Thursday, October 28, 2010

the mess the magic

I am groaning into the mirror in the morning- powder, ponytail, keeping it quick because the baby the breakfast the morning, it's all coming at me fast and there is no time for fashion . ..

and she's popping her head in, asking how to write a K, what about a Q? and finally she brings her fat blue marker and yellow construction paper into the bathroom and we kneel at the closed lid of the toilet so I can watch her write A to Z, all the way, the first time ever . . .

and there's that catch in my throat, as always . . . the one that I am learning not to swallow away because this lid just became an altar and this paper the beautiful beginning and these moments are meant for catching . . .

---------------------------
She says to me that she never was happier than in those days with the babies the dogs the phone the chaos, and I am listening but seeing her myself in twenty years and telling myself to savour, savour, remember to embrace the madness, the mess, the glory, the holy . . .
----------------------------

and a mother's days aren't measured by hours but in rhythms, in baby dances, cups of milk and coffee spoons . . . and so I cannot remember whether it was the same morning or a whole dishwasher load later . . . but the bathroom, that was the same . . . when a younger child had an accident- a first in forever- all over the floor and just as I am bending to clean she forgets and comes running and spills herself, flat, all in it . . . and now I am cleaning the mess on the floor and the mess that is her and meanwhile the baby is hollaringhollaringhollaring and the oldest child is dancing with a plate full of food that she sends spinning all across the kitchen and I am thinking Lord I am sure there is something holy about this moment but I am struggling to see it right now . .. 

and it seems appropriate that the whole spectrum be told on any given day in an ordinary bathroom, for it is the ordinary, daily moments . . . in cleaning up and picking up and many many slips and trips that it's all unfolding, right before my eyes; growing up, bursting out, the first budding of the voice she will speak in the world . . . and a mother is the first-hand witness, the up-close spectator, and the price she pays is herself . . . her days and nights, her arms and breast and figure and sleep and soul . . . all for a view of this stage- this bathroom- where every once in a while, and every day, in the mess . . . magic happens.


14 comments:

Kait Palmer said...

That was poetry.

Ruth said...

So beautiful, Jess!

Jo@Mylestones said...

Yep, I admit to being a little goosebumpy by the end. Beautiful.

p.s. If I can convince my neighbors to move out, will you please move next door to me and be my BFF?

Jessica said...

thanks :-)

Jo- sounds great! :-)

Becca said...

{{sigh}}

Fijufic said...

What makes this so wonderful is that you recognize these moments for the true blessings that they are...

You are a lovely soul.

Bobby

cratushoward said...

I second the goosebumps!

at the end of the alphabet said...

i love this post, a lot. it is everything a mother is....i.love.this!!!! your writing is brilliant.

charrette said...

So beautiful, Jess, and so true! This resonates so deeply for me. Thank you for capturing and wrapping your words around something so powerful. I have that catch in my throat right now as I read.

The sentence about the altar...
The whole last paragraph...
I want to frame.

charrette said...

p.s. You really need to read _My Monastery is a Minivan_. Go straight to the chapter on sacraments. LOVE!

view pacific said...

Hm, yes, you say "ordinary moments" and clearly your awareness at those moments is what transformed them into extraordinary moments. Wonderful!

MommyJ said...

I was referred here by Charrette and oh, so love this post. She told me I would. She was right. Thanks so much for capturing the holy in the everyday, and for sharing it here. Love, love your words.

MommyJ said...

AND... the quote, in your profile, by Tim Keller. It's the most beautifully complete, simple, yet all encompassing explanation of how our relationship with God should be. I'm copying it down and keeping it somewhere where I can read it everyday.

Flower Patch Farmgirl said...

I adore this. Every word. Thank you!