Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Contentment. And My Dad.

It's late.
My mind gets busy at night. Sometimes this proves to be not so great, as I worry and worry and worry. I get all spun up, orbiting around problems that don't really exist and will shrink with morning light.

Other times, late hours launch me into greater depth. I become reflective about things I wouldn't normally think on. Thoughts that deserve more of me... they get me at night, sometimes. It's usually the right combination of coffee, reading, and lighting. A careful formula. I struck it pretty well tonight. (Except for that part about the coffee... I think I botched that ingredient in tonight's formula... I am very, very much awake.)

And so this is where I am tonight. Thankfully. Because it is far more enjoyable to think deeply than it is to feel afraid.

I'm thinking of two major topics... Contentment and My Dad. They're not really related, although maybe they overlap in ways yet to be seen.

If you've been around the blog for any measure of time, you might know that I struggle - just a wee bit - with a measure of contentment. I am an extroverted girl of spontaneity, but I am living a life daily routines, board books, laundry, and naptimes. Some days, that gets the best of me. I love every single thing about the two little men who fill my every moment, but some days, well, there are just some days.

But here's the thing: I have been overcome with contentment. I have been renewed with joy in their discoveries, their loves, their learning, and their laughter. I love that Tucker can use scissors. I love that he is learning to talk on the telephone, and so he loves to have pretend conversations with me on his 'phone' all day long. I love that I'm the one who takes those calls. I love, "Mommy, want to play with me??" I love the freckles that have just shown up across the bridge of his nose.
I love that Tyler can spy every single ladybug or a butterfly that crosses his path. I love that he is still talking about the visit to the zoo two weeks ago, and multiple times everyday he spouts off his list of all the animals he saw on that most favorite day. I love his sweet little feet. I love that he intertwines my hair in his fingers when I carry him around the house. I love, "Mommy, up."
I love collecting the scissored scraps and counting the spotted ladybugs. On any given day, this is where I want to be.

And if you have prayed this way for me, thank you. It is a joyful way to live, in a place where I want to be... and it is relatively new. If I had known I would spend so much of the last week in a confined space with little to do but give in to it all, I think I may have fallen to bits right in front of the one who delivered the prediction. But I did all those stay-at-home days... and I loved it.

I know those ragged days will still come... but we have had a few good ones in a row. And I'm feeling, of all things, content.

I love you, sweet boys.

And the next topic, consuming my thinking: my dad.

My dad was very sick last week. Like, very sick. I will spare you the details, but it wasn't pretty... and it was unidentifiable for a bit too long. He was in the hospital for five days, with lots of tests, questions, poking, prodding, and worrying on my part. He is home now, and easing back into his routine, which is a welcome gift.

This past February, I was exactly the age my mom was when her dad died. 29. Too young for such a journey. I didn't expect to lose my dad in all those days of worrying, but I was aware that someday things will change irrevocably. When my mom was my age, she knew that journey all too well.

So, I'm thinking of him tonight. I'm hoping he's not eating strawberry seeds or popcorn, which will bring symptoms unwelcome.
But even greater, I'm just thankful for him. My dad has loved me every single day of my life, without fail, without question, without keeping score. My whole life, my dad's face has lit up over the idea of me. My dad has loved me in deep, tangible, everyday ways that make it easy for me to imagine God's delight in me.
It's not hard to picture... it's in fact very real.
I love you, Dad.
And so, these are not bad thoughts to carry me to sleep tonight. (If I ever get there... the coffee sure seemed like a good idea at the time.)

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