No small thing

Yesterday I fell in love with my Leaf baby a little more.  I don't know why there are some days like this, where you look up and recognize each other and one more chink slides into its place; your understanding of each other is a little more whole, you find that your heart can really expand just a little more.  I never cease to wonder at the bonding experience with babies.  I wrote about it a little here, and still, I wonder.  Now Leaf says, "Hey!" to me when I come back into the house if I've been gone, and his expression is entirely welcoming, and I think I need that kind of welcome in my life.  No one gives it like a baby, so pure and open.

Yesterday I saw another beautiful piece of my daughter, when Chinua was talking about Kuumbaa, the sixth principle of Kwanzaa.  (We're celebrating extremely late this year.) Kuumbaa means creativity, and my Superstar Husband was talking to the kids about their own creativity.  He said, "Kid A plays guitar, and that's Kuumbaa, and Leaf loves drums, and that's Kuumbaa, and YaYa is really good at drawing, and that's Kuumbaa too." And YaYa's face started to shine, she wears her emotions so transparently, and she impulsively gave Chinua a huge hug.  It meant so much to her to have that affirmation, she really really felt it, and the whole evening was one of those times that puts everything in place. Our children, our family, the role we have as parents. It was perfect.

The other day, after I posted last, the crisis that I spoke of got worse. It involved drug use, and someone had to be taken to the Emergency Room on Monday night. Everything is okay now, and I think we're at the beginning of a long journey of working through a lot of emotional brokenness with this person, the kind of thing that would have them on a binge, totally out of the blue, but I still feel so scattered. While Chinua was putting the kids to bed on Monday night, I was trying to break into someone's psychedelic madness and bring sanity. My friend and I tried to help for three hours, until we had to give it up and put it into the hands of doctors more capable than we. Three hours of trying to communicate with someone who is not in the same world, mentally. Three hours of trying to convince someone not to walk around blindfolded, literally, not figuratively. Three hours of crying on and off, of witnessing heartbreak. And then to come back to my cabin, after we had given it up, after we decided that all that could be done was at the E.R., where they could pump a bunch of sleep medicine into our friend and have her sleep it off, for me to switch off with Chinua, who got in the van to go, and to find Kid A in the bathroom, asking me to wipe his bum. Suddenly, bum-wiping seemed so normal, so sane.

I'm rambling a lot, I know. I'm just trying to make some sense out of this. I've seen a lot of really really hurt people who do things to sabotage good in their lives. And now here I am, with my community in the woods, and I bathe children, I send out tax receipts, I dive into madness, and I fold laundry. I work to keep my house peaceful, and then God asks me to leave that peace and help a person who is without peace, someone who is tormented. It has happened again and again over the years, and it always makes me feel like there are two of me. Different women to do different things. The noise of quarreling kids is a kind of peace, compared to the roar of cold brutality from the Enemy.

Maybe there are a lot of different pieces of me. There is the woman who washes dishes, and there is the woman who wants to write a novel, and there is the woman who says, "take off that blindfold, right now."  And this is okay, and I am here to do this, to raise children and affirm them, and to help hurt people. Maybe we are all here for this, in different ways. It is no small thing, to move from one world to another. The bridge is not easy.