The Blur

It’s been a blur. My reflection in the glass. For the last seven years.

So much so that if you asked me what I looked like, I couldn’t tell you. No matter how long I stand here trying to catch a glimpse of who I am, it plays out in pixelated streaks across my mirror.

The blur says it best.

Just. Keep. Going.

Motherhood is remaking me. I am less of a robot now. I’ve sprouted limbs where I used to be steel. I’ve shed armor that used to be protection. I find myself applauding the sound of my own dismantling every time a loose bolt falls to the ground.

The undoing is the becoming.

Programmed into my hardware is the knowing of these souls. Or perhaps, they are programmed to know me. Either way, the blur doesn’t feel like a slowing down; but more so a speeding up. Like an on-ramp to who it is that this mirror just can’t catch. 

And I wouldn’t want to blur any other way, but this way.

Marbles and Legos fly off the walls. We replay our “I’m sorrys” and hold each other’s sticky fingers and peel off lint-balled pajamas and fall into beds and sleepily crawl out of them.

The best part? I don’t blur alone.

I share it with a man who made me a loaded promise a decade ago. It was loaded with forks in the road and empty plates of burnt dinners and unmatched socks clinging to dry clean only shirts.

Some days we eagerly wrap ourselves up in the implications of our mutual promise; unafraid of the fragile, soggy paper where we signed on the line. We greedily punch through the soft spots with tender hands and hungry kisses and claim the inky midnight as our own.

Other times, we don’t. On those days the blur hurts. On those days our ears bleed. The promise puddles into mistakes and moods and we itch to crumple it up and start over.

But we don’t scratch.

Instead, we put on our top hats and lead the endless parade of disappearing peanut butter and jellies into gap-toothed smiles. We dance between each other’s tasks, stop for the tickles and give each other the space for typing in the dark. We hold hands under warm pillows. Under cold pillows. Under hot, little limbs that steal pillows. Those are the days we blur better than most.

Sure, our routine looks like chaos, but it isn’t. It is a symphony of spirits. A symphony that plays the same notes without repeating a single verse.

It goes something like this:

My toddler son’s pudgy hands creep over the counter searching for trouble. My purse goes crash. He giggles in delight over lip gloss and pennies that tumble out like runaway gypsies.

My middle child succumbs to The Fear of Being Forgotten and stomps down the hall in my high heels just to make sure I hear her. I do. Her staccato is stunning.

My oldest son. He is the chorus. He refrains that some days you’ll catch invisible ammunition in your fingertips like a Jedi, other days it’ll shoot right through you and you’ll bleed into the boundaries you told yourself you’d never cross.

The blur isn’t bad. Not at all.

She is soft and familiar like the bunny-eared edges of a well-used map. This is where the road drops off. The asphalt buckles and breaks into an empty skybridge. No one has been on this avenue before. It’s yours. And it’s mine. No one can tell us what to expect. They don’t expect individuality.

And so we hang on for dear life with our co-pilots. We kiss their tears and cuddle their unkindness into a change of heart. And the blur becomes a miracle worker. It transforms tiny, dirty faces into the face of God. And transforms grown-up, dirty hands into the face of forgiveness.

The blur isn’t really a blur at all. It’s art. Art moving in the direction of love.

So it makes perfect sense that love moves fast. She doesn’t have a moment to lose.

Megan Munroe-Johnson is a mother of three, freelance writer, and producer of short documentaries. She’s currently the story team director at Reach, a non-denominational church on Seattle’s Eastside

that collaborates with local filmmakers, photographers, and writers to share encouraging stories. Megan lives in Bothell, WA, with her husband and writes in memory of her children’s beloved beta fish, Candlehead. To read more visit her website.

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