Monday, July 28, 2014

beyond typical vows

Guest list



citrus water
ginger snaps


soup and rolls

pine cones
white lights
organza ribbons (navy)
glass vases/pebbles

The philosopher asks a question

I met him at the platform today at one-oh-seven. We'd spent most of the weekend working and playing together in SLC, so even though it hadn't been more than fifteen hours since I'd last kissed him, and even less since we talked and texted each other before falling asleep, the dopamine withdrawals were definitely on display. I knew what was coming today, because I'd stopped him mid-proposal by text last night. I think he'd already asked without being completely serious four times already, and finally I teased him that when the time came that he meant it I wouldn't know it was for real. But as I received the text I knew how real it was. 

"Will you be my wife in December, then?"
"Are you asking for real by text?"
"I guess it would be more romantic to ask in person. But I think I know what the answer will be. What do we need to do to be ready for a December wedding?"
"I love your silly, amazing, sexy, brilliant guts. Ask me in person and then we can talk about what it will take."
"I will tomorrow, on the platform, unless you want a more romantic venue. However you want me to ask..."
"I want you to ask sincerely. The platform would be sweetly romantic."

And it was. We drove to the Pie Tin, got salads before his afternoon lecture, and began talking about guests. It was two when I suddenly thought to look at the time, and I sent him away in a hurry toward the Liberal Arts building while I picked up after our lunch.

Sunday, July 20, 2014


Philosophies of parenting

I took a walk this evening with B— and L— to the cemetery. We talked about the future, about things that may or may not happen. She is 13. He is 9. Their worlds have been far from stable the last few years, and the fact that I am doing everything in my power to maintain the present calm is important to them. It's important to me. 

This is a summer unlike any summer before it. M— is deepening her relationship with autonomy, with employment and a boyfriend, and I am learning the struggle between scissors, the agency of my children, and navigational strings. E— is blossoming in a garden of artistically-minded young people who wander in and out of my house comfortably and freely as though I were the supporting trellis and they the wandering vines. He lay next to me on my bed early in the week and admitted to experimenting with drugs for the first time. I listened, relieved that his experience was much like mine with this particular substance, and that the negative side effects are enough that he doesn't wish to use it more. I pray he doesn't give in to trying others. Two weeks ago, Mr. PNU gave me a blessing before I left his house to confront my oldest child about choices she is making that may severely alter the hopeful course of her life. The words were solid and reassuring; I must continue to love my children, to pray for them, and to exercise patience and long-suffering. Today, I told my bishop that I'd had no idea how difficult parenting would become. Diapers and sleepless nights pale in comparison. No one warns you that each child you have will have the power to break your heart, but that you will go on loving them nonetheless. 

Mr. PNU is my sweetest friend and companion in all of this. I've told him that I couldn't have done this summer without him, and that isn't hyperbole. His C— falls right between my M— and E—, and she too is posing challenges that her father hadn't anticipated. Together, all five children are amazing people. Between them, five anxious adults are trying to get people-raising right. I'd like to think that together we have good ideas every once in a while, but most of the time I think we're all aiming our efforts blindly toward the "produce decent human beings" target that we hope each kid will hit before it darts again out of range.