It will all end up happy

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My daughter’s been hurting lately.  But not in a way that needs a band aid.  She’s trying to navigate a world where things don’t make sense and friends can turn and love can end.  People who were steady are instead shifting and purple starts to just look black.  She’s entering into a world where problems loom so much larger than she can handle and there’s all this business of boundaries and obedience.  So I’m rolling up my sleeves and doing my mother’s best at fighting the heavy. As Florence + the Machine blares through my ipod speakers, it is hard to dance with a devil on your back.

So shake him off. 

Today, one of my daughter’s girlfriends came and spent the day.  We made blueberry pancakes with roasted pecans and shook powdered sugar on top from an old half-rusted sifter.  In the afternoon we had a party for no reason where six girls played dress-up and beauty shop and hop scotch.  They ate cupcakes and danced like monkeys and drew roads all up and down our driveway with chalk.  When the mothers came the girls all cried out to stay, with dirty feet and tussled hair and my daughter just beamed with pride.  At night, we watched The Jetsons episodes, with George puttering around in his space mobile.  And after bath, I heard her talking to her dolls and soothing their fears.  Rocking and loving and tucking them inside sleeping bags tight.

It’s time for bed, I said.  She smiled without argument and turned off the lights.

I came and lay beside her, that precious skin and fragile spirit that I bore and held and loved before I even saw her face.  I told her that God gave her a spirit gift of intuition that not everyone has.  I told her she could sense a good friend from a bad, and that she naturally gravitates toward honest and real.  I was proud that she sought out pure, kind hearts.  She nodded at this, because she’s wise enough to know it’s true.  I told her that good friends are lifetime treasures, and that I’ve been on-my-knees thankful for them myself.

Then this precious soul tells me with a shaky voice that sometimes good friends turn bad, and bad friends turn good, and I said that’s just about right.  And yet baby, don’t get jaded because the cream will always rise.   Keep seeking out good with your heart and it will all end up happy.  She hugged me tight and asked for butterfly nose kisses and said that she liked to snuggle in flannel sheets even in the Spring because they’re soft, and I told her that was just fine too.  I rubbed her little girl arm and smelled that baby-fine hair and wished she’d stay this way forever.

Growing up’s the pits and all it means is mortgages and heartbreak but to be young means to flutter and sing and never have to worry about ill-fitting waistbands.  Being young is joy and hope and light that conquers all.  At the end of the day, as the cicadas sing and the oak trees brush against the tin roof and momma’s always gonna be around, light does indeed win over darkness.   Cupcakes and hop scotch and blueberry pancakes soften into dreams, and fresh new mornings, and school shoes once again, and isn’t this what childhood is all about?

photo:

playing dress up

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14 Responses to It will all end up happy

  1. Beautiful, Amanda. Truly. Thank you.

  2. Wow, we raised 2 boys and this little article you wrote sure brought back some cherished memories of our kids, WHEN THERE WERE KIDS. You know, when kids played together in their front and backyards after school, on the weekends and even in the summer rain. I sometimes wonder if there is a child, somewhere, anymore that still has a chance to grow up and do any of this, as a kid. I really do wonder about this from time to time. Cherish that thought… “wished she’d stay this way forever.” Also, please make sure your daughter passes the thought on. Your daughter is most fortunate to have you in her life.

    • Ah, the puddle jumping and the neighbor kids and the ice cream truck and all those fun memories – how blessed we are to live in a land of abundance. . . .

      • Yes, no doubt, we are blessed. We are still a land of abundance. I don’t want to even think about living in another country. I have 2 beautiful grandchildren, 5 and 7. What l learned growing up was, the best things in life are always simple, true and free. Because of terrorist, however, I’m afraid the freedom, truth and simplicity I enjoyed as a kid will never, ever, be experienced by my grandkids or great grandkids. This is most disturbing.

  3. Neita Ashley says:

    So happy for you, mahnda! Truly blessed!

  4. Beautifully written. Warmed my heart. This gave rise to deep thoughts about “let the children come to me” and how there’s a little hopscotcher in all of us, needing to heed.

  5. Linda Stoll says:

    this is so beautifully, simply powerful. ‘the cream will always rise.’ yes! to remember this, to live it, to share it with those who look to us to show us how they should live …

  6. I think this is a beautiful testament to why God calls us to have child-like hearts. He still sends us blueberry cupcakes and hopscotch to heal our wounds (but we must have the faith to open up our eyes and see them). Your daughter sounds like she has the beautiful heart that all adults should look to and remember, and find those things that have been buried deep within us from our own childhoods.

  7. So beautifully expressed, as always. I would have loved to have been one of those little girls at your daughters play date afternoon. Thank you for putting in the energy and time to let them explore, dance, dress up, have fun, get dirty and sweaty. You made memories that will be remembered forever. On another note, I am learning to love Florence and the Machine. Keep sharing, being real and influencing us. And take good care of you and your kiddos.

  8. HKnits says:

    I really enjoy reading your blog. I look forward to your new posts anticipation everyday when I look at my WordPress Reader. I wanted to nominate you for a Liebster award, but to my knowledge, you have more than the 200 followers the rules allow. I did give your blog a mention 🙂

  9. Oh friend. Just standing here with you, in the brokenness, holding up your daughter to the only one who will never let her down. Believing with you Amanda. Please keep me posted. Love you. Emily.

  10. exquisite and wretched and beautiful and redeemed. and I pray this courage in my own mothering and peace and protection over your precious girl. so glad I got to meet you this weekend. standing with you to carry the parts of the story that feel too heavy.

    all is always grace
    lisa-jo

  11. Nacole says:

    This was gorgeous, Amanda. There are too many things I loved about it to name just one. You are a story-weaver; I’ll be back for more, especially because this weekend? I was honored to meet and know *you*, because there is something special there. I look forward to getting to know more of your heart.

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