Lightening love

Friday night was magic, but exhausting.

We got to bed late after talking too long (and doing some laundry), something we don’t get to do that often. We kept saying, “Man, we gotta get some sleep, we have a long day tomorrow” and then we’d start talking about our latest passion of yurts (that’s a whole ‘nother story). We finally drifted off to sleep sometime after midnight, arms intertwined while Anya slept quietly in the open crib pushed up next to our bed.

About 4am, I awoke to find Mark out of bed and thunder rolling across the canyon. Flashes from the lightening were coming through the window, usually following the rumble of thunder so I knew the storm had to be far off. I checked that Anya was sleeping soundly and padded upstairs and out to the porch, whistling to find where Mark had gone. He returned the whistle and I realized he was off trying to cover some carpentry projects he had left out so the paint could dry. Every time he has a big project we get rain, but the heat from hell had lulled him into a false sense of security.

I stood on the porch, watching the waning full moon play hide and seek with the clouds and then turned to watch the lightening bolts creep up the valley. Lightening bolts and their accompanying thunder are like a roller coaster to me: scary and thrilling all in one. Mark joined me after a while and we stood watching, occasionally distracted by the dog as she enjoyed a romp in the dark.

I checked in on Lily and stood watching as light flashed across her sleeping body, transfixed by how white her skin looked in lightening light. She woke just after we got into bed and a particularly loud crack of thunder boomed. Mark went and collected her and dropped her into bed between us. She was thrilled to be rolling around in bed with us and kept touching Mark, sitting up to point at Anya sleeping nearby and exclaim “baby!”, then suck her thumb, back up, etc. Finally she lay down, her nose inches from my own and started stroking my cheek. Her big brown eyes stared at me while her other hand worked on sucking that thumb. I kept my eyes closed, trying to give her the hint and I heard the wet noise of her thumb popping out of her mouth. I opened my eyes to see her smile, still stroking my face and she whispered, “I lobe you.”

“I love you too, pumpkin.” And my heart broke in two, scattering all over the sheets and filling the room with the sweetness that is toddler love.

Everyday I am pushed to reexamine myself, my life, and my role in the universe. Being a parent is scary and thrilling all in one. And I wouldn’t trade it for all the lightening storms in the world.