Saturday, June 12, 2010

a little quiet time

every night, i go out and feed my dogs. and it is sacred time. i don't do it when the kids are up. i wait for them to get in bed and settle down. i've blogged a number of times about the shade of night or even some insight i've gained from watching my dogs' behavior (although i admit i have not blogged in a long time about my dogs). it's a funny thing...there were times when i would go over the kids' school work and plan the next day or plan the next week, whatever. i used to read outside at night. i used to sit on the phone and talk for hours even at one point in my life. but feeding them at night, once things have quieted down, has long been a habit of mine. i give it up when i'm pregnant...sleep seemed to take priority. but one thing i do a lot at night is pray. maybe because it's finally quiet. maybe because i'm outside and i've always felt god's presence outside. i think i've always partly thought it was because i was "done" with my day and had resigned to let everything else go until tomorrow and so praying and reflecting just seemed natural. lately i've been wondering if there is a way to capture that feeling, that peaceful mindset somehow during the day. because i often feel like cuddling up to my kids afterward. i want to read a book with them, talk to them about this that or the other, make sure that they know that at the end of the day, i usually think they're pretty wonderful, or at least that things are going to end up better the next day than they did that day.

tonight my spouse is at work. it's his last night on call where he has to be at the hospital for his full call time. from here on out, he gets to be home. (unless he becomes a staff member at a teaching hospital after residency, in which case he'll have to stay at the hospital for a night of call every tenth or eleventh night or something like that so that he's there if the residents need him, but let's not talk about that right diminishes the importance of what i'm saying here...) at least for the next year, he won't have to sleep at the hospital. he'll go in if they need him, but then he gets to come back home and sleep in our bed, with me...and our babiest girl. and that makes me feel warm and happy we're almost at a place of rest. and after the last seven years, a place of rest sounds delicious.

while i was feeding my dogs tonight, i took a moment to let myself settle in to the night. to lift up some thanks. ask for some healing. feel grateful and satisfied and appreciative and maybe even let a little awe come. then i remembered about my brother's girlfriend's miscarriage. ok, so she's really his ex-girlfriend. but she was pregnant with his baby. and i believe that even though she was pretty unhappy that he was not her boyfriend anymore, and even more unhappy that he has a different girlfriend right now, i do believe she was happy to be pregnant. and that made me inexplicably happy. i guess i should explain that my brother is not the sharpest tool in the shed, the brightest bulb in the chandelier. he's pretty close to mentally retarded, if you look at his i.q. scores. and while he doesn't have anything obviously wrong with him, it doesn't take a long time hanging out with him to be able to see that he's pretty some ways he's the kind of different that you imagine god would like us all to be...simple just comes easy to him. but then he's also different in the ways that makes living in today's world independently impossible. my sister and i often discuss which one of us will have this brother living with us after our parents either die or give up. i don't think i would mind him living here because the times that he's been here, he tends to follow along with whatever my kids are doing. but the times he's been here, my kids have been fairly's been a few years...and i don't know how he'd do with teenagers in the house. it's one thing when he plays baseball with the neighborhood kids, brushes teeth and gets ready for bed at nine because that's what the kids are doing, and looks for word searches to do because everyone else here reads so much. but i do not know how he would handle being in a household where the children are becoming young adults and their self-responsibility is changing and growing in ways he's never seemed to be able to quite get the hang of. and i guess that's not really what i was thinking about tonight anyway. because even though he's a pretty simple guy and will probably never really be capable of living on his own, i had started to think that he might not make too bad of a father. call me an idealist (you wouldn't be the first), but i kind of thought eventually he'd figure out he really loved the ex-girlfriend...or at any rate, he'd figure out that the ex-girlfriend really seems to love him, and he'd end up there and they'd make this cute, quirky little family, the end. but the end came a little sooner and the ex-girlfriend miscarried. and that made me sad. not that i'm going to go encouraging him to get another girl pregnant or anything. he's considering a vasectomy just because buying condoms requires a little forethought that his frontal lobe, since it doesn't function much, can't seem to handle (yeah, for real, the light's not even home in the front of his brain, so i guess no one's ever been home).

my sister and her partner are thisclose to being certified as a couple for foster-to-adopt. so i guess even if i don't become an auntie with my brother, i'm pretty much getting ready to be an auntie with my sister. but i should be honest...if it's my sister, i won't be an auntie...i'll be an aint. it's just the way we say it in my southern family. and i'm looking so forward to being an aint in this capacity. it will be different and it will be challenging and it will be beautiful in a whole nother way from how becoming an auntie was. but it makes my toes curl and a lump form in my throat when i think about being an aint.

and i guess these are the things i think about when i feel like i can breathe a little.

i have been working hard in my yard. and working hard with my family. and working hard in my marriage and in my own head. i am grateful, as always, for those who walk alongside me. today was a particularly lovely day...the teen got his new guitar, the other guys got their video game they've long wanted, and the littlest played hard, crawled with her belly off the floor, ate bananas and learned to make this terrific coughing sound that elicits much reaction from her brothers. and the dad will be home for good tomorrow morning. the mama will crawl into bed with the babiest and we'll see what tomorrow holds...


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