Sinking in

We’re in the wind up to a new year.

I love new years. I think I just love markers of any kind, but a new calendar year is certainly a good kind of marker.

I’m a bit repetitive. This year I just want joy. Wild joy.

One way to find joy is to sink into the joy that is here right now. To bat my eyelashes open and see.

I see last night. Sitting with the boys on Isaac’s bed, reading for Advent, with Isaac leaning on my shoulder. Praying for me, whispering, “I love you, Mama,” under his breath. I see raising a boy like Leafy. A broad-shouldered, kind and quirky boy.

A couple weeks ago, I needed to send them to a Christmas party with baking. Sometimes Leafy and Kenya board a bus (with a few other friends) to go three hours away to Chiang Mai, for youth events. When they are there, they stay with the family Kai stays with. They eat dinner, go to a youth group evening, and get back on the bus the next morning. This is how we cobble things together for them.

Anyway, it happened on a Saturday because of the party, and baking was required, but I was exhausted because of our benefit concert the night before. So I said, “Okay, let’s do this,” with a rather obvious slump to my spine. And Leafy said, “Oh, I can make the cookies.” And proceeded to do so. Joy.

Or the other day, I was teaching a group of kids about writing, and one of them rather dreamily asked me, “Are you a genius?” He asks non sequiturs often.

“No,” I said. “That’s a whole other thing. I’m smart, though.”

And Leafy got offended. “Of course you are!” he said, very seriously.

Rare shining moments. Often, mothering is being overwhelmed by the pants you need to buy. (For me anyway, easily overwhelmed by things like this.) Breaking up fights. (Least favorite thing in the world. Why can’t people just be civil?) Inching forward with education.

And then there are the evenings where you sit and cuddle, where your kids stand up and help without being asked, when they offer kindnesses.

And this is wild joy. Almost as good as ice skating, roller coasters, or dancing under the sky. Love and joy and being together. I want more.