Four posts. Which will surface first? This one calls from the pile...
Loved ones under one roof have permanent residence in my heart. Further up and further in, the mansions they occupy are ever expanding. So why that strange sensation? Pull, tug, sink. It's curious. Like an anxiety I can't name. How could I have a hole when my heart is so full of these dear ones?
A talk on belief resonates through my speakers at a stoplight. It reminds me of other words, how does it go? Let the things you do know inform the things you don't know. Don't let the things you don't know inform the things you do.
Substitute "things" for "people". A brilliant discovery. A balm that eases these mysterious aches. Those things I do know come in scrumptious packages with arms and legs and faces like cherubs. Or, a larger package with golden eyes surrounded by occasional stubble that sands my skin - for proximity matters. I apply these eternal balms many times daily.
Norah and Lizzy have scattered their colored pencils and workbooks and new journals around me on the bed. Lizzy runs off with Nathan. Norah remains and starts conversation while I begin to read a book. I set it aside.
"You know what I need right now, Norah?"
"I need a Norah squash." I take her up onto the bed, arms around my neck, cheek to cheek. Ah. Yes, that is the balm that soothes the aching heart muscles. It's a real sensation, like light from the sun shining on your soul. I drink in the sweetness of this little child. Does she know what power she has over me? Yes.
"Ahh. Mommy, you're so soft mmm. You're always so soft. I could cuddle forever!" She holds this last word out, stretching it and singing it. Then she pulls away and her face looks philosophical.
"You always help me when I get grumpy. You know? When I'm dark and whiny? That's Satan's role, you know?"
I'm getting better at restraining the urge to squash and laugh when such innocent and surprising quips fall from these sweet lips. She's an old soul scrunched into this little 4-year-old body and offends easily when I forget. If only words held a way to translate the tone of her voice, the intricate facial expressions - I can barely quote the words right later when there is pen and paper!
I reply, "Well, we all get grumpy sometimes. We just do the best we can."
"But, you don't get grumpy hardly ever - not like I do. You are nice to me when I'm dark." Her eyes look upward and she twirls her hair. "I think it's because you read scriptures a lot. You know?"
More restraint on my part. One little squeeze. "Reading scriptures is one of the best ways I know to get that light back. I used to be grumpier before I learned." I remember a time not too long ago when Ellie and Nathan were young. I don't think they'd have made the same observation as this little cherub when they were her age.
"Huh, why don't I read my scriptures?! Oh! I guess it's because I don't know how to read."
This time I let a laugh sneak out.
"We should help you practice your reading more then I guess."
"Yeah. Let's do that." I pull her in for another cuddle and breath in that healing balm.
She starts again, "Oh, you're just so soft mommy! Daddy isn't so soft because he has that hard prickly beard sometimes [here she demonstrates with fingers prickling her face]. But you! You have zits! And they're so soft. I like you better with zits." I lose it. She has me laughing so hard she starts laughing.
I'm reminded of a day at Lagoon back in May. Nathan and his cousin stand in line with me. I've taken out my pony tail to warm my shoulders against the chill that's coming as the sun sets.
"Nathan, is there a bump in my hair from the pony tail? Does it look too weird to take it out?" He looks as I turn around.
"Nope! And anyway, you look good no matter what you do. And by the way, I like you better with your moles. If you lost all the moles on your face it would be sad because it wouldn't be you."
"Oh really?" I laugh. "All my zits, too?" He doesn't miss a beat.
Well little cherubs. I won't tell you then that I've found a man who I visit tomorrow that might just be the magical cure for these blemishes you cherish. I'm ready to be rid of them.
But I'll keep your unconditional love forever and apply it as a balm for all my internal blemishes and holes.