My mom and dad stopped in for a visit the other day - a special treat for me since my parents just settled down in Utah from world travels since I got married. It's been years since they've lived close by. Dad brought some old pictures along and handing them to me he said, "Thought you might want to put these on your blog." Since when did my dad give a hoot about blogging? I thought his gesture was awfully cute. We all had a good laugh, but somehow, I longed to jump inside the photographs and relive those moments.
This was our house in Madrid, Spain. I am thirteen years old and yes, I am wearing Tevas with my church dress. Yes, I am using a fitted sheet as a parachute and yes, my slip is showing. Who gives? The point is, I want to live like that girl - uninhibited and vivacious. I want to stand at the top of my world, and let go of all things cumbersome and just jump.
Carolyn Rasmus writes about this in her book, "Simplify" (which I highly recommend and have read twice.) She recounts the experience she had as a young girl when her mother bore a son. Back then no one knew much about post-partum depression and Carolyn's mother really struggled after baby Mark was born. She was told to stay in bed. So Carolyn became the primary caretaker of her baby brother. For a long time she was hurt by this baby who had not only replaced her, but whom she was now responsible for. When friends came over, Carolyn could not leave and when diapers needed to be canged, and bottles needed to be prepared, Carolyn had to be the adult. Later in her life, as a real adult, she was taking care of her old mother, bathing her. They talked about days gone by and old memories. Her mother confessed how much it hurt her that when Mark cried as a baby, he only wanted Carolyn. Carolyn was shocked. All these years she thought she was the one who had been hurt but her heart was softened to see the situation from her mother's perspective. As she scrubbed her mother's back and dried her with warm towels, tears streamed down her face. She looked up to see that her mother too was weeping. They were able to let go of feelings that had soured their relationship for years.
It is the end of a very long and trying semester of school, two finals away from letting go of so much weight. December is wasting away and I am on the brink of leaving one more year behind. My twenties are fading fast and I am left wondering, what unecessary junk am I still holding onto? It is time to pluck up the weeds that have gone unattended to by the fistfuls and chuck them to the wind.