It has been forever since I have taken the time to tell you a story.
Things have been busy, life has been fast, I have been making plans, working hard.
I had a birthday!
You know, it surprises me every year. Suddenly it's May and I am another year older. How does the time move so fast?!? But each year is a treasure to me. Another piece of the life I have been blessed to build here in this magical place I have grown to love. We added two shiny new members to our family last year. Claire and Scott Paul. Alexandria went to pre-school ( where I am sure she claimed the territory for her crown and country, to be named later, and subjugated all of her countrymen to her imposing but beautiful will.) We all lived through another year of school, work, and lawn mowing.
Funny how sometimes we mark the passage of time by chores like cutting the grass or the release of the next Harry Potter book. "It was a few years back. . . just after we went to the midnight release for HP 6." "They've been out of town for a while now, we've cut the grass three or four times since they left."
Anyway, I have had a fabulous year. I haven't grown any taller, but I have learned how to measure myself more truly. My contact prescription has changed, I suppose I asked for that one, English majors read tiny print. My pants size has changed, thank the heavens! And I'm still me.
So here is a story about me.
All my life I have been full of questions. I used to follow my Daddy around wherever he went, peppering him with endless inquiries about every move he made. If he stopped moving I would have a question about that too. After a few minutes of breathless pestering Daddy would send me away. He has always had a respect for quiet which time in the house doing dishes has taught me to appreciate. Mom said if I could be quiet he would let me help. This was the Mount Everest of my seven year old life. I wasn't sure if I could even breath if I wasn't producing some sort of sound, but I had to be out there with my dad! Early on a Saturday I got dressed in my most rugged looking jeans and my only T-shirt that didn't feature some sort of girly animal. I would not be sent away today. I puttered about desperately behind my Father. Breathing deeply and nodding swiftly when asked a question. My mind was racing but my lips were perfectly still.
It was working! We had discovered the broken part on Mama's garden hose and now needed to visit the hardware store for a replacement. Yes, we would be going in the truck, just the two of us. If I played my cards right I might even get a hostess pie out of this!
I got in the passenger side and slid across the woven seat covers to the middle. I buckled my seatbelt and looked proudly up at my Daddy.
Best Day Ever!
As we pulled away from the house my Daddy looked at me strangely.
"You don't sit in the middle like this with a boy until you're eighteen, ok?"
A boy? What a weird thing to say! Why would I go somewhere with a boy? None of the boys I know can even drive.
Nine years later, a Junior in High School, a boy came to my Daddy's house. He walked me out to his Daddy's truck and opened the door. I slid naturally over to the middle seat. I buckled my seat belt with a stupid grin on my face and we started to drive away.
"Stop!" I yelped, shocked at the turn my life had taken. Wasn't it just a few summers ago that I had considered this exact scenario preposterous? What had I become? Certainly not my Daddy's Dizzy Lizzy, but something entirely foreign. Something more shocking than when Cory kissed that other girl on the ski trip with Tepanga.
I was a. . . a teenage girl.
The shock wore off, for me and my date. I stayed in that middle seat. Whats more, that same night I let that boy kiss me. I had gone off the deep end. Like Jasmine, on a magic carpet ride, I had seen a whole new world. I walked back through my Daddy's door seconds shy of midnight.
I would never be the same.
The other day I slid across the seat of my Dad's truck to the middle. We shared a conversation with just the right amount of words. We paused thoughtfully and discussed important topics like the emerging bluegrass/ pop genre and how to properly fold a bandanna vs. a handkerchief.
Guess I'm the same after all.
Time is a funny thing. It passes even when we are asleep. Even during hide-and-seek someone is counting the time away.
When I am old, when I am aching on a Saturday morning for my Daddy to come and take me away for a drive and a nut roll and coke, I will remember the time I spent with my Dad. I'll remember every piece of advice he gave me about building a wall to stand plum and adjusting the balance of your stereo speakers. I'll remember when he put his hands on my head and blessed my broken body. I'll remember how he loved me so well that even when I was only seven years old he was thinking about my future. He was watching for that boy who would show up in his daddy's truck and try to take me away.
Time will take us from here to places we cannot imagine, just as it has before. We will change and move and grow. We will remember. I hope I always remember.