One of the funny games Kaiya and I play, a common one to most kids, is "doctor and patient." Of course, as with any childhood game, we have our own particular twist, making it uniquely special to the Epp household. It involves the instrument used to look inside your ear (hey, readers, can anyone tell me what that thingamajig is actually called?) Oh, and it involves the tweezers too. Of course.
It goes a little something like this:
Kaiya: Mommy, you be Dr. Mommy. Here (handing me ear thingamajig). Look inside my ear.
Dr. Mommy: Okay, hmmm.... let's see.... oh my! There's an ELEPHANT inside your ear!
Kaiya: (giggle, giggle)
Dr. Mommy: What should we do?
Kaiya: I'll get it out. (grabs tweezers, puts them to ear, and extracts elephant, flinging him/her to the ground. Accompanied by a "pshhhh, pshhhh" sound.)
We go back and forth this way, ear to ear, at least a dozen times before she gets tired of the game. You'd be amazed at the manner of creature found taking refuge inside Kaiya's head: fish, elephants, the neighbours, Dora, daddy, Franklin the turtle. They've all had a turn being mercilessly tossed out of their warm hiding place. And don't worry... the tweezers don't actually get shoved right inside her ear. The whole procedure is carefully supervised, I promise. I studied ENOUGH (say it with me, Robyn) audiology in university to know that would be a very bad thing to do. But not enough to keep me from using Q-tips on a regular basis.
This is my new favourite of me and Kaiya, taken on Saturday right before heading out for an impromptu trip to the market and library in Hamilton. (She loves the raincoat, Jasmine. And so do we!)
Waiting. We are waiting.
As the rain changed to snow late Saturday night, bringing with it yet another thick cover of white, my heart sighed and my mood fell. Saturday, with its steady rains, felt so much like spring, and the heavy clouds and dark sky couldn't keep away the lightness my spirit felt, skipping through puddles while wearing my spring jacket again.
We wait for spring. Sun and wind and rain and soggy grass and flowers and mud and neighbours coming out of their winter cocoons and first barbecues and beer on the patio with feet on the table. Bare feet. I want spring.
Changes are coming, swiftly, only five months away. And while we're excited, we're also frustrated at not yet knowing the full story. I found out this week that it will be another two weeks, maybe more, before I know whether or not the college I applied to in Qatar will hire me. It's a long, slow process requiring much patience, and so we wait, envisioning two separate possibilities, but not knowing yet which one will be.
And finally, hesitantly, I'll trust you with a glimpse of my soul today...
We wait for new life.
I know that one day I will either hold another sweet baby in my arms, or I will suddenly experience that shift in my thinking. The shift that no one can force, and no one can predict. I've known it before. Where suddenly, it will be as if a veil has been lifted, and I'll see the three of us as what is, not what will be, or what is waiting, and it's not just that I'll be okay with it, it'll be as if that's all that was ever in my thoughts and my plans.
But I'm not there right now. Especially not with Kaiya's recent wonderings about being a "big sister" one day. I still hold out, hold on, to the hope. And I know that many of you around me do as well. Too many for me to brush aside your thoughts, optimism, visions, and encouragement.
So for those few moments, I sit in front of the bedroom window again, watching the winter branches sway against the grey sky, and I sink down, down, down, into that place deep within me where I connect with something deeper than my ever-changing moods. I connect to the peace and the knowing, to my breath moving in, moving out. And I allow myself to move beyond my natural state of pessimism, and to dream dreams about what the future may hold. And my spirit says "yes" in agreement with the spirits of those who hope with me, who wonder at what yet may be.
And then I get up. And I carry on with my day. Because while there is a hidden layer of me that waits, the greater part of me simply lives. All around me are beautiful moments to experience and people who deserve my attention and my wholeness. So that's what I choose to inhabit.
The bedroom window will be there again for me for those few moments tomorrow.