This week, we have certainly had our share of drama. It started over the weekend when the Maiden spiked a high, high fever– and landed in the ER, where she was diagnosed with type A flu. A couple days later, I got a call from the Man, who had been in a car crash. Everyone is okay now: the Maiden’s crankily recovering and the Man is safe, other than being a bit shaken and a little sore from the airbag.
Everyone is okay. But not me. By late yesterday, I’d become an emotional wreck. I’d tried to do the “thank goodness it’s all fine” thing and move on, but it wasn’t working. My mind kept conjuring up scenarios where it wasn‘t fine, where a few more feet, a few mph faster and the Man could have been badly injured, or worse. What if the Maiden had been with him? What if something bad had happened to both?
I’ve always been a perfectionist, anxious to do everything right, anxious to make sure that everything I touched turned to the proverbial gold. But in the wake of the accident, my heart is crying out that in the end, none of that really matters.
And I know it’s right.
It matters not that the house is a disastrous mess. A messy house is a full house. Sick babies can’t run around scattering toys. Hurt Men can’t leave their clothes on the bedroom floor. Mess can be cleaned, can be dealt with. Mess means people. People matter.
It matters not whether I look good today. The two people who mean the most to me have seen me, 70 pounds heavier, bloated, sweaty, dark-eyed, and exhausted after seventeen hours of mostly unmedicated labor…and loved me. The love of those whom I, too love, is what matters.
It even matters not that my writing career is turning around. Without my family, I have no inspiration. Pieces of glass don’t form a kaleidoscope if there’s no case; my family is the case that keeps the crazy, ever-changing patterns of life together, focused, unified. Without my family, I have no inspiration. The Maiden’s antics, interests shared by the Man and I, the fabric of life we’ve woven together– it’s all one with my writing. Writing without that heart and soul would be cold and empty. It’s only when I’m banked by their love that my writing matters.
There are many, many times when my family drives me absolutely insane.
But it matters not.
Because they are my family.
And they matter.