#ShitMyKidSays Back to School Edition

“It is really hard to fart in a classroom of people.” -Addison

“I’ve been explaining to my friends ALL WEEK that boys can like purses too. These boys don’t know things they should know.” -Isaiah

Me: Tobias, did you like school?

Tobias: “I liked the raisins… does that count?”

“All these kids just have opinions and I just got eye rolling.”- Isaiah

Isaiah: “Maybe you should stop being so you and people wouldn’t want to hit you, Addison.”

Addison: “Maybe your face should stop!”

Tobias: “Pooping my pants at school is a really bad idea.”

“I was really just sitting there praying for recess, like the WHOLE time the teacher was talking. She has so much to say.”

 

 

teej

Can You See the Stars Where You Are

I saw a shooting star the other night. I was driving home from Kansas City. I could hear the rhythmic breathing of the sleeping children in the back seat. I was driving with no music. Just the inhale and exhale of the three you loved so much and a dark stretch of road. I looked over my shoulder and the sparkle burst, pierced the dark, and left a long tail of glitter. I gasped. Without hesitation I spoke your name and started crying. I don’t believe in heaven or hell. I don’t believe in existences beyond our death.

Sometimes I wish I did. I wish I knew that you can see the stars from where you are.

I decided the other day that I can’t say I’ve never been in love. For a while I was convinced I’ve never loved. Hearts do that when they’ve been broken. They convince you that love is not a thing. It hurts less that way. I’ve certainly not always felt loved. When I see shooting stars, or drink Chai, or Isaiah asks me to do a toast with him; I know I’ve been loved. I was loved by you. I remember nights laying flat on the carpet with my head rested in the crook of your neck. You’d smoke and nuzzle my ear. You’d play with my hair and speak to me in Swahili. We’d talk about literature and bodies. We made a list of places we’d visit when you finished your book and I finished school. We believed in each other. We’d laugh until we were unable to laugh at all. You’d lift your hand and entwine your fingers with mine. You’d remind me of what I couldn’t see, but what has always been with me; my strength.

I want so badly for another place to exist. I want the sky to split open and reveal you there all along, throwing shooting stars. I want to know you can see the stars from where you are.

“Be patient toward all that is unsolved

A Box of Flours

Little did she know, that one day someone would write a love poem for her.

I’ve never had a poem written about me. Have you? When Will Ferrell handed Maggie Gyllenhaal that box of flours in Stranger Than Fiction, I melted. I was watching the movie the other night and I lost it. I lost all shape and form and just went everywhere. It puddled me, if that is a thing.

Little did I know that I would have that reaction.

You don’t expect it, do you? His character is bumbling along and then all of the sudden he shows up for her in such a big away. The gift was so thoughtful and so intent on demonstrating his observance and understanding of her. He saw her. Not only did he see her, but he GOT her. Then he told her that he wanted her! His act of kindness, and risk, and love was a poem in a sort of way. He put himself on the line.

I’ve been working through this thinking about love thing that has really been bothering me. I think, maybe, that scene helped me move a little closer to an understanding. The scene melted me because it pointed to something that has been missing in my life. Love is an intentional action. Love can be a kind of wanting and that wanting catalyzes beautiful moments like the moment between Harold Crick and Ana Pascal.

Just as Rilke said,

“Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer.”I am learning to release the need for answers to so many things. I am learning that I don’t always have to have a definition.  Sometimes when I least expect it, I find what I am searching for by just loving the questions themselves. I’ve been living in the questions about love and hope and new life.

Sometimes the answers are in a scene about a box of flours. 

#shitmykidsays about love

I’ve been wresting with the idea of love lately. So I asked my kids about it. Here is what they said:

Me: So what happens when you are in love?

Isaiah: “It seems like there is a lot of humping involved in love, sometimes.Like in movies and everything. When you are in love you watch out for the person and you want to kiss them too. Can kids be in love?”

Me: I think so, maybe, but I don’t know for sure.

Isaiah: “You don’t have to know. I am in love with stuff and people, but mostly people. Unless you count every Pokemon card, then I am in love with a LOT OF STUFF.”

Me: Addy, what do you think love is?

Addy: “I think it is when you’ll take good care of your people, and you want to be with them, but not all the time if you need space. But they won’t be mad if you need space because they know you are always in their heart.”

Me: That is a really good answer.

Addy: “I know because I am smart. Smarter than Tobias.”

Isaiah: “I have an answer! I think love is like a magic. Like in Harry Potters. In the movie they do stuff with their wands and you can’t see how it does it. But you just know it works. I think about love like that.”

Addy: “You say the weirdest things!”

Isaiah: “NO YOU DO.”

Me: So how will you know when someone loves you?

Addy: “When they are respectful.”

Me: How do you know I love you, Addy?

Addy: “Because you take care of me, and when you hurt my feelings you say you are sorry and sometimes when I don’t tell you the truth you say you understand.”

Me: So I show you I love you but telling you I understand?

Isaiah: “I know you love me because you gave birth to me first. You also breastfed me, even when I would bite your nipples. I don’t remember doing that because I was a baby, but you said that once. Also, I always know you’ll come back for me, always. Love is like when you are on the same team and you work together. I don’t think I am ready to be in love with, like, a person that is not a kid because I don’t want to have sex yet. It just seems gross.”

Addy: “YOU ARE BEING WEIRD AGAIN.”

Isaiah: “Then just leave the room because we are having an adult conversation.”