For how long, I ask myself, can one live in a world that feels completely surreal? There has to be something physically unhealthy about it.
How much longer? When will I get immersed once again in everyday details and busyness? When will I escape back into denial, make plans way into the future and forget my mortality again?
For how many years will I ask friends who come to visit- some I haven’t seen in years, your friends, my friends, “Can you believe it? I just can’t get it…can you believe this is real,” and watch their faces, somewhat surprised by my bluntness- clearly they had been unsure of what to expect on this “visit.” “No, I can’t,” they reply.
I feel like my post on Hope- where my 2-1/2 year old tells me the meaning of life, was perhaps too romanticized and it’s bothered me a bit. That’s not what our life looks like- taking walks and philosophizing, thinking about hope. Yesterday, I had to take Audrey to the doctor for her 2-1/2 year check-up. She woke up at 5:40 am though for some reason and neither of us got back to sleep. So…we were both cranky. It was pouring. I carried her on my hip with the umbrella in my other hand, and her small umbrella that she insisted on bringing closed and tucked under my arm, but with both of us wearing down coats and with her at 30 pounds now, she kept slipping over my hip. Finally, we were almost at the car I put her down, held the umbrella over her and asked her to hurry and let’s walk to the car. She began to scream and cry to be picked up, but I just pulled her along. When I got her in the car seat she was in a total meltdown. She screamed, “I want — you–to—pick–me — up!!” “But Audrey we’re in the car now…we have an appointment,” I say leaning in the backseat, trying to get her buckle on as she hits my hands. Finally, I break down crying with my head in my hands. She starts to cry and pull my hands away from my face, “Mommy, why are you crying like that!” I finish strapping her in and get in the front seat, turn on the car and drive to the office listening to her screaming the entire time. Only when we finally got out did she calm down as I carried her to the office building in the rain.
It only seems right to balance out the heartwarming moments with the grueling ones I also face each day. The ones where I feel both her and I are really crying about something else.
This afternoon though, over macaroni and cheese, I must’ve been babbling once again about the meaning of life…but in different words, “what’s all this about?” and she answered quickly this time and proudly this time because she remembered how I’d reacted and marveled the last time, “ope!”
“Hope in what though? What is our hope in?” I ask.
“ope because God loves me,” she answered.
I’m not sure if I ever said this- sometimes toddlers say the sweetest things when they mix things up just a bit. But if there is a God- even if he is just indifferent towards us- we are in big trouble. But if he looks at us with even the slightest bit of love, there is great, great hope for us.
Still, this evening my hope is distant…my surreal world all around me.