It's been three weeks since my last entry, three busy weeks. Packed with life, a blur of family visiting, trips to the beach, and a couple firsts for Jalynn—her first fireworks show and Space Mountain ride. As I reflect on the past 21 days, I have nothing specific to say yet my mind is alive with things I don't want to forget. So here they are, the mostly random observations of a tired (but satisfied) mom, wife, and daughter:
My kids are friends. When one sees the other for the first time in the morning, they both light up. She sings. He giggles. She pulls him into a near-violent hug. He doesn't fight it. Tough little thing, that Malakye. Good thing he's built like his daddy. Tonight Jalynn confirmed what I had already observed. "We're friends, Mommy," she announced as she squeezed her little brother. She took the words right out of my heart. I wonder when my mom first noticed that Kory and I were friends? I wonder if she still notices?
Family. My family visited for a week. Parents, brother, sister-in-law, niece. A houseful. A glorious, most-of-the-time lovely houseful. What is it about being around my family whom I love so much that brings out the ugly in me? Don't get me wrong. It's not them; it's me. Really. (And no, we're not breaking up.) When I'm with them I so readily travel back to familiar unpleasant places that used to be all I know. I guess it's why alcoholics are never "recovered" but only "recovering," even after decades without a drink. People pleasing. Martyrdom (over the silliest little things). Insecurity. At times their affirmation means more to me than God's Himself. And I interpret any moment of unanticipated silence as disapproval. It's messed up. It's my flesh. It's evidence that transformation is a process and not yet a destination.
Swim lessons. Jalynn started swim lessons last week. It's adorable and hilarious and well worth the $56 we paid (if not in measurable swimming improvement than at least in memories). It's her and three other three-year-olds in Mr. Louie's class. On the first day he called their names and told them to "climb on." Then like a daddy duck, he swam his four ducklings out to a little raft in the middle of the pool, two on his back, one in the crook of each arm. While the other kids take turns practicing their kicks and bubbles and floats with Louie, Jalynn occupies herself by "going under water." What she thinks is full immersion is really just putting her head back just far enough to get her hair wet. The rest of the class were no-shows last Thursday. So J and Mr. Louie had 25 minutes of undivided time. He taught her how to go under water for real. One of the cutest things I've ever watched from a short distance. Do I do that? Tell myself (and sometimes others) I've gone under when really only my hair is wet?
Generosity. My parents are hands-down the most generous people I've ever known. They are also the most under-appreciated people I've ever failed to appreciate. Gifts. Time. Constant, unreciprocated service. Washing dishes. Watering flowers. Sewing buttons back on Jalynn's curtains to replace the ones she bit off while she was going through an oral phase after Malakye was born (yes, kids are weird). My parents are breathtaking, and I want to give like them when I grow up.
Confessions of a busy couple. Our pastor challenged everyone in church last week to confess their sins to someone sitting near them. Jimmy and I looked at each other. It'd been a fleshy week for both of us. And we had more to say than I had even realized. Six years of marriage—we've prayed together countless times. Shared, cried, and laughed together. But never had we straight-up confessed our sins to each other. And I sincerely hope it's not another six years before we do it again. Amazing.
Splat. Malakye army-crawled noggin-first into our sliding glass door yesterday. I looked up from my station at the kitchen sink just in time to see it happening (but not in time to stop it). Had I glanced a second or two earlier, would I have rescued him from certain mishap? Honestly, I'm not sure. You see, it was one of the sweetest, most heart-breaking things I've ever laughed at. Like an unsuspecting, chubby little bird. He didn't cry, just looked at me and grinned, which lessened my guilt a tad. Maybe I should stop washing the window so often (and by "so often," I mean once a month, on a good month).
Home. When Jimmy and I got married and moved into our first house together, I programmed our new number under "house" on my cell phone. My parents' number occupied the "home" spot in my contact list. It remained that way for several years. ... Almost two years ago while I was working full-time outside of the home I texted Jimmy one afternoon to say I was on my way home from work. My words: "Coming home." His reply: "To the place where you belong." We're moving again next month, this time to an area outside of LA that's closer to Jimmy's work and all-around more affordable. It'll be move #5 in just under six years. We checked out the area and a potential preschool for J last week before dropping my mom off at LAX. Pretty much circled all of southern California in one afternoon. Before the last leg of the journey Jimmy typed "home" into the GPS. A cute little house icon shows up when you program in your home address. I had never noticed this before. Seeing it brought these little things back to me—my cell phone contact list, the sweet text message—and I realized that I am home. More than ever before. And perhaps as much as I'll ever be until I really am Home.