I have lived
1. … in a geodesic dome with hexagonal skylights, a potbelly stove, a thunder bucket and kerosene lamps.
2. … in an old milk house with a dirt floor, metal beams for doing gymnastics, and curtains for walls.
3. … in 5 bedroom historical home on 50 acres with a 12 stall horse barn, Olympic sized riding arena, and a
pony to ride.
4. … in 12 different homes and in 5 different towns before I was 13 years old.
5. … in coastal rainforest, semi-arid desert country, on an island, and in the middle of nowhere all within British Columbia, Canada.
6. … with a brother, a sister, and a brother.
7. … with a brother, a sister, a brother and twin step-brothers.
8. … with a brother, a sister, a brother, two live-in sisters and a live-in brother.
9. … with a sister, a brother, twin goats and a pet turkey (her name was Gladys).
10. … all by myself in the big city.
I have witnessed
11. … tears of joy fall from my love’s eyes, just ‘cause.
12. … the squashed up, puffy, perfect faces of each of my newborn babes born healthy, happy, and whole.
13. … my dearest friend and my dearest sister give birth and welcome beautiful babies to the world.
14. … the lifeless shell left behind after a person dies.
15. … my father married, twice.
16. … my mother in the psych ward, twice (not related to # 15)
17. … cocaine snorted up with 20 dollar bills, (for the record; not into my nose).
18. … the tattletale spotting that comes before the heartbreak of a lost baby.
19. … whales in the open ocean, wild grizzly bears, orcas at play amid gulf islands, eagles snatching salmon from rivers, wolves, beavers, porcupines, elk, deer, birds singing outside my window and taken it for granted because I live in an amazing country.
20. … moments of God’s infinite grace, mercy, love, care, and humour.
I have heard
21. … the power of conviction in his voice as he echoed the words “I do” “I will”
22. … the clarity of my own voice as I spoke the words “I do” and “I will”
23. … my grandmother’s 90 year old voice cheer me up from the opposite side of the country.
24. … my daughters giggle and talk in secretive tones after bedtime.
25. … myself yell too loud, too often, for no good reason.
26. … my name called among the graduates, three times.
27. … a mother’s anguish upon learning of the death of her grown child.
28. … each of my children call for me in the night.
29. … the deep tones of his voice and the gentle strumming of his guitar as he sings the children to sleep.
30. …the chatter amongst a pack of wolves while hiking through their territory, in the pitch back of night.
I have lost
31. … my father to pancreatic cancer, he was 55, I was 23, it seemed too early.
32. … my first baby to miscarriage, my baby Jordan, my gift.
33. … my step-father, my parent, to alcoholism, to bitterness, to his own devices.
34. … a brother-in-law beneath a wall, he was 24 … it really seemed too early.
35. … my expectations of what motherhood, what wifehood, what personhood is all about.
36. … my temper at others maybe five times; at my children far more than I ever imagined I could.
37. … patience with my own self-absorption.
38. … some of my past blindness, attitudes and opinions as regards the “way” things and people should be.
39. … the ability to get pregnant, (my choice.)
40. … out on things because I have been afraid.
I have found
41. … a love more gripping, more heart wrenching, more exquisite than I knew was possible.
42. … being a mother is much harder than I thought it would be.
43. … I believe in Christ, despite an upbringing to the contrary.
44. … being a mother is much richer and complex than I had imagined.
45. … I possess a deep, powerful, fearsome protectiveness for my family.
46. … being a mother is the most inspiring motivator in my life.
47. … fear only keeps you down.
48. … being a mother is the most natural, most unsettling, most oppressive, most joyful, most terrifying thing I could ever dream of doing.
49. … making friends more difficult than finding a good doctor.
50. … I would not give up being who and what I am, or him, or Him.
51. … God, His son, and His spirit.
52. …. him.
53. … them.
54. … me, kind of, some bits, sort of, some of the time … well I’m working on it.
55. … singing and dancing like a fool, especially with them.
56. … a great Scrabble word.
57. … rich chocolaty ice cream, preferably with nuts.
58. … long conversations in bed with him.
59. … the spell of a good book.
60. … watching them sleep.
61. … touch my nose with my tongue.
62. … sew a jean quilt (but let’s just keep that between us.)
63. … talk on the phone while folding laundry, answering five “very important” questions, and keeping a toddler from … well everything.
64. … make a yummy tuna casserole, homemade bagels, hummus, and a hearty soup.
65. … count the number of great friends I have on one hand.
66. … make something out of just about nothing (literally that is not emotionally.)
67. … sing along to Bob Marley, The Beatles, Simon & Garfunkel, Bob Dylan, Queen, the Rolling Stones, Steve Miller Band, Fleetwood Mac, The Doors, Shirley Temple, The Eagles, The Beach Boys, the Big Bopper, Nat King Cole, Mahalia Jackson, Ella Fitzgerald, Frank Sinatra, 10CC, Michael W. Smith, Third Day, Audio Adrenalin, Sarah McLachlan, Willie Nelson, Shania Twain, Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, The Nylons, Holly Cole, India Arie, Jars of Clay, and Bob & Larry.
68. … flip my tongue sideways. Yes, I’ve got tongue skills.
69. … quote Mary Poppins, anyone in The Princess Bride, Homer (Simpson that is), The Paperbag Princess, Dr. Seuss, the Oompa Loompas, Cpt. Picard, Smeagol, Elizabeth Bennett, and Einstein.
70. … pick things up with my toes.
71. … shallow conversation.
72. … olives, except in tapanade.
73. … medical professionals who feel they must comment on my birth control choices.
74. … being told “Oh, you finally got your boy,”… yah, my two middle daughters were a real disappointment, so we “had” to keep trying.
75. … thinking of a snappy comeback 5 minutes after it was needed.
76. … knowing I interrupt too much and don’t listen as well as I thought I did.
77. … my inability to take criticism well.
78. … strong alcohol breath.
79. … not having enough time to do everything I want to do.
80. …and not doing the things I want to do even when I have the time.
81. … they forgive me my mistakes.
82. … they relish the dancing.
83... when he grows old he will still give me “the look.”
84. … his eyes work well enough to still give me “the look.”
85. … my eyes work well enough to see he is giving me “the look.”
86. … they grow up, happy, confident, and a little crazy.
87. … to wander the halls of the Louvre with him.
88. … to spy elephants and giraffes out on the open African plains.
89. … to find my voice and something worthwhile to say.
90. … to hear my Savior say, “Well done, my good and faithful servant.”
I am trying
91. … to yell less.
92. … to listen more.
93. … to find a better way to be me, to be mom, to be his.
94. … to love people practically.
95. … to live my faith.
96. … to finish this list.
97. … to prefect the “greatest-bread-machine-recipe-ever.”
98. … to inspire them to live free of fear.
99. … to accept that he gives me “the look” because he loves me (silly boy).
100. I am trying.