Our Blessed Life

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

The Healing

It’s late in the afternoon.  

The morning was productive only because our good friend Anna (11 years old) spent the early part of the day with us and helped the kids with school work while I did a load of laundry (yes, one load is all I accomplished), cleaned the kitchen, heated lunch, and made a bulk batch of muffins for next week’s breakfasts.

Between those tasks and tending to the little ones, I never would have been able to get any school work done with the older ones.  So after Lena did her reading lesson with me, she and the other three big kids forged ahead through their pace work under Anna’s supervision.  

Poor girl was a champ - relaying back and forth between questions and checking work, and Carson - who is an ever-moving mini-machine, bent on wearing you down with his combination of cute, repetitious chatter and his command of your full attention.  

At one point she looked up at me a little exasperated, “Mrs. Hazleton, I don’t know what to do with him!”  {I giggled a little inside, the way I always do when being called "Mrs. Hazleton" in such a sincere young voice.} 

Poor girl. She’d already set him up with two or more activities, and within seconds he either lost interest or melted into frustration because something wasn’t working quite right for him.  

For good measure, he balanced out his tantrums with cheerful requests for Anna to “come pay wid me?” in his sing-song voice.  

I felt for Anna.  She was catching a glimpse of what I experience. 

Every waking moment.  

The full morning only added to the mix of jumbled thoughts and emotions in my head.  I felt the growing need to sort them out.  Lay them on the table and assess each one.  So many needsIdeasRamblings.  So tightly wound up inside my head, to have them come unfurled would only mean a slow dripping like sap from a pine tree.  

The tightness I felt inside at the urgent needs to which I have no answers - the jumble of ideas to which I have no direction - the growing tension, for which I have no outlet... it all left me feeling more laid low and scrunched up, as if ready to pop out of the box like Jack at any given second.  

But having no release, I had no option but to move forward in the late afternoon.  

Daddy's coming home; church dinner will start soon; nothing for it.  

Scrunched up insides will have to wait.

Get the hair brushed, the feet covered in five pairs of shoes.  Get the ducks aligned.  Change the diaper.  

It was in this moment - in changing Olivia’s diaper that the warmth began to seep into my cracks again. My fingers went through the motions of the diaper change and clothing change quite automatically while my eyes stared off at the chickens outside the window... my mind wandering through a dozen thoughts.  

Then, when the task was complete, there she was.  Lying in her little bed all chubby and neatly clothed.  Her eyes so bright.  That puff of strawberry hair that I know will turn blonde on me.  

Her smile so unassuming.  Her squeals and cooing now coming into focus for my wandering ears.

The corners of my mouth couldn’t help themselves, turning up into a returning smile. Involuntarily.  And that one change.  The beginning of a smile that warmed my lips spread through me.  

I gathered her up in my arms, her fat body cradled against me and then lifted her above me, to her delight.  

And bringing her close again, her tiny soft hands grabbing my neck.  Her cheek to my nose, I breathed in her sweet baby smell and felt her drool on my lips.  I sighed as it filled me up inside.  “Your kisses are like medicine.”

And I knew the truth of what I had just said.

A happy heart doeth good like a medicine.  


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