Autumn Sunday


Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Papaw's Dance

XIT with my Papaw

When my Papaw died,
He left behind his genuine snakeskin boots—
The ones he wore teaching me to jitterbug at the XIT rodeo.
I remember the evening like it was yesterday--
Sweltering August panhandle heat, beading my brow in sweat,
Dusting my crisp white top with bits of dry, blown sand.

When we arrived at the dance hall,
The lights diffused pink, yellow and white streams above me
As my grandfather’s rough hands waltzed me around the floor.
I breathed in the dense fumes of his warm, stale tobacco breathe;
his newly laundered shirt scratching my bare arms as we moved—
1, 2, 3, 1, 2, 3, 1,2,3, 1,2,3.1
I fumbled over my feet-- clumsy in chunky white heels,
And dropped my head in embarrassment.
He laughed, then, like popcorn—slow rumble at first,
And then explosive, directing my gaze up.
Then Papaw’s hands, rough to touch, yet steady and gentle,
Lead my wandering feet back into step again.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

The Amelia Bedlia in Me

The Amelia Bedelia in Me
Today was one of those days when, for no reason at all, things just seemed to be a hair off. Take this morning, for instance, when I went to make my usual coffee and the coffee started jetting out of a small hole in the coffee pot. Then, I sat down for my morning devotions, only to find that I couldn’t find either one of my Bibles or my devotional book. I searched, high and low, all day, only to find them in a random kitchen drawer— not at all where they are usually kept. Then, when I went to the store to get a few things before picking my two year old up for school, I was strangely side tracked by an exhibit of small planes, a very yummy pretzel stand, and the clearance racks. Finally, making my way to the isle of stuff I actually needed, I loaded my cart with diapers and wipes (and one unnecessary ,but adorable, clearance airplane shirt for my two year old). Thinking that I had better look at my watch to make sure that I had plenty of time, I became almost frantic to see that I was one minute shy of 2:30—the time I needed to pick up my son. I left the cart in women's clothing, raced out of the store like a frantic woman, was heckled by someone who wanted to fix my windshield (couldn’t they see me running to my car??), and zoomed out of the lot to get my son. I mean, how int he world had I so badly miscalculated how much time I had (I guess I had forgotten about the pretzel stand). Upon my arrival home, I tried to take a nice, filtered glass of water, only to have the tab break off the filter. And for the grand finale of my day, I waltzed down the stairs after putting my boys to bed, and somehow badly managed my own spatial awareness, as I fell down the stairs, managing to rip the baby gate off the wall as I toppled down on top of it… bruises and all.

All of these events leave me wondering where, and when, I left my mind. Do you ever have days or weeks like that? For no reason at all, you forget where you parked your car. Or perhaps you drive out of the garage, forgetting that you never opened the garage door. Or perhaps, you have pulled a “Britney Spears” with your children, frantically rushing to get somewhere only to find that you never actually buckled your baby in their car seat (I’ve never done that, I’m just saying…)
I am not sure what all of these momentary lapses of brain activity signal to you, but to me, they are usually saying “calm down”—you are trying to accomplish too much. Take a nap, eat a piece a cake (or for me, eat less cake is closer to the truth).

I am hoping that tonight will bring on a new wave of rest for me, and I hope it does for you. I think moments like these help me to remember that I am human, and that I must open a baby gate slowly, just like everyone else. Trying to superman through it simply does not work very well. Being a mom of two boys means that I am moving at warp speed about 90 percent of the time. Ahh, to take a slow minute to write, take a bath, or nap, is not just a luxury, but rather sometimes, it is a necessity. These “Amelia Bedelia” moments remind me that I must be a good steward of my own care too. It is often easy to forget that when I am desperately trying to stretch 24 hours into 48. That said, I think I will retire now and head upstairs to a nice, bubbly tub for a little “me time” .

Monday, February 7, 2011

A Mother's Gift

A Mother’s Gift

Days stretch on endlessly, at times,
Like an endless highway bending into the azure horizon.
I have driven lonely stretches across the west,
The road wrapping and twisting towards the cobalt sky--
My tires ticking along the hard- lined pavement,
While my thoughts whistle and wind into mindless oblivion.
I begin conversations with myself to pass time,
Rhetorical questions surfacing with no end--
Like the road.
Finally, just when I think insanity has set in--seeped in,
I see Colorado mountains scraping the horizon,
And I scream a loud, astonishing bellow and re- collect myself.

I have found that mothering feels like a road that starts with a bellow
At a labor done and the longest journey beginning.
This mysterious road leads in a direction that is mostly forward,
But seems, at times, to be going backward as
The endless bumps of weeks, days, and seconds, click
Under my heels like blips on a surface that has no familiarity.
My navigational abilities blur as my eyes, heavy ridden with sleeplessness,
And my hands, dry as leather from endless diaper changes,
Tick along to nurse, wipe, clear, and collect my children.
Time wraps itself through the pavement of my life and pulls me under sometimes.
--I went to sleep 25 and woke up with a child at 30.
But ahh, the sudden relief at pit-stops on this highway--
ripples of laughter, dimpled cheeks wet from tears, an owie to kiss,
A newborn to smell, and the sticky wet kisses of Teddy to break up oblivion--
centering me in this journey that is always a road and rarely a destination.
Ahh, my life is too small for these tasks—
A gift measured not by miles but by moment after moment of grace.