Friday, May 15, 2015

For the Nights When You Can't Sleep....

The idyllic days rarely come labeled as such.
I scratch these words in the almost darkness, imagining myself doing so by candlelight, but in reality doing so by backlighting the phone in my hand.
Just a flash ~ enough to scrawl a few more words.

All of us long for shining, golden moment days, the kind that look peaceful, beautiful, and are surrounded by a happy glow.
Time slows, sounds fade, the perfect soundtrack of music fills the air.
The scene is shot from all angles.
The cinematography is artistic, divine.
The Kodak moments.

At least, that's what I always imagined my life would be remembered like as I got older.
But if I check the picture gallery of my mind,
it's less art show or perfect family movie reel
and a bit more......messy.

The artistic side of me wants every moment of my life to look like a staged photo shoot,
instead, my mind fills with random shots:
my attempts at teaching my firstborn the joys of finger painting...I think that session lasted all of 3 seconds, as she didn't want to get her hands dirty,
the first all-out temper tantrum, including screams, sobs, and hurtling of teddy bears,
the battle over the first plate of broccoli,
nights on end walking a hot, screaming baby, begging God for her to sleep,
black eyes,
overflowing diapers,
our last family photo shoot when our second born refused to wear the adorable hat mama had brought for her, the pleading and threats that accomplished nothing

Lots of my memory files include cuts, scrapes, split heads, broken arms, hospital visits.
My life can feel a bit more like my family's old photo albums with the yellowed, sticky, vinyl pages full of blurry images, chopped off head-shots, and  random pictures of nobody looking at the camera, rather than the slick, digitally printed, modern picture book with the perfect, stunning graphics.

But maybe, just maybe, the real beauty of this one life lies somewhere in between....
yes, there are mind-pictures so stunning, so sharp, so full of life that they cause me to catch my breath,
the way the light glows gold around my soon-to-be young woman's hair,
the sprinkle of freckles on a tipped-up nose,
the laughter and giggles in an impish toddler's eyes,
the caress of a strong hand,
the lisping tongue of a three-year old exploring words,
the bright, brash colors of new flowers, not yet wilted by dust and heat,

but there are also multitudes of snapshots of curly, mops of hair,
and picture books strewn over every inch of the kitchen floor,
and a wriggly baby who won't sit still long enough for even one book,
the last bits of lunch crumbled all over the table,
and bandages being put on a little head as eyes puddle with tears.

As I sit quietly scribbling, hoping baby will soon slip back to sleep, I flip through the pictures in my mind, wondering which ones I'd edit if I had the chance.
In the darkness, the truth slowly creeps over my sleep-starved brain: I wouldn't change a single one.
You can't Photoshop a life.
I slip back to my own waiting bed, heart and mind full of the sweetest dreams.


  1. Beautiful, Patty. Do you journal? This sounds like a journal entry straight from your heart. I love your real-life posts.

    1. Yes, Jessi, I do journal. I've gotta have some way to deal with all the words that fill this head of mine! Thanks for the sweet words ~ they are an encouragement.

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  3. So true. You *can't* Photoshop life, and (when we are truly honest), we're glad we cannot. :) Life wouldn't be life without the ups and the downs. You can't appreciate the mountain tops without the valleys. Thank you for sharing! Love you all and praying for you! Miss ya!