Hannah Brencher, a favorite blogger of mine and also just an all-around-awesome person, occasionally writes posts to her one day, some day daughter — stories about life and its lessons, its peaks and its pitfalls, its joys and its sorrows.
Me, I’d never thought about writing to any future child of mine.
I pictured journals like my mama keeps for the three of us, cloth-bound and written during the stolen moments: a nap when we were younger, maybe, or a late night when we were all sick and teary-eyed and weary. An early morning, maybe, when her now far-and-away kiddos return from college and journeys and adventures with stories of our own to tell. A moment we wow her, a moment we sadden her, a moment we anger her or maybe a moment we make her whisper thank-yous to the God we know is faithful.
My mother is a teacher in the truest sense of the word. She taught students long before she taught her own kids, but where she taught them English? She taugh us life. For me, it came in various forms – homeschooling, cooking, the beauty in tears and weakness as well as the value of strength and laughter. Cursive, in the past, and reading and writing; how to spell difficult words and use proper grammar and my multiplication tables. History, occasionally, and science (even if our attempt at making rock candy failed). The splendor of this beautiful creation, a joy of hiking, the joy of being where you are and sinking roots, however temporary. She even taught me how to knit, once.
I don’t have one day, some day children. All I have are words and memories, and sometimes the two do not like to cooperate. The memories cause as much trouble as the words these days. My past was easily sectioned, divided, cut, and separated: three years here, three years in the next town, three years there, and just over four years in The City. Then we hit the next city and my organizational system, my geographical sectioning fell apart. We moved, and we stayed. High school, college — still we stay. My map of memories works well enough in my past, but falls apart in my present. They turn into messes of knotted string, the mistakes I made when mom taught me how to knit: impossibly tangled, wound in and around and through each other.
When my best friends turn to me and tell me to write, that there is a novel building up inside of me that needs to be let out — I ignore them… to a point. They roll their eyes at my professions of Ha! Yeah right! and leave me with questioning maybes, with thoughts of chapters and stranded sentences tangled in my fingers, with words unable to fight their way free of my own self.
And so instead of to my one day, some day daughter — instead of words speaking the messiness of life and giving light by which to navigate its twists and turns — I find myself here typing To my one day, some day novel — whether you be fiction or fact or imagined memory, may you find the person that needs you as much as I do, and may that person’s life be rich and full and maybe, maybe may this mess of scrambled words and poached sentences that I’m frying up in my little corner of the world bring them a little bit of clarity about this adventure we call life.
For now, though, my one day, some day — for now, my maybe and perhaps, you will just remain a dream: a wisp of future possibility that clings as close to my soul as my freckles cling to my skin. And one day, if I find the words — when I find the words? — I will pull you in close, whisper secrets into your very self, and coax your skittish self onto the page for more than me to see.