Monday, January 1, 2018

Midnight.

There are many glamorous places to be on New Year's Eve
But I cannot think of anywhere better
in the whole world.
Than where I spent it.

In a cozy room.
Surrounded by my best friends and their families
Huddled on the floor with
a fire smoldering in the fireplace and
my girls on my lap; in my arms.
My husband with his arm around my waist
Counting down

3..
2..
1..

An explosion of joy.
Four faces to smother in kisses.
Love on display all around.
and the promise of another year to be together.


Sorry.

I am good at foosball
Which seems like a silly claim to make
but, I grew up with a table in my home
and spent countless hours spinning the handles
with my siblings.

So I'm, well, good at it.

Last night at the party there was a
foosball tournament.
and Josh and I won.
Towards the end of the championship game
I hit a particularly hard strike
that resulted in a goal
and the word that spilled out of my mouth was

"Sorry."

I just, blurted it out. More than once.
What was I apologizing for?
I don't know.
Maybe for the
flash of irritation I know my opponent felt;
the one that always occurs someone scores a goal on you?
Maybe I was feeling bad because I was trying too hard
and it is always a little annoying
when someone tries too hard.
But I don't know how not to.
(Sometimes I think I just try and try and try and try and try and that is my only skill. Trying.)

and anyway, I keep thinking about it.
Sorry. Sorry. Sorry.
and I decided today that
I would like that to be the last time
I apologize for being good at something.


Sunday, November 26, 2017

From the terrace.

I'm writing from the terrace of our apartment here in Carveiro, Portugal. It is nearly midnight. The air is cool so I have a red fleece blanket on my lap, and a white and black striped blanket scarf around my shoulders. The world is dark except for the city of Largo in the distance, the moon reflecting on the ocean whenever the clouds clear, and a flash of light that darts across the cliff near us from a lighthouse that I cannot see. My family is sleeping.

I had no idea what to expect with this trip. Even on the flight over, with a lap full of the two heads of my twins, stretched out on either side of me, I wondered if we were making a mistake. Of course, it was too late to do anything about it at that point. We were on this adventure regardless. But still, I wondered. Is this too much for them?

It hasn't been. I realized this week that this is actually our first family vacation. Josh and I have snuck away a number of times in the last few years on quick getaways. We have enjoyed family vacations with my siblings and extended families as well. But this is the first time that just our family is traveling together. and it has been so, so lovely. The time together... undistracted by things like work, housework, schedules, school, obligations. Just... together. Seeing the girls light up over something new. Sharing with them why something is touching my heart. Pointing out the beauty of a cathedral. Chasing waves on the beach. Waking up slowly. I realized that I don't necessarily need to wake up ahead of them if there is no pressing schedule to our day. So we start our day together. Without alarm clocks; following our bodies needs.

It has been such a gift. Such a success. Even better than I could have imagined it. I've been sharing a bit more on social media because, well, I'm slowly beginning to pursue a 'career' of being a travel agent. A travel planner. So I feel that I must, in a sense, share that we successfully travel. That we love it. That we're good at it, even.

My stronger urge is to keep it all to myself. Really truly. I look at these pictures and I know what they mean to me and I think about someone carelessly scrolling past them without a second glance. They are more important to me than to be cheapened by quantifying their worth with 'likes' or comments. I don't know how to caption them? What can I say?

"Here, on this beach, I felt utterly peaceful and content. I wondered if I would ever feel this way again. I watched my husband walk to the waters edge with my daughters and I laughed as they were chased away by a particularly large wave and I thought I could die right then from the gift of such a moment."

or

"Here is a picture of Piper and I. We are walking down a small street that touched my heart with its beauty. I picked her up and began whispering in her ear about how it made me feel. I wanted to share this feeling with her. I felt she would understand it, somehow. I wanted her to know how I could feel magic pouring from the old walls that surrounded us on all sides; from the plants hanging out of barred window frames. How being on that road, in that moment, I felt connected to the centuries of people who have lived and walked here before me. How some wonder that is deep within me is awakened when I walk these streets."

No. I'll just say something else. That is too much. I will let them think I am bragging; showing off my vacation. It is easier to do that than to say, "Here. Here is a piece of my heart. Here is my most treasured memory to date. I have tears in my eyes as I post it."