Daniel has been getting his first set of molars in the past month, and it's meant a few sleepless nights for all of us. I can't imagine how painful it must be for those giant mountain ranges of teeth to push through his raw gums. And the drool this produces is soaking his shirts on a daily basis. I change him into a dry shirt before we go outside for fear of a deep freeze against his chest. The other night, he was waking up intermittently, crying and struggling to sit up, throwing himself against our bodies until we were awake enough to hold him. Usually, just sitting up in bed and cradling him in my arms helps him go back to sleep, but it doesn't help me sleep, and boy does mama need her sleep these days. We ended up spending most of the early morning hours snoozing in a spooning position, his head on my shoulder, his little body curled into a fetal position and tucked up against mine, my free arm draped over his leg.
This story and these pictures of Daniel trying on our shoes are just filler, really. This week has been unusually contemplative for me. There's so much of myself that I could spill onto this keyboard, but it's hard for me to do that when I'm immersed so much in my thoughts and reflecting on things to the point where I just need quiet and space to let everything simmer. I don't know if it's my upcoming 40th birthday causing me to evaluate my life, make plans, claim my dreams; or the author of Eat, Pray, Love being on Oprah and prompting me to think about what I "really, really, really" want; or the fact that every day something triggers my wondering if I am going to live long enough for my sons to know me, for me to be able to watch them grow up. It's not fear or anxiety that occupies my mind at those moments, but a certain sense of sadness and and urgency and awareness that I don't know the hour nor the day — that none of us do, really — and we'd best live with a sense of purpose, of what is important to us, not superficially but deep down.
My friend Johanna posted a poem on her blog by Mary Oliver that ends like this:
"Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn't everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?"
Our wild and precious lives, indeed.