Little Girls

One daughter falls asleep each night with a book in her hands, quietly observing life from the edge.

While the other prefers to explore the world first hand without question or fear of consequence or boundaries.

Wildly different, yet equally beautiful.

I often wonder which will have the most fulfilling life.

Most likely, both.

 One runs and sings and laughs without care. She is the devil on your shoulder. She has no inhibitions. She once said, “Mommy, I don’t think I have a conscience.”  And of course I laughed. She simply sparkles and delights.

The other is quiet and submissive. She is thoughtful and calm. Until she is not. She can be the butterfly that lands on your hand. And in the next moment, a quiet storm.

And from all outward appearances, they would seem to be the same. They both have soft brown hair, perfect smiles and eyes filled with wonder.

But one giggles shyly when she laughs, while the other lights up like a hundred fireworks.

A man I once loved told me “Your girls are everything that you are.”

I can’t imagine a more beautiful thing to say to a mother. Because even on my worst days, when I don’t like myself very much, I still look at them in amazement.

Because they will both always be my two favorite people.

My heart.

Advertisements

Old Man

The old man next door lives in a beautiful old brick house. The 3rd floor attic windows are framed with white curtains.

Each day as I drink my morning coffee, I can see him out my window, as he fills the many bird feeders in his yard. He comes out the side door and walks slowly to the old red wooden shed a few yards away from his house. He carries a large green bucket back and forth, filling it with bird seed.  He does this several times, as he has many feeders in his yard. I have never seen his face but he has a full head of thick white hair. He stands about 6 feet tall, but it’s hard to tell because he is slightly hunched over. He always wears a tall pair of black Wellingtons pulled up over dark gray pants and a plain brown coat.

Each morning when I open my back doors to walk the dog, I can hear all of the birds chirping happily, loudly.

The white flowered curtains in the attic windows suggest a woman lived there once, too. But I have never seen anyone but him. And because I don’t know anything about this man, I imagined his and her story in my head.

They fell in love at fifteen. High school sweethearts.  He thought she was the prettiest girl he had ever seen. Small and fragile. He waited patiently until after they both graduated to ask her father for her hand in marriage.  Very much in love, they dreamed of starting a family. They saved enough money and were able to buy a big beautiful brick house in the country. They imagined filling each room with small voices and little feet running and playing in the garden.

They tried for many years to have children, but were unsuccessful. They later found out she was unable to have children. Eventually they stopped trying. There would be no children to wake them up each Christmas morning. No birthday cakes to bake. No tiny hands to pick flowers from the garden on Mothers Day.

The years made her more fragile, but yet she spent her days outside, lovingly tending and planting her favorite flowers as he built beautiful bird houses from recycled old wood to hang in all of the trees.

Spring became their favorite time of year and they would spend their days outside, enjoying the beautiful sanctuary they had created together.

The years went by and she fell ill. In her final days, he never left her bedside. He hired a nurse to care for her in their home. One night, as he admired her peacefully asleep, she slipped away from him quietly, as he gently held her thin hand.

He retired and kept to himself, spending his days alone. Sometimes reading, but mostly looking out the window, watching the birds in their weed ridden garden. His nights spent warding off insomnia.

And now he gets up with the sun each day, and sometimes before the sun. He sits on an old painted bench next to the back door, resting his weary hands on the worn wood. He puts on his Wellingtons and his old brown coat and goes outside to feed the birds.

The garden is overgrown with leaves and vines, but spring is just around the corner. Soon he’ll be busy pulling and tending and planting again.

I saw the old man yesterday. The sun was out and the air was crisp. A bag of soil, a watering can and some gardening tools, all lined up carefully next to the shed.

Each spring he does his best to restore the garden to it’s original beauty, knowing it will never be the same.

He does it because it reminds him of her.

But it will never be as beautiful as the woman whose hands can no longer hold his.

11Saint Luke Arch Vertical

bird-pine-warbler-yellow-beauty-travis-truelove

The One and Only…

The night before my girls headed to the beach with their Dad, my 8yo got into trouble.

We were discussing my exBF and she used a series of very descriptive curse words to describe him. I will not say exactly what.

But imagine the worst.

I was not happy.

Her punishment was to copy an excerpt from the James Mollison’s book, “Where Children Sleep.”

For those who are unfamiliar with this book, it is worth Googling. [See link, below.]

She was not happy with this punishment, but she went off to write anyway.

Before I went to bed, I found this card [photo’s below] neatly folded on my pillow, written in her hand.

These are her exact words, verbatim. Keep in mind she is only eight years old.

The cover: “To: The One and Only Mommy.”

Inside:

Dear Mommy,

I am so sorry for saying that word….  I understand that D. is a good person and that I got a little worked up. He hurt you and that is why I get mad. I know that sometimes I can say things that are not good and that’s what makes me mad, too. I can get mad over the littlest things sometimes. I am probably the luckiest girl to have so many chances in my life. Maybe it’s because I’m spoiled. But if it is than you know what? I am sorry for being that way. It can also be because I have the best Mommy in the world. 

But whatever the reason, or explanation, I am sorry and I want one more chance. It now might be my 1 millionth chance, but I am so sorry. I promise that I will keep my feelings to myself.

Please, one more chance. I will love it.

Love,

M.

It’s hard to believe she is only eight years old. And I’ll make sure she never keeps her feelings to herself ever again.

Xoxo

Here is the link to Mr. Mollison’s book:   http://www.jamesmollison.com/wherechildrensleep.php

  

and…