long day, we spent it in San Francisco watching the Giants beat the Pittsburgh Pirates. There is nothing like sitting behind home plate in the sun with a beer and a cool breeze watching the tips of sailboats float by as Buster Posey shimmies up to the plate. I was transported, but I digress. We did this for Noelie.
Last night at 2:22 am a bus rolled into the parking lot at Watt and Fair Oaks carrying our foreign exchange student, Noelie. Coincidentally my neighbor and friend was bringing home her second child, a new baby boy at the same time. I cannot tell you who had a better grip on the situation, but I have a feeling my neighbor was more prepared.
Never in my wildest imagination did I expect to spend thirteen years raising my daughter with the outcome being that I became the most irritating person on the planet. But here I am, the most annoying and offsetting person in the house. I have the power to repel my daughter simply by asking her to brush her teeth, pick up her clothes or wear sunscreen. I used to write down her little phrases and popular sayings as she grew up. These days it’s: “Mom. Stop.” But you have to draw it out when you say it: “Mom. Staaaaaaaaaaaoooppppp
What hurts us more? Not knowing that you can control anything or knowing it and still wanting to. Knowing that you can save your self from pain, except you can't. Knowing it's better for someone you love to go through something than for us to try and change the outcome. We limit ourselves so much in the avoidance of pain that we end up cheating ourselves from the freedom in living.
The art of engagement was taught to me by my older brother. At times stealth was necessary, also; screaming, stunts, laughter and tears. It has taken me a long time, and numerous misguided conversations, fights and hurt feelings to realize that not all people are willing to confront another. Instead, emotions from ten, twenty, or thirty years ago can sit guardedly waiting to bite an unsuspecting soul.
As with everything in my life there is a time that changes everything. My parents are numb to any proclamation: I'm moving to the beach, I quit my job, I'm starting a new career, I'm buying a magazine, I'm pregnant, I'm going back to college, and sometimes.. I'm staying where I am.
What if there are no answers to life's biggest questions? I submit that there are not. The why's, what if's and when's.. you can pack those up and put them away. It's not that there aren't answers to things, it's that the answers to the questions we seek are either already known inside our gut or cannot be known. We can pray, we can work, we can hope, but at the end of the day we will never know how everything is going to work out until it's all worked out.
Each one of us has a gift. Maybe not on the scale of Shakespeare, Milton or Mozart, but one must never compare one's gifts to another... that is the first law of freedom.
Supposing this; everything material and idealistic that you personally desire can be attained. What will this feel like as we sit upon our quixotic mountaintop? Will we look out at the world and say “Aha! I have arrived!!” or will we look across the valley and see another mountain to climb?