Saturday, September 6, 2008

Early Morning People

I went to bed late on Friday, and it's a good thing that I did. I was ironing, in fact, when at 11:30 pm, Priscilla came bursting through the front door all sniffling and red-faced and disappointed in herself, after a failed sleepover attempt at our next-door neighbor's house. "Sorry," I waved to my neighbor and her daughter, and then held Priscilla on the couch for awhile, wiping tears and confiding in her that I, too, used to get homesick as a child. It felt so good, just snuggling, that I took my time with wrapping things up, finally carrying her to her own room after midnight. And then I dawdled, read a chapter of my book, and crammed my brain too full of thoughts to settle down in a timely manner. The next morning, when our alarm when off at 6:30 am, I thought I'd die (or at least throw-up) if I attempted to open my eyes, so heavy and swollen with exhaustion. What in the world is going on here? I asked my husband, only just in my head. I was in no condition to communicate or think logically.

After a few hits of the snooze button, I remembered that, wait, this was Saturday! The promise of beautiful weather, good company, strong coffee, and boxes of donuts had me dressed and even lucid in no time. By 8:00 am, I had picked up Paige and was pulling into the parking lot at St. Elizabeth's. The Sabourins, then, spent a lovely couple of hours shopping and volunteering at our Church's annual Rummage Sale. A leather jacket for Elijah, a winter coat for me, and computer speakers for my husband were just a few of the finds we carried home with delight in our recycled plastic Walmart bags.

I am feeling more and more a part of this community, the little town in which I live and teach and worship. It's been two- and- half years now since we nervously traded big for small, fast for slow, urban for quaint and quiet. I recognize people almost everywhere I go - the store, the park, the YMCA, or the library. It will be interesting to see if my own kids appreciate the predictability and intimacy I find so novel and reassuring, or if, as they grow, they'll ache for anonymity and adventure. That's usually how it works, right? The odds are pretty good that I, too, like my own parents did, will help move my children from one cramped city apartment to the next. And I will tell them, like my own parents did, that each one is homey and roomier than I expected. I will unpack boxes and scrub, until my fingers bleed, bathtubs and sticky kitchen floors. I will wave goodbye and leave them there. And then I'll worry...worry.

Right now, though, their on top of me, eating me, breathing me. It's impossible to tell where I leave off and they begin. Tomorrow, when the alarm cuts short my rest, I'll wake to noise and needs and nerves about to fray from all the pressure I've put upon myself to take care of everything and everyone. But if I'm smart, I'll find some caffeine, say a prayer, and tune right in to the gloriousness of them here within my heart, within my grasp. I am thankful for this place and for my family.


paige maddex said...

I, too, am starting to feel settled in. It's about time!