I still have these crazy bouts of anxiety, feeling my stomach tied in knots and my heart a heavy weight in my chest. I know what prolonged, chronic uncertainty does to the inside of a person. Ambiguity is not my friend.
But there are moments, perhaps all the more poignant for the ambiguity surrounding them, where this deep, beautiful refined gold comes through all the bleeding watercolors.
Christmas was like that this year. Novio spent much of Christmas with us. He & Vespera shuttled back and forth from our family to his, celebrating and becoming more deeply embedded in each other's lives and families. We went sledding/snowboarding all together on Christmas day, under a bright sun. Vespera laughed and held my hands trying to find her feet on her snowboard. Mane and I careened down the hill screaming on her sled. Mango and I pressed our cold lips together and smiled, beaming with love and happiness for our children and ourselves.
"Children" is quickly coming to refer to all three of them - Mane and Vespera and Novio. We took them all to Powder Ridge the Monday after Christmas to try out their new snowboards. Mane (with Mango's assistance) snowboarded several times down the hill and even learned how to stop! (The most important skill in snowboarding, I hear.) Vespera declared at the end of the day that she had "learned a whole lot." After all, she started the day have only been on a snowboard once before. Then she took an hour snowboard lesson, learned to use the rope tow, went up and down the beginner hill for several hours, rode the chair lift, and snowboarded a nice run down the "mountain." We all could have kept going all night if it hadn't been for our aching bodies after 5 hours or so.
Novio did one last run down the hill while Vespera & I watched. Well, she watched, and I watched her. More and more often I see the woman in her face. I see her honest love for Novio, an expression marked by almost two years of steadily building this relationship. She has worked hard. They have worked hard together. I was reminded of the beginning of an e.e. cummings poem...
my love is building a building
a frail slippery house,
a strong fragile house
I wrote that poem out for Mango in our anniversary book one year. I am reminded when I see Vespera & Novio of how true it is - strong and fragile. That's how it is when humans are in relationship with each other. And, oh how beautiful it is when you can finally see the building in the middle of all the work.
My heart feels all that pride and love and bittersweetness to see my daughter building her own building.
And to see Mane conquering her fears and learning to persevere. She is growing strong and courageous. I wonder who she will become? So many things are still just forming in her personality, her character. I want to be present for each moment, but I also look with excitement to the future. I love to see her grow and learn.
And I am so content. So happy. So full of joy. Not really perfection, but as close as it comes.