Five minutes ago I gave birth to my second daughter on the floor of my bedroom, surrounded by family and friends and skilled professionals. She looked nothing like I expected, with her dark red skin and the black downy hair that covered most of her body and the eyebrows that met in the middle, still coated with vernix, making them look gray like an old man’s. She looked nothing like my first daughter. She was my beautiful, wonderfully-made Sadie, and my heart nearly exploded with love and happiness.
Five minutes from now, my second daughter will graduate from high school in the sanctuary of our church, surrounded by family and friends and skilled professionals. Her life has looked nothing like I expected, tied up as it has been with mine and her dad’s and her sisters’ and all the five minute increments that have led us from one place to the next while we have all grown older together in the most unexpected of ways. She is my beautiful, wonderfully-made, lovingly-raised, deep-feeling, multi-layered, swirling storm of a Sadie whose eyes get all squinty and twinkly when she smiles and who makes my eyes leak water when she sings. My heart nearly explodes with love and happiness and fear and pride and thankfulness for her life.
Five minutes ago we moved into this home with our three precious little ones, surrounded by family and friends and unskilled, unprofessionals, who selflessly helped move the heaviest of bookcases and beds and even a piano (in August…in Texas) into the place that would know unimaginable memories over the next eleven years, here at the end of our quiet cul-de-sac in a suburb of Dallas. We have settled as we never knew we could as we grew and changed in the most unexpected of ways. We imagined growing old here as all the kids and grandkids came and stayed for all the Christmases to come.
Five minutes from now we will be moving. Away from Dallas. Across the country. To the west coast. We will watch our second daughter graduate from high school, we will sell this house and we will move and we will become a part of a new wonderful life with new wonderful people in a new wonderful place that has an ocean (AN OCEAN!). We are not skilled nor professional and we don’t really know anybody who can surround us now in any kind of skilled or professional manner as we take this leap into the unknown. But we will be led on by the wind, bathed in the water and fed by the body and blood. And in this most unprofessional of manners, leap, we will. Five minutes from now.
Five minutes ago, my second daughter wrote a song about this upcoming move for her little sister and she sang it at our church’s annual St. Patrick’s Day Feast. Five minutes from now, the words and the sound of this song and my baby girl’s voice will sustain me as I run headlong with my husband and daughters across the fields of yellow into the sea and all the future Christmases that will look nothing like I had imagined. It’s all so very unexpected.
I can’t wait.
Making our way feeling come what may
On a small street corner
In San Luis California
The sun shines bright all day but at night
There’s a cool breeze coming so hold on to me closely
If you need a rain check
My dear, don’t fret
This is home
They strung some lights up the hill beside
Where the ocean lies
So this is this year’s Christmas
And if you want you can doubt while the boys go out
But tomorrow you know that things will be the same
Hold on to your pride
But don’t drag it around
It might rust
Ooh, it’s all right
Just ride your waves in tonight
You and I
We’ll find our way home
Take my hand and we’ll climb to the top of the hill
And look out down below
Where the city lights glow so bright
And the shiny sea that calls out to me
You can join in the fun, we can bask in the sun
And forget about life for awhile
Save your words
Don’t come all undone
Take this time
With me and we’ll run
Across the fields of yellow
And the tall grass that grows in the meadow
Cause now, it’s your time
To fly away
Oh no, don’t cry
Cause you and I
Will find a way home tonight
Yeah baby, you and I
Will find a way home