Love Matters

Monday, July 11, 2016

Tristan and I (and my mama!) are in Charleston right now for the Circe conference, but the past week has been consumed with caretaking as all of my people have fallen to a stomach virus of epic proportions. I'm not the best nurse in the world by ANY means, but with everything that's been going on in the world lately, it's been hard to mind all the extra snuggles and nurturing they all needed. I've done a lot of rocking fitful babies while obsessively reading news articles online about all of the recent heartbreak. Full disclosure - I tend to peek at the news cautiously between my fingers, trying hard not to see anything too disturbing.  This, though, I just can't look away. And all of the arguments and opinions attached to each article, I'm compelled to read those too, until I feel totally lost. It's too hard to know what's real and right, isn't it? And even if you could know, could you express it the right way, without causing more anger and hurt and dissent? It doesn't seem likely, but I keep trying to anyway, in between scrubbing carpets and washing blankets and spraying Lysol everywhere.

(Can I be upset by Baton Rouge AND Dallas? Is that allowed? Because I am.)

I'm scared for our guys, out in the world. I keep scrolling through old pictures from the past four or so years, pictures of our different-looking, ever-changing, wonderful mess of a family. Cute pictures of big strong boys playing sweetly with sassy little girls, and of course it isn't always cute like that. We misunderstand each other, our expectations go unmet, we let each other down and hurt each other without even realizing we've done it. There is frustration and exhaustion and why-are-we-doing-this-anyway. There is leaving and coming back. There is a ton of gritty, personal, ugly heartbreak and mess that obviously doesn't belong on a blog, but obviously still goes on.

But. We can always choose love. In spite of all the obstacles, we can choose to love each other. Even when we've failed to make that choice a dozen times before. And when we'll fail to choose it a dozen times after. Even when we're scared or hurt or tired. We can always go on because love is always an option. I know this is true even when I can't know anything else. And these sweet pictures? They are still beautifully true. 


On Saturday morning I tucked Aaron in bed and set the kids up with basins and a movie so Tristan and I could run to the store for some medicine and ginger ale and crackers. Only, my van started overheating...and then it started billowing smoke...and then it stopped moving forward. So I was pulled halfway off of a main road and halfway (diagonally! Uphill!) onto a side street in a less-than-stellar neighborhood. And while I'm fumbling for my hazard lights and my cell phone (and let's be real here, trying not to cry) a couple of work van drivers that are mostly blocked in now start yelling and gesturing angrily at me. Because of course I am parking here in your way for fun. 

But then a couple of people came out of their house to help me while I waited for Aaron. The guy couldn't push my van up the hill by himself, but he was able to pull it back down onto the side of the main road where it was mostly out of the way. Then he paced alongside, making sure that traffic saw me and didn't sideswipe me, commenting all the while on how crazy it was that no one was stopping to help. Then four or five other guys joined up with him and managed to push the van back up the side street hill and totally out of anyone's way. They invited us to wait in their house, out of the heat, and we did, chatting about babies until Aaron and Dan arrived to work some sort of car magic. 

And you know what? We didn't hate each other or feel scared of each other because we were black and white. We were just a bunch of sweaty people laughing together about a ridiculous situation...just a bunch of kind-hearted guys helping out a clearly helpless chick, and that's it. Just regular humanity, I guess. I get that this doesn't actually mean anything, not really in the grand scheme of things. Any other day it would just be a normal little event. But after being up all night rocking sweet, sick babies and reading about death and hate, and feeling like the world is just an ugly, angry place? I really, really needed the balm of that normal little event. 

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