There is a scene in Micha Boyett’s spiritual memoir, Found, when after struggling for a week with feeling guilty and resentful for needing to care of her husband and small son, instead of helping with earthquake cleanup in Haiti, she turns to her husband in church and says, repentant,
“I love you more than my idea of being remarkable”
I barely focused on the next couple paragraphs and that silly sentence flashed across my brain for the next two days.
I tried to tell Justin the same thing tonight, feeling some repentance was due me as well.
He was sprawled out on the floor with Merek, coloring on one of those giant coloring pads that you get hoping it’s big enough your toddler’s crayons wont stray onto the linoleum.
“Honey…”, I start from the kitchen.
[long pause as I try to remember the exact quote]
“What?” he says, after the pause becomes too weighty
“Ugh, never mind”
“No, tell me”
“I can’t remember the exact words of the quote I was going to say! Ok? And now it’s just silly.”
This is what happens when I try to be romantic while I am packaging leftovers and the last burrito will not fit into the yogurt container I am stuffing it into.
I can’t even be remarkable when apologizing for wanting to be remarkable.
I packed the leftovers into the fridge, but I did not do the dishes.
I am twenty eight long weeks through the pregnancy of my second child, and even though I am happy to carry and meet my daughter, my body is decidedly not, this time around. In my mind’s eye, during my pregnancy with Merek, my body was constantly bragging like a four-year old, “Look what I can do! I’m amazing!” And I went around the entire nine month wondering what all the grumpy pregnant women through the ages were complaining about all the time. I never felt huge or clumsy and I slept great without special pillows.
Now all the grumpy, pregnant women through the ages are my soul-sisters, my cheering squad, my kindred spirits stretched across time. In my current mind’s eye my body is sulking in the corner, arms crossed, furious that I dared to do this again, without asking her special permission. ”Pamper me or I’ll make you pay”, she says this time around.
So I don’t do the dishes. I leave them for tomorrow.
I don’t know if I have ever felt more like an unremarkable, giant cliché as I do these days.
I am the swollen-footed, giant, beached whale that is too tired to push herself off the couch even though her suburban toddler is drawing on the wall again with his Crayola crayons.
My 20-year-old self would have just shivered a little if she could read blog posts in the future.
All I know is that when I dreamed of “Standing in a Wild Ocean Life”, I had no idea how cold and windy it could actually get.
What I was picturing back then was not scary. Yes, it was exhausting, rewarding, and “stretching”, in the way us good ol’ evangelical kids used that phrase, but it was big. Big and safe. I was asking for what I wanted and what I thought would be best.
Ministry was safe. Adventure, since my earliest memories, was safe. It was spiritual and it was safe.
This is terrifyingly unremarkable and still very exhausting, without all the bells and whistles and recognition.
This is small and therefore scary.
I’m scared to be small.
I think I was hoping for the Pacific-Northwest , you know. Sitting in a thick, chunky sweater on the beach by a driftwood fire, drinking strong coffee with my other hipster friends.
This seems more like the Bering Sea, not as cool, but still very cold and hard to navigate.