Five. That's the number of blog posts that I have started in the last two weeks. Started and never finished, because after writing a lot of words, I suddenly realize that I have said NOTHING. Nothing worth saying. Nothing worth reading or hearing. Nothing with any WHY behind it.
Maybe it's the winter. Or the holidays, and the strangeness of not being with All Of the Family All Of The Time. Maybe it's a long string of Slight Disappointments and Minor Setbacks that highlight this year as it comes to an end.
Everybody is posting their year in a video. Or a thank you note. Or a cute slide show with All of The Best Moments. A dozen or so Christmas cards full of happy, smiling kids with happy, smiling parents are grinning at me from the clothesline garland where they are hung. It's been a good year for a lot of people. People have grown, changed, moved, learned, earned, lived and loved. And so have we. But how to categorize this year for us, for me, without focusing on the monumental fails that we have been through is still baffling me. The best approach is to look at 2015 and claim it as the Best Year Ever, ahead of time, which I think I might have done for 2014. But things were different then. I was so sure of certain things, things that certainly aren't that sure at all anymore.
I am a sentintimental person. A mushy fool, to some. A hopeless romantic. I believe in love. Last year, I had a plan. I knew where I was headed. I was IN LOVE. And when you are In Love, every new year is an exciting re-launch of adventure. Even if things weren't perfect, and there were kinks to work out. I knew there was Love. I believed it. And then it went away. Gone. POOF. Like the snow, it just disappeared in the spring, without a trace. And now here I am, tottering on the brink of a new year, with the faintest glimmer of belief in Love still sputtering down inside of me, but unsure. No hand to hold on the launch. No lips to kiss at the turn. Just hope. And foggy darkness. And it's hard to say "look at my year!" in spite of all of the good things, because there stands the BAD shadowing it all. It's amazing how loss can swallow winning so completely and make it seem silly and insignificant. It's not very fair. And it's hard to say "bring on the next year!" with quite as much zeal because as much as I want to believe that the parachute of love will open for me, I can't see it anymore, and it's scary. I can't seem to get the oxygen I need to fuel that pitiful little spark of hope, or a breeze to fan the flame. It's like the world is hell bent on depriving that fire of air.
But that's the crazy thing about love. You can't really kill it completely. If it's real, it's there all the time no matter what. It's permanent. It can take some hits, and be beaten down into a smolder that's almost unrecognizable, but once you've tasted it, and you know how it feels to give it to someone who eats it up and gives it back, you can't ever quite get over it. There's the suffocation. The KNOWING of love and the HAVING of love to give and the NO ONE that will accept it. Except the girls. All Of the Girls. And I share it with them badly. Because I am selfish and I want the love that I can bury my toes under on the couch at night. And lay my head on when I go to bed. I don't just want the love that is sticking her tongue out at me when I tell her to behave. Or washing the dishes without asking. Or telling me thanks for dinner, without a prompt. I want the kind of love that is Being Known. The love that is one look and unspoken understanding, and a good day because of one word. I had that going into 2014, and here I am with no eyes to look into and no words for me. And no one but myself to blame. Myself and the Big Scary World of Real. All I can do is try to show my girls this kind of love. To be it for them, because I know it, and if I don't have it right now, at least I have them, and I can Know Them, and Listen. And Hear. Even if I am not Heard.
I have so many things to be thankful for. A house full of girls. No, literally FULL of girls, who are healthy, and for the most part happy, and smart and strong and will do fine. And 2015 will be the Best Year Ever, so far, I believe it for them, and for me, as I watch them step out into the new adventure without the scars threatening their spark. And I can fan that flame. I can pump the oxygen into their spark and help them Know Love and Be Love.