January 4, 2014
jack, age 11
His entrance to the world was not an easy one…it was my hardest birth, giving birth to a deep bond between us- only the other knowing just how deeply we loved and worked.
He walks through life much the same, a quiet persistence and wisdom. Both with a very matter-of-fact delivery but somehow with ancient roots.
He asks me how I am with sincerity every single day and thanks me for every meal.
He watches too closely over his sisters and is frustrated by the lack of respect he receives from them for this careful eye.
He is forever loyal to his brother, like a twin who is bound beyond even blood.
His charm is unconnected, he is unknowing of the power it possesses.
He works towards his dreams methodically, catching them, holding tight.
His mind forever curious, his heart tender and kind.
Some days, to me as his mother, he doesn’t seem of this world- I have no idea where he came from…almost an enigma to me.
Without trying to understand why or how, I land in a place of deep gratitude that we are in a family together.
…that I am his mother.
Happy Birthday Jackie-boy! We love you so…
April 28, 2013
Sometimes when there is too much around me and I am just not sure where to start or what to do in my life, I head to the vault. It’s a collection of pictures, a group of moments I keep buried in my files waiting to be held, processed, finished somehow…At times the vault tortures me as I can never seem to get to the task and at other moments I think of it as the vessel where little bits of treasure rest, where stories wait to be told or the reminder of how sweet things were resides.
I often wonder how many small moments of our lives are still there waiting for us, hanging out in the back of the vaults of our hearts…places for us to escape back to with a more gentle and kind view of our lives…maybe this is the best part of leaving things undone, unfinished, and not exactly having it organized the way we think we should.
As I looked through the pictures of Lyra’s birthday last September, all I could see was what it looks like to be loved and adored.
The love started by Jen offering her back yard for the party and I was reminded that no mother should ever do birthday parties alone… and how love doesn’t always look like a Pinterest page and is often more of a modge podge of simple kind offerings.
One princess tent already infused with joy from a birthday of another dear girl earlier that year was lent for fort goodness.
One old slip n’ slide that gave many a never-ending slide was shared to double the awesomeness of the new mega slide.
A last minute decorating job to a store bought cake made mermaid cake dreams come true.
…and each person shared what they love about Lyra on magic rocks that she will keep in her own heart vault to pull out when times are rough, or she loses her way, or just to know what it feels like to be loved and adored…again and again.
And it isn’t so much about perfect parties and picture moments but how each little part, each little offering adds up to something bigger …and that when we love each other and share whatever we have, the circle of love and adoration grows wider and wider, including us all.
June 2, 2012
“Sooooo, what do you want for your birthday?” I asked cheerfully.
“Ummm, nothin’.” he replied.
Oh my lord. This has been his answer for every birthday and Christmas for at least the last 20 years. And I never listen to him, and then there were the years where I painstakingly listened for clues on which electronic gadget I should buy only to have him buy it for himself 2 days before the holiday.
I still love to argue this maddening topic but I kept it cool.
“Well…how about a backyard party, ya know, just a few people…” I said. Inside my head this meant a Pinterest worthy garden party with 5 different amazing salads, cheeses I can’t pronounce, an insane wine I know nothing about and beef tenderloin or something else ridiculous. And by golly, there would be a shockingly beautiful table with meaningful touches at every turn…and dancing and sparklers to close the evening…you know, like a wedding but for a guy, on his birthday.
“Yeah, like burgers and beer? You know we have that giant blue plastic bucket, it’s good for beer and we can use the tiki torches. I just don’t want you to, you know, be all stressed out and stuff. ” he replied.
“ME? Stressed out before a party?!! NOoooo….” I laughed and he hugged me tight.
Okay, I’m gonna do it, I’m actually gonna give him what he wants…yes, I can do that. Well, almost. I started to Pinterest, just a bit and realized it was pointless. I could settle on pulled pork and beans, corn and slaw, and summer beer…but I couldn’t totally get rid of pretty.
I spent all day cleaning up the secret garden, and set a table with the colors of his new company and a large picture of he and Lucy, wishing I could put little story starters or notes of love for Jorge at each place setting…but I didn’t, and I didn’t even buy a cake or presents. I only got the slightest bit stressed at the end when our friends started to arrive and I still hadn’t showered.
He walked outside, summer beer in hand.
“Soooo, what do you think?” I asked.
“It’s great babe, it kinda looks like I died, but I like it!” he said as he looked at the table with the giant picture.
And it did, it totally looked like he died.
“Oh Jorge Salgado, everyone should know how much they are loved BEFORE they die!”
he laughed…and even in my feeble attempts to love him how he wants to be loved I can only almost get it right…
…and yet this dear man who needs no fan fare, only a cold beer on a sticky night, yummy food on paper plates, kids crawling on his lap and leaving to chase fireflies, a good razzing or story and his family and friends close…it’s all he’s ever wanted and needed to feel loved.
…to be loved like this.
my birthday love song for you my partner and friend:
Are you a birthday kind of person? Do you like them big and grand or quiet and meaningful? Tell me in the comments, I’m taking an unofficial poll. or even better, do you have some one that you care about that you are stumbling through trying to love them right?
ALSO!! Hey RVA friends, I just hid one of these in the back sleeve of the DVD copy of The Sound of Music at Westover Hills Library! If you find it, it’s yours! But take a pic and send it to me at firstname.lastname@example.org!