There are still a couple pockets of Christmas lingering around our house. The new year brings its own agenda, and in my post-holiday vigor it’s time to get on with life. While I pack up Mary and Joseph, the shepherds and the camels I want one last chance to ponder putting away baby Jesus.
Most days are just days. I thought of these words as I darted out of work, late to my book group that evening. I heard them in a talk or conversation chattering from my iPhone earlier that week, and for some reason amidst all the other words and songs I heard, they stuck. As I …
It is 8:15 PM, my husband is out of town, three glasses of carnations are drinking colored water on the windowsill – part of a science fair project that needed observation and photographing fifteen minutes ago. I’m in the middle of bathing two rowdy boys who just chewed up my favorite taper candle, and my girls are swinging a laundry hamper in circles at such a speed I am positive the hamper will rocket out of their hands and into the wall, leaving a heckuva high-velocity dent.
“Please put the hamper away and get into your pajamas,” I say.
There is no response. No intimation that the hamper is going to stop spinning and land in the closet where it belongs.
“Please put the hamper down and get into your pajamas and come upstairs.”
I’m using my firm voice now. That one that says I mean it.
Foolishly thinking they will listen to me, I head upstairs to comb third daughter’s wet hair. A few seconds later I hear a horrid thud. The perpetrator comes upstairs and asks me not to get mad when she informs me the hamper did indeed fly into the wall. She’s not sure how… it just did.
The dent is bigger than I imagined.
You know how you can pinpoint the exact place and time you were when you learned about the events on September 11th? Certain days become frozen in time; indelible impressions that mark a change. On 9-11 I was leaving to shop for a washing machine. My in-laws were visiting. My mother-in-law was upstairs ironing. There aren’t many events in life that leave impressions as unforgettable as this one was for me. There comes the realization that something horrible is happening—that forms the lump in your throat; the pit in your stomach: The thing that rocks your boat.