Thursday, May 22, 2014

First Ten Years of Forever

Ten years ago, on a very hot day, I sweated in a white dress in an un-air-conditioned wing of a church, and waited.

I was nervous, I was hot (hence, the sweat). Someone found a fan and stuck it under my dress so I could have some air blowing up over my legs.

I almost chickened out. Not out of marrying the guy I loved, but out of the walk down the aisle. I had a sudden premonition that as soon as the doors opened and that aisle stretched out before me, I would lose my breakfast. Rather than risk that embarrassment, I wanted to run out the back door and plan an elopement later.

I'm glad I didn't.

When the doors opened, I somehow managed to cling to my dad's arm and trip and stumble my way down the aisle all the way at the front, where we smiled shyly at each other, like we had only just met.

I wondered
     Ten years ago,
          What I would do this morning
     When I woke and watched your face,
          Relaxed, peaceful,
     Lashes free of glasses,
Breathing in deep, steady draughts of dreamland.

I wondered
     What ten years would do to this
          Thing called "Us."

And so, I grasped my bouquet with nervous fingers.
     The doors opened,
          The music flowed.
               The white satin rustled
                     Toward you, at the front.

The words we said to each other
      That day
           Were meant to last
                 A lifetime.

So here we are
     Ten years later.
           New wrinkles, gray hairs write a
                      Stronger than words:
     Roses from our bush
          Offered wordlessly,
               A stroke of color
                    When I'm not looking.

I woke today and
      Watched your sleeping face,
           And wondered what I should do
                To love you today.

I got up
     And cleaned a mess
           And changed a diaper
                And wiped some mouths
                      And settled an argument
                           And loved our offspring

And loved you
      Because this is
           Our First Ten Years of Forever.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Playing Favorites

I asked my mom once, sneakily, who was her favorite child, me or my brother? Young and naive as I was, I think I honestly expected her to give an answer that favored me.

I have to laugh at that memory now. The tables have turned, and now I'm the mother of multiple children, and the idea of "having a favorite" is so completely foreign to me, I can't even fathom it. Sure, I love some things about one child more than I may about another one, but it balances itself out nicely with the individual qualities of all three of them. They're all three so different that it's like comparing a can opener to the Eiffel Tower to a coffee table to pancakes.

If I had to order my children in first place, second place, and third, I couldn't. They all win. Or lose. Whatever your perspective is (they win in my perspective).

Moving on to another point (because I'm good at making vague points with off-subject stories), my three books are very like my children in that I love them all, I pour my heart and soul into each of them, and I chew my nails to the nubbins as soon as they enter society, terrified lest someone notice a fault in them. When the occasional poor review comes in, I'm heart-broken, asking myself where I went wrong, and it takes many kind reassurances from my husband to remind me that everyone is subject to his own opinion, and that one person's poor review may be someone else's new favorite novel.

Lesson learned. I have to stop worrying so much about other people's opinions.

Incidentally, just as I can't order my own children in first, second and third, I didn't order my books either. They can be read in any order. Ashes, Ashes or Broken Crowns or Pretty Little Maids. All three have different characters and different story lines. The only theme running through all three books is that each of them relies on the history of a nursery rhyme to solve a mystery.

That's it! I hope you enjoy them, because I've done my best with them, but if you don't, send them home and I'll give them a hug and a kiss and tell them I love them anyway. :)