Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Fine, Fine, Found

Micah was flying out of the library happy as only a 3-year-old can really be when, BAM! Full faceplant on the concrete, his forehead smacking hard. Like a lightning storm, I see it first and then, two beats later hear his this-hurts-so-bad-I'm-not-just-seeking-attention wail. I run and scoop him up and he caves into me before I can assess the damage.

Fast forward a few hours when Landon wants to read one of the new library books, and even though it's past his bedtime, I'm willing to consider it because, confession: I want to read it, too.

The only trouble is, our loaded bag of 20+ books is not here. At all. I don't need advanced math skills to figure out that I just left upwards of $400 worth of books in the middle of a sidewalk.

Sigh. You can picture what happened, right? Micah so rarely cries like that that when I heard it I must have dropped everything to get to him. Amid the blood from his mouth and forehead, and the swelling, and determining if we were at DefCon 5 or just a good dose of ice, and getting Vivi secured....well. I forgot all about the books.

The BOOKS! The books I specifically requested and didn't want sent back all over the district. The books that were mostly brand-new because I'm a picture book junkie and order the new ones when insomnia strikes. Books we would have been the first to read. And now, the first (and only) to pay for.

My head hurt just thinking about it. Micah's head hurt just thinking about it. He started crying; I started calling. I think Bill started praying. (probably for some patience for his scatterbrained wife)

And this is the happy ending we've all been hoping for: Iza (the dear, sweet, wonderful librarian who got my call) left her library (down a flight of stairs) and went outside looking all about for this bag of forgotten books-- and found them. Right by the book drop. Placed there, I can only imagine, by Mother Theresa's distant cousin who was visiting Colorado because she had a hankering for homemade honey. You can come back for them whenever you want, Iza graciously assured me. We'll have them waiting for you.

So is it a story about Life with Boys? Or I Love Librarians? Or Practice Random Acts of Kindness?

It's all those things. It's the reminder that even if it feels like we're getting a head smacking, there are still friends and colleagues, and even strangers, who will step alongside with very little fanfare and extend a bit of kindness. A bit of integrity. A bit of ice-no-questions-asked. A bit of help.  

And it all adds up to a great deal, indeed.

Friday, August 7, 2015

Two Clouds

When I lost the phone that held the recording of my firstborn's heartbeat--that very first one we heard while he was still  a dream-come-true in utero--I cried. 

Today, when I mentioned it to the phone guy to explain why maybe a smart phone with "a cloud" to back everything up could be a good idea for me, he agreed.

"I know where you're coming from," he said.
"DO you?" I asked pointedly, surprising myself by sounding incredulous.
"Yes.  For me, it was a voicemail."

Because he was sort of walking into an emotional landmine.  Me with my mom's old phone she had just given me for my birthday. The one that still had her apps and pictures and ringtones on it.  The one that I didn't want to change at all because it was my mom's, but still wanted to use because, well, she had given it to me.

And then this stylish, self-assured, tech-savvy guy half my age looked straight at me and said sincerely,   "It's really rough.  And I really get it."

Suddenly he wasn't just some cool-guy salesperson and I some lady who stepped off the wagon train wanting to join the modern world.

We were also two humans who know part of the story.  The story of love, loss, and things we never get back and people we'll have always.

I cried.  Just a little.  And his eyes glassed up-just a little. (because he was also still the cool-guy).

"Thanks for meeting me right where I was tonight," I told him.  "You're headed great places because you get people even better than phones.  And I really appreciate that."

"Anytime," he said, and I realized he meant it as he locked the door behind me because I had stayed past closing.

I sat in my car and thought about heartbeats gone, and three amazing kids still with us today.  I thought about a virtual cloud full of pictures, and a great cloud of witnesses that surrounds us.

I sat in the story of love and loss and things we never get back and people we'll have always:

Here, there, or in the air.

"Thank you for this phone," I called to tell my mom.  "Of course,"  she said.  "Maybe it will give you a few more tools at your disposal."

Tools and treasures.  In my pocket.  In the cloud.  Here, there and in the air.

So you can keep me
Inside the pocket
Of your ripped jeans
Holdin' me closer 
'Til our eyes meet
You won't ever be alone.
Wait for me to come home.

~ Photograph, by Ed Sheeran