Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Seven Coats

Days like this, I wish I was more clever or witty, or maybe that I was enjoying a more poetic vibe. None of those are true today, because I'm just tired. It's not a bad thing. It happens. You know.

But I have news.

Remember how, Robert came home a week and a half ago?
The very next day, we got a call saying we'd soon have another temporary house guest. A tiny one with little teeth like Tic Tac mints and a raspy voice that makes me feel like I'm living in reverse.

It blew our dang minds. 

After the "when", we addressed the "where", diving headlong into the most frazzled, cluttered version of musical rooms ever.

We occupy the now-defunct toy room, and here's where things get strange: I cried about moving our room. I mean, my eyes leaked a little. It wasn't a full-blown crying jag. It was the kind where the feelings want to EXIT THE BUILDING but the Super won't let them. The doors are locked. The windows barred. So, you know, they pull the fire alarms. They do what they gotta do. Eventually, they get noticed, and they run.

I never once felt sad or disappointed or inconvenienced about our new, littlest house-guest.
We're not sure how long she'll be here, but she's already making our days brighter.

Still, in the days leading up to her arrival, I was blue for 28-odd hours over a dumb bedroom. I liked the old bedroom. It was so much bigger. We'd lived there for 2 and a half years. It was home. I was comfortable there. It was quieter. Prettier. And what would become of the refugee toys??

The whole experience reminded me of leaving the farm. Only, I could swear this bedroom switch-out was sadder.

It's so silly, so inconsequential and embarrassing to admit. Or maybe change never gets easier when it isn't our idea. Maybe this is the yank and shove of being human, this long-strung tension between what we think we deserve and the wild grace we're actually given.

We're out of practice on toddlers over here, but I'm surprised at how much sense it makes.
We're still playing catch-up when it comes to parenting an adult, but we talk long into the darkest hours of night and I find myself wanting to stare again, just like I used to. He spits out stories of heartbreak and chaos without a flinch. He spins a yarn and stacks truth upon truth. From across the room, I believe I'm staring at the answer to the future.

I know he could change the world, if he tried.
(I'm not sure if he will.)

We take a step back and our circle widens.
We take a step back and our arms are filled with muffins and soup and buckets of KFC.
This is the life we were given.
This is our family.

Today, we are seven strong, and counting.
I'm more sure than ever - there's no easy way to say who belongs to me and who doesn't.
It's not up to me. It never was.
The years I believed it was my choice were an illusion, and I'm better off without it.

We're settling in and snuggling up to uncertainty.

His voice reverberates through the floorboards, smooth and kind.
At some point, she cries, and we climb the stairs in the dark.

My life is unrecognizable to me, once again.
I'm well past trying to memorize its angles and planes.

Somehow, it still feels like home.