“I wanted a perfect ending. Now I've learned, the hard way, that some poems don't rhyme, and some stories don't have a clear beginning, middle, and end. Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what's going to happen next. Delicious Ambiguity.”Gilda Radner

Monday, December 19, 2011

Just Can't Help Believing

Today, Noah started our day by refusing to wear clothes.  He ripped off his pajamas and streaked through the house in all his glory, screaming all the way, "You won't LET me wear my pajamas!!!"  When it came time to drive Joey to school, I was able to wrestle Noah into a pair of Joey's pants.  He had one arm in his Christmas turtleneck.  I said, "We have to drive Joey to school now.  You have to put on your clothes."  He said, "I WON'T.  You can't MAKE me."  So I wrapped him in a blanket and put him in the car, which had been warming up (thank God).  I buckled his seatbelt and he looked at me and wailed, "I'm COLD!!!!!!!"

Days should never have to begin that way.

On the other hand, my day ended with both boys going right to sleep, and me lying on the couch listening to BJ Thomas' "I Just Can't Help Believing."  It makes me feel gooey inside because everything about this song is my husband, from the breezy rhythm to the humility of the words.  It's one of our favorite songs to dance to--and we do love to dance.  I think it's one of the signs that led me to know he was perfect for me.  He'll stop and slow dance and sing in my ear just about anywhere, and he has.  On the beach, in the kitchen, at the mall.  He sings along (or just sings, because sometimes there's no music), looking into my eyes, and bopping me side to side and in circles like he's Prince Charming. And at actual events where you're supposed to dance, well...look out.  He can dip me and flip me.  And if no one has ever done that to you before, guess what.  It IS that cool.

So as I listened to BJ Thomas (on repeat, because Joe is still away and I miss him), I went and dug out the special photo album I put together for him the first year we were officially dating.  It was nine years after we'd first met, and I'd really botched his birthday present.  It was one of those situations where you want to get it soooo right, so you can't do anything but get it wrong.  I felt crushed when I realized he didn't "get" my efforts, so I went home and pulled out my Memory Box and created a montage of our whole relationship.  It began with a poem entitled, "He Didn't Call," and ended with an email he'd sent me that day.

We keep it up on a high shelf now, because it's filled with all kinds of memorabilia we don't want wrecked, like the napkin from my junior prom and a card he'd had delivered to me at school senior year that had only a solitary cryptic question mark written inside.  But one day not long ago, Joey spotted it.  The featured photo on the cover is from when Joe and I were sixteen.

Joey pointed at it, squinting, and said, "Hey, Mom.  Who are THOSE kids?"

I guess we DO look a little different these days.  Anyway, tonight it was this picture and BJ Thomas that made the perfect ending to...another day.   Well...more than just a day.  ;)

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