Monday, February 24, 2014

plans, lists, memories, and blooming

We drove around after church yesterday, through a couple of little towns outside of where we live. On a main street in one town we saw a couple walking their pig. That and some other things about the town made me feel like I was in an Ozarks' version of Stars Hollow. To make that Gilmore Girls reference even more complete, a deer almost hit us on the way home.  (But she didn't.) . . . And I digress . . .

The Hubs had a major test to keep studying for, so we didn't have a ton of time, but we made some time.  The boys were content in their carseats. For about thirty minutes we talked about what might be ahead in another eighteen months. We talked about what might not be ahead, too because once upon a time we thought we would only be where we are for four or five years. But it has been eight and a half now, and the earliest we will leave with our newest commitment will be at ten years. We are somewhat comfortable because things are familiar, but we are also feeling a bit pinched and restless because this was not our plan.

These days I often find myself wondering what that even means. . .  "Our plan?"

The days and the weeks blur together, extremely long and also all too short. On Saturday I sat on our driveway with the boys and a box of chalk. The Hubs came out and helped with the bubble wand, and I attempted to teach Bubby the art of hopscotch. Then I promised him in another year or two I would teach him how to play four-square.  Just the words four-square bring back wonderful memories of elementary school recess. My friends and I would run on the blacktop to get a square so that we wouldn't have to share a square with the boys. I didn't excel at any sport. In fact, I didn't attempt many sports, but I could hold my own at four-square. Somehow that still makes me happy,  twenty-plus years later.

Lately in the in-between moments I find myself holding Bugaboo, who is crying for unknown reasons. Inconsolable.  It is almost like he used to be at bedtime for all of those months, but now it is at random times during the day. I hold him. I pat his back. I sing. I pray. I stay silent.  When he isn't having these crying spells, he is a happy and easy going boy. He keeps making his lists of names or shows or songs, adding a few here and there, taking one away for awhile.  I have now started saying full sentences to him  with the words when he lists, trying to get him to repeat and make a complete thought. Once in awhile he does. But usually he sticks to listing.

A new list appeared this weekend.  "6...7...8...9...10...11...12...13" An outsider may have had a hard time with his struggling articulation, but it was there. On his own while I was driving he said it.  I tried to have him do it again with me, but he refused.  Then later I heard him counting in his room.  But today he actually cooperated and counted with me. That mysterious, wonderful mind keeps me guessing. What else is in there to unlock, little boy? Help me find the right keys.

 As spring approaches (I hope, please come soon, Spring) I keep getting this  phrase in my head, "Bloom where you are planted."  I want to argue with this cliche'.  But I can't. We are here, still, so I have some choices to make and an attitude to adjust.  There's so much more I still want, need, have to say. Nothing earth-shattering, just little decisions here and there, and the process of processing still more. I hope to find the right words soon.


  1. I loved four-square, too. Not sure I remember how to play, though. Bloom on, Mama; you're splendid! So exciting about the counting! :)

    1. I learned (when I started teaching fourth grade) that there are different ways of playing. Of course, I thought my students' ways of playing were ridiculous. Ha! Thanks also for the encouraging words!

  2. Thank you for writing. I feel that we are walking the same path in some ways, sometimes. I'm going to try to remember to "bloom where I am planted" too.


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