quality time, ice cream for dinner, & cards from Texas
shared tears, copious hand-holding, "me toos," & gifts of going second
emails, rainbow brite pencil sets, a UPS notification, & affirmation
cool whip & graham crackers & silly tv shows
hugs, a clean car, admitting, protection, so much grace, & laughter
I'm sorry & that's hard & it's okay
hearing hard truths, recognizing lies, & personal days
I was wrong, I screwed up, & please forgive me
acceptance, permission, honesty, coffee, a replaced straightener, & sarcasm
hope, help, & reminding me who I am when I forget
checking in, offers of street justice, lullabies, mix cd's, & validation
"she's my best babysitter, but you're my best Meggie" & "I want to sit in yours lap"
weakness, strength, hearing & being heard
consistency, forgiveness, & the sharing of intense irrationality
distraction, focus, talking, not talking, & sitting
feeling safe, not afraid, secure, & sure
When we were little, we had a boy babysitter, Jason. I thought he was so great. I remember lying in bed one night and Jason poked his head in my door from the hallway. He saw me, awake, and nervously said, "oh, hey, just checking to make sure you were still breathing" and then made a swift exit. I remember thinking that that was really weird, because why would I not be breathing? Now, of course, I know that he was checking on me (however awkwardly). And even though I didn't know why the heck he would be concerned about my breathing, I know that I felt safe. His care just looked different than, say, Holly's. (Holly was our other babysitter. Who was also great. Until one day the police came when she was over and told her there was a report of someone being on our roof and I'm pretty sure traumatized her so badly I'm not sure she ever babysat again ever. But that's another story for another time.)
It's a silly example, but my point is, just like Jason's weird way of checking on me made me feel safe, love, too, takes different forms. The delivery is inconsequential so long as the message gets across. Sometimes it's hard to come out and say, "I'll keep you safe." But even as a little girl, on some level, I knew that's what Jason meant. It may make things tricky sometimes, but I think I like that love looks so many different ways. I think I like that graham crackers & cool whip can leave me just as assured that I am loved as "I love you" can. I know I like that there are people in my life who know when we need ice cream for dinner or that sometimes I just need to hear that I'm somebody's best Meggie. I like that Jesus makes himself known in street justice just as much as in safety. I like that there are so many ways to give and receive love.
I like that I'm given it. Abundantly. Even when I suck or I'm crazy or I'm broken down.
I am thankful for love that was delivered to me in so many different ways today
& for the miraculous absence of emptiness at the end of a day I felt sure would end emptily