The sky outside today is stunning. Even a blue sky cannot compete with the mystery of a pewter-colored expanse. It always calms me, leaves me mellow and contemplative. A blue sky is energizing, never quite the same color. I remember the first time I realized that a blue sky changed color. I was 10, standing on Mt. Egmont in New Zealand. There was a soggy, icy plastic bag in one hand and snow-soaked mittens slowly numbing my fingers, but all I could do was stare up. It was the deepest blue I’d ever seen, a blue I could get lost in. It faded to a lighter blue, then nearly white at the horizon, disappearing into the blanket of clouds below us. I was mesmerized. Today’s sky, though, holds a different allure. Grey skies have one color, a blanket of grey that mutes the soul, makes the green of the earth vibrant, and promises something, though it’s never clear what. I can just as easily get lost in it.
Today, the sky matches my mood. I’m hovering on the edge of nostalgia and contentment, desire and depression. The house is strangely quiet. The washing machine swishes away in front of me, Luke Bryant plays on Pandora, and #2 is playing on the carpet. The husband is still sleeping after a hard night of over-time. #1 is with his grandma, about to head out on a 4 day trip through America.
I miss him. Watching his brother, I realize just how much #1 changed my life. It might not always be stress-free. It might be full of bumps and bruises and temper tantrums, but I needed him. I like to pretend that he needed me, too, but we all know that our children are really sent to us, just at the moment where our hearts are most open, most vulnerable to love.
In some alternate universe somewhere, I’m in graduate school pursuing my academic dreams. I’m probably debt-free, alone, and focused on myself. Sometimes, I wonder what it would be like if I hadn’t gotten pregnant, if I hadn’t left school for my new family. And then I get dive-bombed for bananas or drooled on by a happy, toothless creature.
My teenage pregnancy was something I struggled with for a very long time. Some days, I still do. According to my plans, it was horribly timed and totally insane. It tore me in half, leaving part of me longing to hide it while the other half wanted to rejoice. After all, I was 18. I was supposed to be a “good Christian girl.” My cover was shattered.
I’m learning that God’s plans and timing are much better than my own. He gave me the option to have free will and choose to act as I did. He loved me enough to use it to bless me. Would I change it? Before, a part of me would have cringed in shame and said, “yes…” Now, though, as I look around my house at the toys scattered across the floor, the dishes in the sink, and the baby biting my pj pants, I can 100% say, “Definitely not.” That alternate self would never have found love so unconditional, so unchanging, or so challenging. She would never have been forced out of her comfort zone, never experienced what it meant to depend wholly on God, to rely solely on one other person to make it through.
I will be the first to tell any young person that sex is for marriage. Of course it’s wonderful. Of course it’s addicting. The consequences that come with it, though, namely that of pregnancy, are not something a young person should be having to shoulder. No one should have the responsibility of another life until they are ready. Life happens, though, and thankfully, with help, we were able to become ready. It isn’t easy. It isn’t pretty. Bills sometimes don’t get paid and fights are sometimes had, but this is a beautiful, wonderful life.
Today, I feel very much like the sky outside, blanketing my heart with memories I hold close. I might cry, I might blow away. I’m not sure. How I’m feeling exactly is a mystery, but I know that I wouldn’t change it for anything.