Dark End of a Tunnel, and Some Light

Kate’s new footwear

You know those days where it seems like life itself is messing with you?  With little jabs and mishaps and annoyances scattered from sun-up to sun-down?  To the point where you start looking for hidden cameras or something, convinced that this can’t all be real.  Yesterday was a day like that for me.  The grand finale, after a full day of life trying to piss me off, was my slipping (for no good reason) while trying to climb onto my bed, falling to the floor and spraining my ankle.  Ugh.

And then you know those weeks or months or years, that are similarly sprinkled with misfortune?  Where it seems like you’ve got the cards stacked against you?  And it all seems, at the risk of sounding a lot like one of our 8-year-olds, “No fair!”  And this is harder to find the humor in than a bad day.  And as time goes on, it gets harder to find a silver lining, a light at the end of the tunnel, or any other metaphor that might make one feel better about things.  I’m an optimistic girl.  But things are rough right now.  Again.

But if there’s anything silver or light going on, in what I guess would be our cloudy tunnel, it is most certainly these three little girls.  Two tall, one small, all gorgeous and brilliant.  With their bright eyes and little voices, radiating innocence and wonder, somehow encompassing Life and also oblivious to it.  Somehow making it all okay.

While her father’s breaking his back to try and get the lawn under control, armed only with a cheap, rusty lawn-mower, facing foot high blades of grass the whole lawn over… And he’s worrying about what the property management wants, what the neighbors might say, how much the lawn mower cost, how much he could afford to put down on some other tool to get the job done… there’s Eila.  In her bouncer, bouncing, and the sun’s bouncing off her cheeks, and she’s giggling so genuinely, and she hasn’t a care in the world.

In the middle of the street, in 80 degree Oregon heat, these twins are being who they are, doing what they do.  Wet from the hose and from sweat, dressed in a bathing suit or in long sleeves and pants (what’s that about?), dancing and playing and kicking up their heels, they’re making me laugh.  Though my jaw hurts from clenching through the stresses of adulthood, and my mind is racing from one worry to another, these girls are making me laugh.

I know as well as anyone that childhood is no picnic.  As this shot was snapped, a drama was unfolding on all sides, with neighborhood kids.  Someone made fun of someone.  Someone made someone mad.  There’s this whole, organic social structure that exists within groups of children that I think grown-ups don’t really understand.  And it’s hard.  But it’s wild.  Wild and free, like childhood is.  It’s a ground-up, roots-close, open-hearted kind of being.  Even when it’s hard.

Shaelyn and Davia are old enough to know that things are hard for the grown-ups too right now.  And that our family’s future is unpredictable.  We try to only tell them what they need to know.  We try to assure them that, whatever happens, they will be safe and taken care of.  Unfortunately, I think they still worry about it some.  But they can only worry so much about grown up stuff.  They’ve got more pertinent things to focus on.  Like building a club “house”…

Like monitoring the wildlife in our yard…

Like honoring the artistic inspiration they derive from time spent in front of the TV…

And like making sure their parents don’t forget to join them now and again for some vegging out…

Those two girls, who every day step closer to adulthood, who are navigating a world that’s difficult both from their own childhood perspective and from the perspective of the parents caring for them, and who are truly unlike anyone I’ve met, somehow provide us with that light and that silver lining we so desperately need.

Meanwhile little Eila is set to the task of navigating this world (and this family) as well.  She’s too young to understand so much of it, but I swear… sometimes she’s able to explain it all to me in one glance of those incredible eyes.  And no matter what’s going on in our adult lives, or her sisters’ preteen lives, she’s busy at work in her own infant life.

Trying to figure out how the flavor of peas found its way into her beloved “ice pop”…

Trying to figure out how to hold up her own bottle to get that last drop of milk…

Trying to figure out her relation to these crazy people in her life…





















And so it goes.  Life is a glorious prankster.  And our loud, expensive, messy children are our best medicine.  And as messed up as a lot of it feels right now, I guess all is as it should be.  And looking into three beautiful sets of round, blue eyes, I know it’s going to be okay.  Somehow.


3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Kelly
    May 09, 2012 @ 22:26:54

    Bless. Thinking of you. Those girls are all growing to fast! You capture moments of love and express them so poetically. Those girls all shine so bright.


  2. Jan
    May 10, 2012 @ 00:16:41

    Kate prayers to hope you heal fast. You life is too busy and hectic to be running it whilst hopping on one leg! I broke my elbow when Kelly was about 14 months. I remember how helpless I felt. I am so glad that you clearly see your blessings. Your family is so lucky to belong to you xxxxx Jan


  3. Pauline
    May 14, 2012 @ 19:47:53

    :hug: I hope you don’t hurt for too long and heal up quickly so you can really enjoy those girls again. I am so sorry things are stressful right now and I hope and pray things look up for you again soon. I am glad you have your 3 beautiful girls to help you stay positive.


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