I hate puzzles. I think they’re tedious and needlessly stressful. I try to do the “easy” part of putting the border together and quickly lose interest and focus. Doing a puzzle feels like some form of cruel and unusual punishment. I think I’ve always felt this way. Well, except for maybe the clown puzzles we had in the nursery at church. Those were awesome. Someone had made them and I know that sounds like a bad idea, but they were wonderful. And they weren’t stressful at all. Maybe because each piece was like the size of my head and there were ten pieces or less versus 1,000+. I wish I had those puzzles.
I’m currently seated in my father in-law’s recliner while “A Night at the Museum”plays on the TV that no one is watching. Everyone is engrossed in round two of the game, “Ticket to Ride” (fabulous game, by the way!) I contributed to the first go ’round, but this pesky leg pain (ie: pregnancy induced sciatica) forced me to move from the dining room to a more comfy seating arrangement. I feel a little guilty… over here, typing away on my laptop, but I know that no one cares. They don’t think I’m being rude, anti-social or that I hate them. They know I ache, they know I’m just getting more comfortable. They never cast judgement and yet that’s what I always expect people to do. To judge me. Rate me.
I can overhear my husband talking with his family about his love of the movie, “The Goonies”. One of our earliest dates was spent seated around his coffee table, delivery pizza before us and an old 80’s flick on the TV. He finds it hysterical and I find it hysterical that he finds it hysterical. Isn’t it interesting how we’re always in such a hurry to grow up, get out on our own, drive our own car and buy whatever we want, whenever we want and then, almost as soon as we begin, we find that the things we love the most are the things we loved when we were young. Like how you want your Mom when you don’t feel good, even if you’re a mother yourself. Like a goofy movie that makes you laugh harder every time… like clown puzzles in a church nursery.
I find myself wanting to obtain everything I ever loved. I want my blankets. I want my favorite book covers beneath my hands. I want every Disney movie on DVD that I’ve ever loved. I want copies of every photograph my parent’s have ever taken, because I am desperate to remember. To hang on. To preserve. I wish I had all the dresses my Mother ever made for me. I want to remember every moment I have spent on the swing with my Dad. And I’m sorry for all the times I was hateful, selfish, bratty and unhelpful. For all the times I rolled my eyes. For angry words I’ve said, guilt that I’ve dished out and hugs I should have given anyway. And I wish that I had remembered, amidst the craziness of my wedding day, to dance with my Grandpa.
I know all these things matter because of the emotions and the people attached to them. I know that I want to hang onto tangible evidence of their love, because I want to hang onto them. And now, creeping towards my 29th year and motherhood, it seems all the more important. I think because I want to give what I have been given. It’s because of thankfulness for the love I’ve received from family and friends that I feel so full that I don’t want to forget. I don’t want to take it for granted. Because it all matters.
It’s like all those pennies you put in a jar and shove away. They’re a nuisance. They’re needless. They’re innumerable. I think sometimes because there are so many of them, all the time, for everyone, that it’s easy to dismiss them as common. As unimportant. But they are. It’s the little things that string together to form big things. It’s the pennies saved that turn into purchases at the store or a deposit at the bank.
Memories are like that for me. That’s why I want to remember everything. It’s why I want to string together every memory and every precious gift I have on an imaginary string and wear it around my neck. Maybe it’s because I’m pregnant and I’m getting all sentimental and emotional every time I turn around. But more than that, I truly believe it’s because I feel the weight of all I’ve been given. The imaginary necklace I wear, beads representing times reading to my sister when she suffered from migraines or insomnia, the million little things my husband does that say “I love you”, the unexpected thoughtfulness of friends who fell into my life and filled my heart… it’s all there. It’s all tangible.
And it all matters because God saw fit to put it into my life. All of it. From earliest memories to all the pie I just consumed on this Thanksgiving holiday. It’s all more than I deserve. It’s all wonderful. It all makes up this life and while I haven’t created anything awesome, written a bestseller or cured cancer, it doesn’t change the fact that this is what God has given for now.
From my family to my husband to the unborn child inside of me who is currently wiggling up a storm… It may not be earth-shattering. It may not change anyone’s life for the better… but it’s my life. It’s what God wrapped up and gave to me… and what He continually gives to me. I choose to see the miraculous in the miniscule. To see God’s love in a little girl’s fascination with a wooden clown puzzle on a nursery floor…