Monday, June 2, 2008

a keeper

Yesterday, I was so tired that I was near-delirium. As I was falling asleep, I suddenly had the most vivid memory of the last time I saw Josh. It was so real and random that I woke from my half-stupor and nearly cried.

He knew I was in Dallas before I was going to leave for the holidays, but I was so screwy about him that I wanted to see him, but didn't want to admit it, so I so kindly offered him the chance to take me to the airport at the crack of dawn the next morning. And so, at 4:30 a.m., or some unholy time of the morning, he knocked on Anne's door to take me. I remember I wrote Anne a note because I wasn't going to wake her that said, "It's 4:30 a.m. and I have a full face of make up on and my hair is done. What's wrong with me?" Ha...and so I answered the door fresh-faced and ready in the darkness of the December early morning.

He was dressed in torn jeans and some baggy t-shirt with a John Deer hat, and his hair was curly and long underneath. I remember laughing to myself because his style of late was so trendy that it must have taken hours to meticulously create each outfit: euro hairstyle, hair gel, expensive jeans and abnormal amounts of stupid accessories of some kind. But standing there in front of me now, he looked so unkempt, so.. normal. It's ironic that the last time I saw him he reminded me so much of the first time we met: torn jeans, Abercrombie shirt, hair long and curly on the ends.

I remember Anne came down with me to answer the door and he said hello politely, aware that she wasn't his biggest fan. Then he hoisted my huge suitcase and guitar over the side of his truck without a struggle, which was so strange because he was always so damn skinny and looked like he could blow over at any moment. We talked about how he had stayed up all night because they had gotten in so late, and everyone had eaten mushrooms but he hadn't. Right off the bat he joked that he had never gotten goodbye kiss at the airport and was looking forward to it. I laughed and said, "Oh, are you!?" teasingly.

I remember he didn't know exactly how to get to Love Field airport. But I remember that I was uncharacteristically laid back about getting there, only because I knew that he of anyone would find it without getting lost. We made it there without much event, and pulled into a Starbucks to sit and have coffee before he dropped me off. But it was like 5 a.m. and it was still closed. He made some comment about it opening later on the weekends.

He pulled out of the parking lot and I remember thinking that he was disappointed because now we didn't really have a place to sit and talk. As we pulled into the check-in area, he helped me with my bags but told me he'd meet me inside because he had to park the truck. So I waited for him in the doorway. After all my bags were taken care of, he took my hand. It was just normal or something. Everything was still closed, but we went to sit in the sitting area for the McDonald's. I remember he sat across from me and held my hand the whole time we sat there. I don't really remember what we talked about, but I remember watching him watch his hand and mine, and I remember thinking my hands were ugly and square compared to his long, slender fingers. I wish I could remember what we said, but I really only see images of him across from me.

So, he walked me to the security check-in, where he couldn't go after that. We faced each other to say goodbye and he reached down to give me a kiss. Ha. I remember laughing at his cockiness to think he really was going to get a kiss goodbye even though we weren't dating or really even talking before a week prior. But again, it just seemed normal. So I kinda brushed my mouth with his, teasing him. "Really, you're gonna..." was all he said before I decidedly kissed him. I didn't even feel silly about kissing in public and even remember that I pulled him closer with my right hand on his back.

It was a great kiss. Ha. And I'm not even saying that because it was one of the last moments I had with him. But it was. It had no awkward sloppiness of a first kiss with a new love. But it had still the feeling of your stomach dropping in excitement. Strange. Then I vaguely remember him saying that I should just stay here for the holidays. I could stay with his Mom and Jack, they'd love to have me. And I remember loving the sweetness of the idea, but I'm not proud to admit that the first hesitation I had was to do with the stupid plane ticket. Ha. So lame.

At some point we let go and I walked through security and boarded the plane, but I don't remember much about it. I think we texted each other at least 40 times before I made it to my house. I went directly to sleep when I got home and remember that I woke up to him lamenting that I hadn't stayed. It was a sweet awakening.

And that was the last time I saw him. I think I like this memory because it was such a perfect picture of the simple plainness of us together that always managed to get confused with these stupid arguments and ultimatums that put us in different corners of the ring.

And so I'll keep it here.

Sunday, June 1, 2008


She's pretty much grown now. Not much of the 'little girlness' is really left, especially with those damn vivacious curves. Lord knows she looks older than me. As we sat at lunch today, I noticed a few of those little awkward things that are becoming of a little girl not a woman, leaving just a linger of childhood.

She doesn't say "Bread Company Co," (because she didn't know that "Co" was short for company.) She doesn't mispronounce much anymore. She wears makeup.

To her much wiser, older sister, Gracie will probably still be 4-years-old until she busts me in the nose with her adulthood. Until then, I think I'll still enjoy the little awkwardness. I like how she trumps around the house, not knowing yet how to balance her thickening hips with the childish excitement of her task. I like that as she sat at lunch today, her shapely legs moved awkwardly in her skirt and flashed a bit of pink, flowery underwear. The consciousness of her femininity hasn't yet overtaken every movement of her body to leave her aware of awkwardly spread legs. I like her braces.

She wrote me a note before I left for YWAM and her words were this perfect blend of child and adult. "Carpe Deium!" she wrote. "That means 'seize the day,'" she added as an aside for me if I hadn't known. Her note was this strange thing I could touch and hold in my hands of her waning childishness.

Sure she's discovered how cute she is -- and how boys have discovered it too -- but it seems innocent. She loves life, friends, clothes, and all that comes with her upcoming womanhood. I love to watch her discover the ups and downs of being grown. Her desire for independence still flashes in angry, dramatic outbursts that are usually scripted eerily similar to whatever 'coming of age' movie she saw recently. But she's still discovering.

So, I'm praying that she'll discover safely. I pray that God would cover her from the ugliness of eating from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. I mean, I know she has to grow up. But, I just pray that He would cover her gracefully as she steps out. I hope she doesn't struggle with the same stuff I did, and that her beauty stills itself beneath her skin.

I hope she grows in grace.