Minnesota Mamaleh: “The B Word”
People use that word a lot. It is, for sure, a part of everyday conversation. Blessed to have a job. Blessed to have children. Blessed to have found a soul mate. Blessed to be healthy. It’s not, however, a word that I use regularly.
I didn’t grow up hearing it, using it or thinking about it very often, if at all. The same goes for Jason. In fact, the first time that either one of us said it within earshot of each other, was at our wedding.
It had been such a beautiful, magical day. Absolutely perfect. Not details-perfect, mind you, as there were snaffoos, for sure. Like the hair in my kiddish cup. Or the forgotten price tag on Jason’s. Or when our vendors decided that their food was not up to par. Or the mixed-up table arrangements. So no. Not that kind of perfect.
It was the kind of perfect where we fully realized that we were starting our life together. And that people from various parts of our story were there. All in one room. Enjoying. Celebrating. Laughing. Dancing. So when Jason was making his “thanks for everything” speech, and looked around and felt all of that love, he said it. Go right ahead and insert that record-screeching-turn-table-y sound here. But when I looked up and saw his glistening eyes, and that slight nod along with a smile which only happens at his most sincerest of moments, I knew that he meant it. And felt it. Whole-heartedly. And I did, too.
Because we’re still trying to figure out our relationship with faith, we’re not always comfortable with faith-lingo. And don’t throw around religious-y words easily or comfortably. The word blessed is no exception. So we called it “the b word.” As in years later while watching our wedding DVD, we’d get to the speech part and both exclaim, “Oh! Here it comes! The b word!”
At the time, it was unusual for us to be so very aware of that magical moment where everything feels just right. Like it’s supposed to be. Like a moment in time that slows down and you feel…Lucky. And taken care of. And just plain old heart-and-soul good. For some people this feeling comes with the the knowledge that the magical moment wouldn’t have happened, couldn’t have happened, without some sort of divine intervention. While I’m not so completely and totally secure in my faith to know that, I do realize (often humbly) that there is something different. Special. Magical. About those moments.
For me, being pregnant, feeling pregnant, is a perfect example of feeling blessed. The kids’
movements, kicks, bounces never ceased to amaze me. When I was pregnant with Kayli, Jason would kiss my belly and Kayli would softly tap back. Blessed. When we were at Chloe’s ultrasound, she turned away from the technician every time she was about to get a good look at her. And then she started rubbing her ears, which is still what she does today if she’s anxious or worried. Blessed. And Brody? At his ultrasound my little man bounced up-side-down and stared at his knee. MmmHmm. Blessed. Blessed to have a glimpse of their personalities. Blessed to feel all of that goodness inside. Blessed, blessed and blessed.
Getting married. Having babies. Those are big moments and big blessings, for sure. But sometimes it’s the little things. Those little gems, treasures in time that feel just right. Perfect. And meant to be. Those times are meant to be fully felt and enjoyed. ‘Lest they pass us right on by. Because they fill us up with all that’s right and good in this world. So of course I needed to talk to the girls about those moments. Right away.
Now I realize that the girls are young, but I did decide to gently broach “the b word” with them. I simply said, “ Sometimes when something happens it feels so wonderful and amazing from the inside out. It’s like magic. And it feels just right. Do you know what I mean?” They smiled. And nodded. So feeling encouraged, I went on, “In those moments I feel lucky. And taken care of. And happy. Have you ever felt that way?”
After a pause Kayli came up with just a couple of darn good ideas. When I got my big girl bike. When we first watched our butterflies flutter. When we picked the very first strawberry from Daddy’s garden. And ate it. When you let me stay up late and read books with just you.
And just in case my eyes weren’t teary enough, Chloe chimed in with When I ride my bike down the long, long path. When my butterfly didn’t want to leave me. When you snuggle me. When I have to go potty and Daddy lets me watch some of the Twins game with just him.
When I brush my girls’ hair. When Brody pats my back with his chubby little hands as I hug him good night. When Jason and I laugh uncontrollably playing wii boxing.
It’s all of those little moments that make up the road maps and pave the way for the big moments in our hearts. And if we’re aware and conscious of those moments today, that feeling of peace and contentedness will stay with us tomorrow. It will leave us feeling complete and full. And not always searching for more. Not in the slacker way. But in the fulfilled, peaceful way.
So I left the girls with naming that magic as feeling blessed. Telling them that I liked their ideas. And telling them how blessed I feel to squeeze each of them ever-so-tightly every single day. That was this morning and they’ve been walking around all day saying things like, “I sure do feel blessed today” after an especially long bike ride or an especially long laugh after a good old tickle fight. Somewhat disconcerting for two people who aren’t especially ready to label themselves as religious? Perhaps. But wonderful. And meaningful. And blessed-full.
Whenever I broach these types of conversations with my kids, I find myself so much more mindful and reflective. In this case it means ignoring the sink full of dishes and the laundry that still needs to be done. And refocusing on the fact that the kids went to bed ridiculously early tonight, the house smells like apple pancakes and Jason and I snuggled and watched an entire TV show completely uninterrupted. Blessed, indeed.