I’m so grateful to my friend Evi Wusk for writing these beautiful words about the authentic life she desires for her young daughter. And I have to tell you, too, that Evi wrote this poignant piece in 20 minutes flat as we sat across from each other at Bagels and Joe earlier this week. I told her I wanted an IV of whatever was running through her veins. She blamed it on the chipotle mayo – but I ate the same sandwich, and I didn’t write squat in 20 minutes!
My one-and-a-half-year-old just plopped down on my tummy. I didn’t experience this type of jostling with my first pregnancy. That nine months was all naps and snacks. This second round of getting rounder is much less serene.
I had a moment of panic last week with my toddler at the dentist’s office. The receptionist noted, “Well, your next appointment will be in April.” April . . . April . . . I trolled through the numbered days in my iPhone only to see a surprisingly clear month. I realized then that I’d be off on maternity leave with a one-month old. The circus juggling act of getting one carrier + diapers + another child + myself (dressed and not crying–me and the kids) all into my car and to a dentist appointment buzzed through my mind as I turned my mouth into a smile and said, “Yes, the fifteenth will be fine.”
How is it that people get these kiddos to 18 with all their limbs and a nice pair of eyeballs intact? As I think again about new motherhood, this new little one, and the world he or she will grow up in it’s hard not to wonder. What is it that I really want for my daughter if I can somehow wedge my thoughts past simple survival and car seat loading?
I want her to be healthy. . . to never know hunger in her own belly.
To see the beauty of a Nebraska gold-soaked sunset.
To enjoy a random Tuesday dinner with a spouse, talking through struggles in a way that leads to laughing.
To feel a passion for something.
To know the pain/joy of helping.
To wear an outfit that isn’t what’s popular, just because.
To feel the pain-then-joy of exercise.
To know how it feels to be on a team.
To plug into those things that are life-giving and unplug from what sucks energy away.
To watch a movie with someone sitting next to her–close on the journey.
To know motherhood . . . if that is what she wants.
In all of it I want her to know what the real deep goodness is and how to realign her life to it, to somehow see God in even her e-mail inbox or that smudged-up mirror.
To not only know God, but to be aware of her own deep wanting for God that helps her see with new eyes the needs she can help. So that she might match up the “needs doing” with her “can do” in an artful way that leaves her sleeping at night and waking early ready to meet the day.
I want her to know that–no matter what the world or its systems or eighth grade divas might say–she is more than enough. She’s God’s poema (Eph. 2:10), God’s masterpiece. That the things she’s done wrong can be laid aside, all because of how beautiful she is–not just on the outside, but in the deep her-ness that is hard to define. That her essence, the authentic part of her, is already redeemed, is worth fighting for, worth thinking of, worth loving, worth knowing, and definitely worth taking to the dentist.
Evi — you say it like chevy — is a giggler who delights in words, good licorice and stories over a good beer or a cup of coffee. She lives in small town Nebraska with her daughter Charli, her husband Ralph and their dog, Daisy. Visit Evi at her blog, and follow her on Twitter.