imperfect prose_hopping down a sidewalk

her shadow in bus stop sunshine

it is 3:15 and already the shadows on the leafless trees and the street signs are slanting a hard east

its cold with teeth and i just keep moving legs and stuffing down hands as I walk to the bus stop

both girls are so happy to see me when they get off the big yellow bus and that makes me happy

the babe is speedy quick, sailing down the sidewalk

older sister is day-dreamy slow, walking methodical

i straddle the middle gulf between

yelling to the babe to “slow down!” & “don’t you dare cross that street without me!”

and chiding the other to “C’mon!” & “walk faster it’s cold!”

every day the same

every day the babe sails ahead anyway

the sister shuffles content un-phased

“Ya know hopping helps” i cry, turning my body so the words catch both, stretched half a block apart

boots together arms an X crossed tight, straight jacket style,over my chest {no need to draw more attention to myself with bouncing boobs}

i start to hop


like a rabbit

the effect is instantaneous

she comes rushing back

she quickens her gait

we hop down the sidewalk that leads to our cap cod with the odd angled addition jutting off the back

to the stone angel with a Santa cap and offering of shiny Christmas bulbs instead of bird seed because the squirrels think it’s for them


i am panting and laughing and enjoying how most of the drivers who went whizzing by during the full minute of hopping probably smiled and thought:

“what a happy mom and cute girls”

it hits me then:

i am a happy mom

i have not been one, not really, for a few weeks

just like the old saying goes: the only thing you can count on is that you can’t count on anything

the only thing predictable about my feelings is that they are unpredictable

lots of prayer, lots of grace, lots a revelation, has given some awareness to the why and whens to what I do and feel and say

setting up three small feathery evergreens, selected from the woods, to be transformed to bedroom Christmas trees for four daughters became my absolute un-doing last week

really it was a final finger flick that pitched me over the dangerous crumbling edge I have been skirting since before Thanksgiving

that pressure.panic & despair.anger cocktail that has been shaking inside of me that is NOT AT ALL like a festive drink

it would not go away either

in retrospect i realized i was feeling like a trapped animal

i was even starting to insistently rub and claw at that spot on my collar bone that sticks out above my chest

i would at times feels a whimpering right inside my throat that sometimes escaped out

i take meds that i have a love/hate relationship with

i’ve done counseling that was a Godsend

i journal

i number gifts

i talk to Jesus and my husband

i drink wine

i do yoga

i pour over scripture

i do a lot of things

because I feel a lot of things because women have to be a lot of things for a lot of people

but this thing

this thing was different

i found myself doing what I dread Sunday morning after service:

going to the alter to pray and try to explain to some people I don’t really know that well some very personal things i can barely articulate to my husband or myself

but i did

it was awkward, it didn’t seem to help, and what the person was telling me in the form of counseling after my muddled prayer explanation, i was frankly having a hard time even following

then four people laid their hands on me and prayed

that changed everything

a breaking open

a whoosh of release like a cruddy clogged pipe

after the praying and crying and getting off your knees its always kinda weird…no one really looks at anybody in the eye for a second

but the point is-

something happened

something that was absolutely necessary; that was first absolutely uncomfortable

what it was, or why it was there, is not as important as acknowledging it was and is gone

much of our christian maturity is found in the quiet everyday purposeful recalibration and faith in a spiritual and unseen relationship

but sometimes you need real people, to be really close, to speak specifics, to get real relief, though a palpable manifestation

the effect is nothing spooky

just hopping down the sidewalk

Linking up this Wednesday evening with Emily at Imperfect Prose

if you like to write about how you’re  imperfect but God is not

don’t be shy and join up!




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