Cake, Terror, Love

Apparently the bees are following me even into the kitchen. The Princess brought this home from work for us last night, along with a completely fabulous Dunder Mifflin pillow that was on sale. There was much hilarity.

Since she works at a grocer’s and the general public seems to think the worst is over, I’m terrified she’ll catch the current plague. Of course she’s young and not in the most at-risk group, her store has started providing masks, and my writing partner also sewed us cloth masks, so at least there’s that. And the Princess knows she can quit if she decides to, but she’s determined to stay the course for now. If it was up to me she’d be home and safe, but she’s well over twenty now and… yeah.

I thought I knew what terror was. Then I went and had children. Love rests cheek-by-jowl with fear; after years of listening for their breathing in the middle of the night, constantly focused on the safety of small dependent beings, it’s hard to loosen one’s grip. The habit of constant vigilance, care, and correction is difficult to alter, especially when it was ground in over years of sleep deprivation bordering on psychosis.

Toddlers are not for the weak, my friends. And the thing about children is… they grow up.

Now there are bee cakes and pillows, laughter and hugs, dogs to pet and a cat to cuddle. There’s seeing my babies grow into fabulous human adults, and learning to leave them space to breathe while still holding the last line so they have somewhere to retreat if needed.

And if I get frosting in my hair from perching a plastic bee decoration in it, if I am so excited over a pillow I act like a complete dork, if my pride is still stung by the need to say “You know what, I’m absolutely wrong. Let’s try that again,” daily, it’s an infinitely small price to pay for the love that fills every corner of whatever house we live in and slops out into every other part of my life.

The world is a dangerous place. But we have each other. Love is unutterably precious in all its forms, and the cracks of heartbreak make that organ bigger. The gold of grief hammered into those fissures can grant us grace and strength.

Gods help me never to forget that. And let me always, always be grateful for bee cakes.