The Now

These past couple weeks have been long. They’ve been long for a few reasons.

My little man doesn’t sleep anymore. I’m assuming this is what people are talking about when they say welcome to the fun of motherhood. Because people are sarcastic and this isn’t fun at all. So every two hours I’m in a rotation to figure out why my dude isn’t able to sleep. And then when I fall asleep, he’s awake again. So that’s really, really enjoyable.

I’m finally writing this book. This book that has burned inside of me for years now. Even while the earthquake was still shaking us with those aftershocks, I knew I had to write it. And since God knows what will happen before it happens, sometimes it really does feel as though this book, these specific events, were all unfolding inside of me way before any of it happened. So when I have time, I’m writing.

I nanny like a maniac. With Levi. Enough said.

I’m doing Insanity. Which is the perfect name for those workouts.

And, finally, I’m trying to build my business. My Nucerity business. As Katie can attest to, our skin was eaten in Haiti. Bacteria seemed to climb underneath it and build a home, and nothing we did could fix that. Then Kristin, my backbone most days, introduced me to this one product, and my skin changed. And to a girl, this often means a lot. So hey I came home pregnant from Haiti, but I came home with some clean skin for the first time in 5 years. So, like people do with what they love, I sell it too. Because it changed my life. And because I need this. Why?

Because I hate school. I do. I hate it. Sue me? You know who would sue me? My brother Dan. God I love him, and I used to be closest with him, but I simply can’t get on the path he’s been wanting me on since I was 16. Fast. Money making. Focused. I danced around college, skipping classes to drink too much coffee, staying up late to connect to hearts rather than study. Yes, I received good grades, but it never meant anything to me. I changed my major 4 times, when all I really wanted to do was write, and return to Haiti. My parents are successful business people, but they never put that pressure on me, never made me feel like I’d fail if I didn’t strive academically. I just couldn’t find my fit.

And then I did, in Haiti.

And then I lost that.

But I’ve been so focused on what I’ve lost that I have forgotten to open my eyes to what I have gained.

It is the fall. The autumn. I hate birds, but I love them at night in the fall. My friend Dan and I used to walk around our college campus in the blackest time of night, playing ‘stay on the curb’ as we did loop after loop, listening to the chatter of the birds that also couldn’t contain their excitement for the fall. There is something about the way the trees light on fire from the bottom up, layers of bright orange and red devouring the green. And that burning smell that reminds you of something good, takes you to a place of nostalgia you didn’t know you had. When a bitter chill runs through you, and sweaters and scarves are a must. There is just something about the fall. I used to sit in Haiti and long for it. Close my eyes and feel it around me, tickling my skin, making my bones ache. Fall makes us lazier, makes us slower. And that October sky. Oh. I don’t believe I could live without it. There is simply something different about a sunset in October.

I am thankful to be home for this. To not be a visiter to the fall anymore. But now, I can live inside it again.

My little boy is growing up. He’s laughing. He’s standing, somehow, that little weirdo. He doesn’t know anything other than the love he is bombarded with. God is really good, because if I had breastfed, Levi would really be mostly attached to me. And I had wanted to breastfeed, like most mothers. But I couldn’t, and now he’s a free little man, loves anyone who comes his way. I think he somehow already knows he was made to stretch, made to be bigger than maybe he would have ever wanted to be.

My son is what keeps my father going. Losing your mind so young, from a malpractice, well, I cannot imagine what goes on inside my dad’s brain anymore. But I do know one thing; Levi gets him. He devotes his attention to him, and for a moment, any moment, he can put that light back inside my father.

The other night I went with our group of friends out here to a demolition derby. Even writing these words seems entirely not classy to me, which still kind of makes me laugh. But I’m realizing more and more that this is how you make life fun, by gathering together over stupid things, by being together with the people you love to celebrate little victories in life with. I sat in the center of tons of moms with their kids running everywhere, everyone’s hands grasping at someone’s kids, our laughter to be overheard by everyone. As their husbands drove crap cars they bought just for this, and won, we cheered like we had won a million dollars. I left my own thoughts for a moment and looked around me, all these little lives created and brought together, husbands getting good luck kisses from their pregnant wives, their two year olds giving blessings on their foreheads before they went out and crashed cars into each other for a measly 1,000 dollars. We all stood for the National Anthem and I fell in love with a country that is slowly slipping away. A country based on God and goodness. The cold breath from my lips made me happy. Sitting there inside of this simplicity finally made me happy. This is my now. This is it. And I’m ok with that.

I think these last few weeks have been so tiring because I’m really finally accepting. Accepting that we’re never in the same place for very long; that life is about growing and pushing and moving forward. That forgiveness is a necessary, it is not simply a perk to the human spirit. If we do not forgive, ourselves especially, than we cannot truly live freely. And that, that is tiring.

But how it feels oh so good.

Now I just have to figure out how to make a living off of words and skin care, and more importantly, how to get my son to sleep through the night before he goes to Haiti in November, where the babies miraculously, sleep through the night since birth, so they don’t look at mine and be like, “hmm, check out Johnna’s irrational child.” Because they’ll totally say that. Right.

Look forward, not behind.

Live the now.

And for the love of God, start forgiving.


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