uniform.

It’s Monday morning.  Which means Lucy is at preschool.  Which means I should be at Costco and Target, and using my car as a mobile office to make sure the tile guy knows where the blue penny tile goes and that the painters understand that all trim is to be Benjamin Moore White Dove.  I did do my half hour at the Y, where I laughed so hard at Jon Stewart’s summation of the CPAC convention that I nearly fell off my treadmill. And I totally believe in the mission of CPAC, but seriously.  Funny.
And I’ve only just, it feels like, returned home from a whirlwind few days with my love at the most magical place in recent memory.  Where we dined our friends and I spent nearly one whole day reading.  Where Dan slept in until 11:30 and I got so sunburned on my nose that it’s peeling.  Lord, help me not to run into my dermatologist at Target later.  Where I could take calls from the Smalls from the teak couch on the screened in porch while I wrote out tags for the gift bags and ate m&ms (don’t judge me).  Where I could get iMovies sent to my inbox featuring Solanda (Lu) making Nanny pretty from the condo bathroom and see for myself what I already knew: that the Smalls were being doted on by the amazing Nanny-burd and Papa too, even though poor Papa was under the weather.  Doted on despite being brought to school “so early we had to wait in that little vestibule for, like, 20 minutes”.  Yes, he used the word vestibule.  My kids are awesome like that.
And while I was riding my bike, with it’s little black basket and “cottage 29” painted on the handlebars and while I was laying by the pool, all covered up, ‘cept my nose, because it was fifty and windy, and while I was taking long tubs in the prettiest bathroom I’ve ever been in (doilies in the trashcans y’all.  doilies!), I chatted with Father, who I’ve kept on the back burner far too much lately.  Kept there until I found small cracks in my day between breaking up the constant battles these condo walls have wrought between brothers, especially, and placing internet orders for side tables and drawer pulls. But last Thursday it was just me and a bike and a teak couch on a screened porch in a magical place and I spent the whole day with Father.
I prayed for kids whose daddy walked out.  Just like that.  For a friend needing healing.  For marriages that are disintegrating.  For my own Smalls and their myriad needs that I’ve been working on solo when they can only be helped in tandem, something I know, but had forgotten.  And through it all, I kept whispering pleas for patience for me.  That darn patience which feels a couple sizes too small so when I sit down it makes my stomach pooch and takes my breath.  Patience that I wear for a bit and then kick off to the back of my closet so I can put control back on.  Control fits so much better and it stretches and when I wear it I think everything is where it should be.  But there is patience on the floor in my closet, reminding me that the tight is what I need to wear right now.  That control is just an illusion and patience is actually my size.  So on that day when I put on patience and laid by the pool, I felt good in it for the first time in a long time.  Patience felt right.
And the next morning, I sat in the Savannah airport having panic attacks before boarding (part of my pre boarding process, along with buying US Weekly and a bottle of Fuji water) and wearing patience and reading The Long Winter and whispering breath prayers to Father for courage to board.  Found peace in the pocket of patience.  I think it’s been there all along, but I forget to grab it.  Held onto that peace through deicing the wings, which led to tarmac sitting, which usually ratchets the panic, but this time I was holding peace tighter and panic fell away and left me in 16 B wearing patience and clutching peace, even though I was missing Tessie’s talent show and my next flight.  But I did get home.  To four Smalls who had been picked up early from school and were waiting for me.  Four Smalls who heard me before they saw me, because there I was, wearing patience and clutching peace, but smiling happiness as I called out that our LOA had been issued while I ran to them.  That we are now on the home stretch of this crazy journey that terrifies me daily.  That she will be in our arms by mid June at latest.  Four Smalls with shiney, watery eyes who couldn’t believe we’d finally gotten it.
So this is me, loving being home and challenging myself to kick control to the back of the closet more often and make patience my uniform.  Patience and trust, they go well together, I think.  I’m learning to wear them in tandem and it looks good.  Even though the Fed Ex truck, with said LOA, isn’t here yet and there are a million decisions to be made today.  Even though China is now looming larger than ever and it just totally terrifies me, everything about it, except her.  Even.
This is me being real.  Wondering what you need to shrug off today in favor of something Father is holding out and beckoning you into?  Do tell.

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