How to See


All the other girls wore bras and complained of cramps well before I did, so by the time that summer before 8th grade hit, I was dying to be a woman, just to know some sense of maturity.

So when it hit – my string-bean figure plumpened, my eyebrows black as night – I ached up 6 inches in one summer, longing to kiss a boy, ears open as funnel. I grew up so quickly that I kept bruises on my shoulders from door frames and gashes in my heals from kicking myself.

I was messy, becoming beautiful. In the makeup and the crushes, the desire to be wild as blackberry, my gaze fixed on thorns, not knowing I had design, blossom, sweetness.

Still I find myself reveling in the thorns, honing in on the yell, artistic desire, the leaky ink soaked into my old quilt.

I set the table, clumsy, wiping away dinner crumbs to place their bowls of cereal for breakfast. I call them, and they don’t come. I grab the Bible for our reading, and I shovel heaping spoons into my pregnant mouth. I steam hot.

Again I call. Again, and they do trickle in to the seats, all three, and there they fight. My face twists, mouth chewing, “now sit down, and listen!” I read but the heart kettle still whistles, and I know that they know.

We’ve been reading consistently for months now, and just now I ask questions, and they answer, and they remember. I taste fruit.

We pray. Lord, help us to know your love. They leave the table covered in sticky milk, and I do wipe it clean, still looking for the pressure valve.  Homeschool starts after my shower.

The steam fills the bathroom. I weigh myself. I stand at foggy mirror. For my 32nd birthday, I’ll birth a baby. I smile at my 14-week-pregnant profile, how fast I grow and how I love already. Already, what a child!

Should my baby grow as I desire, slowly and fully, I would hope she or he would see the wonder of it, know my delight, not fret so.

Am I, myself, allowed to say that I’m beautiful?

I know I’m an apple,

a work, not a bad idea-

only not quite ripe, tart and fragrant.

It’s okay to be okay with the season, self, apple of God Eye, living in the not yet. Tomorrow fullness comes, tears at the seams even, but this is a beauty all its own.

amberhaines
About me

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17 Comments

Victoria
Reply February 8, 2011

As little sense as it makes, I just have to tell you that I needed to read this today. I needed to be reminded of how to string thoughts together with feelings and without a plan. I miss the pouring outedness of the art of writing...winter has been long. You're beautiful!

Kelly Sauer
Reply February 8, 2011

Sigh... I totally believe you're having a girl. And when you do, what a wonderful mama you will make for her, knowing and sharing all this beautiful feminine the way you do... Hang in there. 32, huh. Awesome.

Imperfect
Reply February 8, 2011

Yes! You are absolutely allowed to say you are beautiful! And I love these words: "It's okay to be okay with the season...living in the not yet." They resonate in my soul, because though mine is so different than yours, I too feel beautifully okay in this season. Today your shared thoughts have been a gift.

kendal
Reply February 8, 2011

i'm so glad you're okay with your season. i love it when i am.

abbyleigh
Reply February 8, 2011

i'm so glad when you take time to pour a cup from that kettle for us. i feel tomorrow tearing in and needed this reminder of beauty today.

Seth
Reply February 8, 2011

Kelly,

I hope you are a prophetess. And when you say, "I totally believe you’re having a girl," do you mean this go 'round? Cause if you say, "I totally believe you're having a girl... three pregnancies from now," that changes things a bit. You know?

Amber... you are not tart.

    Amber
    Reply February 8, 2011

    Somebody's comment always makes me cry, and Kelly's is the winner!

    And Seth, HA!

melissa
Reply February 9, 2011

another lovely post pretty lady. i can picture every word that you type out. you have a wonderful talent for painting word pictures. what a lovely story and reminder that i am the apple of god's eye!

thanks friend.

Theresa
Reply February 9, 2011

Lovely! Happy Birthday!

Sharon O
Reply February 9, 2011

I believe every 'expectant' mom is beautiful. God's creation forming in miraculous secret way. What skilled creation is performed... what job so important. God said 'in psalm 139 we were made in secret'. Oh that you enjoy every second of this 'time of your life'. It is beauty in the richest form. take care

Scooper
Reply February 9, 2011

Oh, this is just...beautiful. Your writing is captivating, wild and poetic. I love it.

And just this morning, our own time of opening the Word and a disrespectful, clowning around son and oh, how I seethed. It is a constant heart-check, that of being mama and teacher. Keep on...

And congratulations to you and yours. Such happy news! : )

Monica
Reply February 9, 2011

Beautiful! And, yes, you're totally allowed to bask in your beauty in this season.

Amy Sullivan
Reply February 9, 2011

Amber,
Bounced over from Chatting at the Sky!

Beautiful post and what an amazing birthday gift.

thefarmerfiles
Reply February 9, 2011

The anticipation of birth, of life. What a gift on your birthday, on the anniversary of the start of your own life!

Rae
Reply February 10, 2011

Oh, thank you.
I am in a season of growing, painfully aware of all of the places maturity is lacking.
It's so easy to beat myself up, dwell in my shortcomings.
I needed to be reminded today that

"It’s okay to be okay with the season, self, apple of God Eye, living in the not yet. Tomorrow fullness comes, tears at the seams even, but this is a beauty all its own."

so thank you.

Airs
Reply February 10, 2011

mmmmmm.

yes.

<3

Lisa-Jo @thegypsymama
Reply February 11, 2011

You are delicious. Ripe. Mama.

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