Since I can remember, I have always loved two things (of many, but this is my focus for tonight): Bugs and Stickers. I’ve never collected stickers of the norm (unicorns, Barbie dolls etc), they were usually some sort of bug or dragon and if I got really lucky it was a collection. Most recently (and this being 10 years ago), I bought myself a roll of glow-in-the-dark bug stickers. I saved them because they were on the top of my list, and I let the usual suspects be used up (ladybugs, spiders, crickets).
As life would have it, I worked hard, played hard, had children and soon enough forgot about my glow bugs. They were shoved from house to house in random collective boxes of things that I prized and promised to resurface. They haven’t.
I find that the spirit of my life travels in mountain ranges. For some it ebbs and flows with the tide but for me, it is finite, dancing amongst peaks and valleys. When I’m working hard it shines like a drop of butternut sunshine in the dawn darkness; when I have time to enjoy life it rises over a peak and radiates the world with golden fingers.
Since having two children, and presently with a 3 yr old and a 6 month old, the things that matter to me most have shifted into the lives of my children. I can’t say I have lost who I am but the stickers have been put on a back shelf.
Recently I decided to look for them to no avail. They were gone, and I felt a door slam in the garden of my heart, a sign reading, “you waited too long”. It was disruptive but soon forgotten as dinners and vomit and diapers crashed back into my day.
A week ago I found one of my stickers carefully tucked into a screwhole of my closet. How I found it, you might ask, is because I was searching for a missing shoe and happened to glance up at the underbelly of a shelf. And there it was, very carefully placed over the end of the screw. Further investigation led me to the living room. I got down on my back and slid under the table. Sure enough–stickers under the 4 screwholes of each leg holding the table up.
Since then I have found hundreds. On my cereal bag, the laundry basket, a bottle of wine, inside a t-shirt, in the shower, under the area rug, on my pillow. And then the grand finale. Last night I left my bathroom light on by accident, and fell asleep. Our 6 month old daughter Emilia Charlie did her usual barking at 5am for my milk, and I stopped to turn off the bathroom light. What was before me was the most enchanting sight ever (aside from the milky way, which might warrant a separate discussion). Hundreds of glow in the dark sticker bugs, formed into the pattern of a horse, and more. I asked our son Lucca about it and he gave me this shy smile…the sparkly kind that pierces through your skull and brain and heart and mind and soul and makes something in the midsection of your body ache.
There is something fantastical about three year olds, I do believe they sense things on a higher, purer level than we do as adults. He reminded me to dig out my spirit again. To build castles, bake cookies, go sleighriding down the back steps of our porch (belly first) and to live with reckless amounts of love, freedom and play.
I smiled back with the look of a child, in amazement that he understood more than he could possibly fathom.
He said, “Mama do you like stickews?”