I’m nestling into the pillows and blankets, my new most beloved book, The Gift: Poems by Hafiz, resting in my lap. Next to it is my journal, suddenly swelling with words after months of slow trickle. The pages are beginning to get that worn feel I love in a notebook; the living and recording of the moments are starting to gather scent and weight.
Dan comes in with a cup of coffee as I begin to read a poem to a dear friend over voxer.
When I’m done, I look up to discover Dan is watching me with that look of something coming together in his head, so I still myself a little, calm the riotous mischief spiraling up through my body unleashed from the poem.
“That book speaks your language. I can see the joy coming out of you.” He mimes this joyousness for me, ending in a cheeky gathering of his hands as if he is holding a flower, and says, “You lotus bloom.”
“Yes, I do. I bloom and dragonfly buzz for Hafiz.”
We’re joking about the lotus and dragonfly ink on my back and how it expresses some of my ways of responding to the world. I’ve been explaining the stories of my existing ink lately and coming to realize that some are completed, easy for me to express, and others, like my dragonfly and lotus, are still a language I’m growing into, and during this period of ripening, other words and symbols have emerged.
On mother’s day this year, the words Infragilis Et Tenera were placed along my collarbone. They are the words motherhood have given me; the lesson loving others has taught me about my own spirit; it is tender and unbreakable, and this is a miracle to me.
I drink my coffee as Dan talks over the devotional he is presenting to staff at work. Joaquin is wrapping himself around my legs, framing his face with the purple blanket and trying to grab my attention showing me the whites of his eyes, and using his best Jedi mind tricks.
After Dan gathers himself for work and leaves for the day, I look down at Joaquin.
“How about you give me ten minutes of writing since you and daddy gatecrashed my god time?”
“Yeah, yeah, yeah.” Joaquin is waving his hand at me, adjusting himself into new territory on my person.
I put on music and just as it starts to grab my pen for a dance across the page, Joaquin sits up abruptly, knocking my notebook and says, “Mom. MOM.”
“Whoa, buddy. Que pasa?”
“This song is in my special memory aisle.”
It is one of my favorite songs right now by Walk off the Earth. It entertains the children the way the song takes me over and I’m turning up the volume and dancing and singing and making rhythm in any way I can:
Don’t let your head hang low
You’ve seen the darkest skies I know
Let your heart run child like horses in the wild
So take my hand and home we’ll go
Home we’ll go, home we’ll go
“A special memory aisle?” I ask, bouncing him into me and swaying with the song. “I know about the business of storing memories, I’m just curious about this aisle. I’ve never heard of one.”
He holds on to me while I continue to stretch and sway and then the rhythm takes me and I’m shimmying both of us while he shouts, “It’s where I put my memories. They’re layered. My memories are layered, and this song is a happy layer, in the special aisle.”
“I am so happy you have a special aisle for memories and that this song is in it.”
I pull him close and dance with him. He laughs and then pushes away so he can look me in the eyes, make sure I’m paying attention, “Also, mom, another thing; none of the work is important. You know what is important?”
“Tell me, mi hijo.”
“What’s important is family,” he says. Satisfied that I’ve not only heard him but that I’ve listened, he puts his head back on my chest and points at the notebook, nudges me, lets me know it is time to write.
I kiss him on the head and whisper,
“Those were some mighty wise words for a person so small.
Amen, my little man.