Tuesday, May 13, 2014

a spider in the attic

This morning, when I went into Julia's room for breakfast, I found her -- as I often do -- already awake and reading.  This morning, she was reading Shel Silverstein's Every Thing On It.

As I was turning on one foot, dashing back to the oatmeal on the stove, she held the book out to me and said, quietly,  Mommy.  Turn to the page with the book mark.  Read it.

I did.

A spider lives inside my head
Who weaves a strange and wondrous web
Of silken threads and silver strings
To catch all sorts of flying things,
Like crumbs of thoughts and bits of smiles
And specks of dried-up tears,
And dust of dreams that catch and cling
For years and years and years....
I told her I loved it.  Which I really do.  And asked her what made her want me to read it.

Because it made me think of you.  And how you think about what's going on in people's minds.

This from the girl who gave me the following advice recently as I was headed out the door.  Mommy, just don't talk about brains. You get a little weird when you talk about people's brains.

Some of the most important things these days are the ones that come to me quietly.  Amidst the flying about and flurry and noise.  These days that sometimes feel like they come with everything on it.

There is so much development and change and goodness, and I am trying to catch the flying things, the crumbs and specks and dust of it all, as best I can.  And to find some quiet moments with each of them to connect the strings a bit and weave ourselves, gently, to each other.  Whether it is huddled under an umbrella with Elliott watching a sibling's games in the rain.

Discussing planned playgrounds for the baby chicks at home.

Or in the kitchen, after the younger kids have gone to bed, listening to Nicholas talk about a school project, and how he explains to me what is important to him.

Or quiet moments in the morning light as Julia passes me a silken thread.

I try my best to know them, try -- despite Julia's admonition -- to understand what is going on in their brains. Somehow, it catches me off guard when they show me that though I am often focused on trying to understand them, they are spinning themselves as well, shooting their threads back at me.

These moments with our children, they are a part of this strange and wondrous web.  When they say I know you, too.  I understand you.  They gift the silver strings of knowing you back to me.

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