I'm here listenin to Taylor Swift in Lacey's room.
When I first came in the door there were:
*pictures plastered all around her big window
*magazine clippings and quotes covering the bed
*A lacey-made wooden block with the words: YOU ARE ENOUGH.
This is my soldier of a creativesoul sister. She is fifteen. She is a powerhouse.
My family is made of little powerhouses.
I've only been to this house once-- last Christmas.
In the few years before that it was
Kensington Street, Walmsley Place, The hotel down the street, Sago Lane...
I plop on her bed, my old bed, and wonder:
Do you know the hell we went through while you were in storage?
I call my Mom at work.
"You can do that now," she once told me.
"They let my kids call me here, because I'm the boss."
I imagine the first time my Mom showed up to that dental office:
I see her scrubs and blondie southern hair-- showin her toptenpercentile test scores from a trip back to college as a mother of five with another job on top. Unemployed husband.
I know she sat in that interview, not afraid to show them who she was.
(YOU ARE ENOUGH.)
I know she busted herself every day after that for her promotions-- for us.
"Shoulda been a dentist," she always tells me.
"Where's my Wyndsi?" I hear downstairs.
It's Bradley. He wants to show me his new frog, which is plastic and one inch wide, but the center of his world today. "WYNDSI! Wanna play Shoots and Wadders? You can't cheat! But it's okay if you win. I can't reach it can you help me? I'll be in Kindergarten next year. I'm hungry..." That kid is 50 zillion words per minute. Mom says I was the same way... am the same way.
I haven't seen Corey yet, he's on a trip to see Palmyra with some church kids, one of them is that girl he's been wanting forever.
"She likes bad guys though," he says.
"But I'm goin on a mission, and I'll come back an even better good guy.
By then maybe she'll see what kind of man she really wants to e with. And there I'll be.
Even if she doesn't, that'll be enough for me."
I could have died when I heard him say that months ago on the phone. This is coming from my brother, who sits on 18 years of anger and all his unspoken words. I worry about him, and then I hear progress in declarations like that one.
I call my Mamaw.
"Your Mama says you look thin. I've got a ham in the fridge and a big thinga squash already cooked in the freezer," she assures me.
Have I mentioned I dropped 8 pounds on accident?
I think my body knows I'm about to go to the beach for 8 days, each one including 4-5 buttered up southern meals from my blessed Mamaw. It is preparing.
Jesse comes in to tell me he's cleaned the living room and the kitchen-- done the dishes, and taken the trash out.
"Can you fold the towels so I can skate with Brynn?"
No allowance. No whining. Battle scars from halfpipe tricks and mosquito bits on his thirteen year old legs. Shaggy hair everywhere. He hugs me.
Jesse is tough, but won't hide all his love to prove it.
These are a few minutes with my Carolina family. We are not finished with the struggle, but we're still here. WE ARE ENOUGH.
My Dad? He came home last night. I kept my eyes open long enough to hug him before bed. Except he hugged me first. Then, I turned around. More effort.
"Wanna see my journal?"
I show him the things I glued in today, which feels like showing him that I want him in my life. Though to him, this may just be a display of my college-level cut&paste skills.
But I am trying. I didn't want to go to bed without trying.
"I love you. Goodnight."
"Love you too."
Does my Dad know that I think he is enough?
You're enough Dad.
We're gonna be okay.