August 30, 2013

messy and beautiful

one of the wisest lessons i learned in college was that the human heart is capable of holding all the feelings at the same time. "if a heart is rightly disposed, sorrow and joy must have a place in it," writes dietrich bonhoeffer in my much-underlined copy of letters and papers from prison. in my own small life, it's been a master-class in swinging from frustration to elation. there are tantrums and accidents and babies who only sleep when held, but then God swoops in and gives me happiness and joy that i do not deserve. yesterday at our neighborhood pool, another boy took cruz's toys about five minutes after he first stepped into the water. i got ready for hot tears to start spilling down his cheeks and i cringed at the yelling that was about to happen. but all he did was look longingly back at the yellow cup, and walked over to sit with me. i wrapped him up, we shared a granola bar, and counted london's "piggies" together. i leaned over and gave him a kiss. "you're my own special boy," i whisper. "cruz is not a boy," he says back. "you're my own special elephant." he nods, and gives me a raised-arm elephant salute. these days are so messy and beautiful that it makes my heart ache.

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