Monday, February 23, 2015

You Earned Those Scars!

So I served a mission.  It was the best mission in the world, if I do say so myself.  Taiwan Taichung.  I left part of my heart there when I returned home.  While there, I used to think of the final scene in Titanic, when Rose, as an old woman dies and goes to heaven.  (No, we didn't name our Rose after her). It looks like the ballroom of the ship, in mint condish.  Everyone she knew from that ship is there waiting to greet and welcome her, including of course, Jack.  I always imagined that when I die, heaven will be the Taiwan I left, and all my investigators, members, friends and converts would be there waiting for me.  And an asian version of Spencer.  JK Spencer is perfect the way he is.  Point is, my mission unlocked a part of my soul that I didn't know existed until I was there.  It took months after I got home to not cry when thinking back on it.  I loved my mission with every particle of my being.

I went on exchanges once with another sister missionary.  She was older than me on the mish, cooler, wiser, funnier, taller, etc.  That day, I biked next to her at every chance to soak in her feng shui.  At one point I was complaining to her about one of the many ailments that befalls sister missionaries.  Huge biker thighs, weight gain, acne, acne scars, awkward tan lines, mary jane tan lines, split ends, weight gain... personally, I think it's a divine tactic to eliminate any romantic distractions between the elders and sisters.

She immediately stopped me in my tracks.


YOU EARNED THOSE MASSIVE THIGHS! (so you're saying they are massive)

She all but slapped me straight across the face.

Duhhhh, what?

Earn, huh?  A different connotation associated with that word. "earn".  Achieve.  A consequence, for better or for worse, that is awarded after labor and services are performed.  A much more positive take than what I was going on about.

Ever after that day, I decided to stop myself from internally or externally complaining about my mission scars.  Instead, be proud of them.  I had moments where I struggled, but my attitude was completely changed overall.  I stopped grimacing at my acne-scarred chin in the mirror, wondering if a boy could ever love me.  I felt strong as I raced through the streets; my biker thighs pedaling to the medal.  I felt hardcore as I unbuckled my helmet and a long sweaty frizzy mane fell out.  I worked hard and had the scars to show for it.

And yet, there were other scars that affected me during those sacred 18 months.  One day when caught in a typhoon, my scriptures got soaked in the rains.  I remember hiding in a bathroom stall, silently weeping to prevent my companion from discovering my tears.  It felt as though my precious scriptures that taught me so much; that changed me...were ruined.  To this day, they are still wrinkly with some sticky pages.  At the time, I was devastated.  Now I couldn't be more grateful for the tangible mark that Taiwan left on them.  To forever remind me of my time there.

Over the past year, I've embarked on a different kind of mission with a different kind of companion, and have thus earned different kinds of scars.

Scars from pregnancy in particular.  Almost 9 months later, I still have a linea nigra, or faint brown line that goes down the middle of my stomach.  The skin around my belly button looks...tired.  It's wrinkled and soft and used.  I remember once complaining to Spencer:

M: "My tummy is so fat!  It's so fat, just feel."

M: "I know you feel it!"
S: "I love it.  It's soft and fun."

When Rose was first born, Spencer touched my stomach and said, "It feels like memory foam.  I feel like my hand print will still be there when I pull away."

Sure, my tummy will never be the same.  Those wrinkles and dimples and stretch marks aren't going anywhere.  But they are an evidence of my motherhood.  My dear, precious Rose.  The very best friend I've ever had.  She is my soul mate in every way and I'm not sure how I survived 25 years of life without her.  Scars are a different kind of beautiful, and I'll always have these with me.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Nuh nuh, nuh nuh, Elmo's World

If you love Elmo so much, why don't you marry him?

I ask this to Spencer daily.

And by Spencer, I mean Rose.  Phew, that would be a llllllittle bit awkward if my husband was obsessed with Elmo, heh.  [scratches neck.]

Why do all babies love Elmo?  More than all the other Sesame characters?  There might be some crazed moms reading this right now, ready to box me in the face for offending in their minds the superior muppet Oscar or Big Bird, or heaven forbid, Miss Piggy.  Well, HOOTENANNY.  Elmo is the best so much so that he has his own world.  Like, duh.

Am I such the terrible mother than I let my child watch an episode or two or five of Sesame Street in her [daily] life?  It's like, she gets bored of her toys so fast and I wish we could buy a new exersaucer each time she gets bored of the old one, but our 500 sq.ft. apartment has only so much ...square footage.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

A Few of My Favorite Things

Freshly emptied garbage cans.  What is it about that feeling of a new shiny white bag in the kitchen garbage?  It smells of plastic and cleanliness.  I could almost wedge my much-too-large body in that tiny can, and just sit in it all day, basking in the glory of removed banana peels and dirty napkins.  It's just so hard to find the time to take out the trash.  A million excuses jump into my brain and demand my attention away from the overflowing bomb in the pantry.  Living in Seattle, home of the land and free of the brave, the environmentalistations insist on recycling everything from Fruit Loop boxes to floss.  You wouldn't beLIEVE how fast the recyclables pile up.  And yet, I still find ways of storing more and more, thus further delaying a trip to the garbage cans outside.  If it wasn't for Spencer, who knows what state our home would be in.  Surely not Washington State.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

6:30 pm

Nothing beats that feeling.  The feeling of when your husband climbs into the car at the bus stop around 6:30pm every day.  It's like..coming home.  I feel oxytocin flush into my brain, and relaxation and comfort and trust and haziness all settle over me like a blanket of freshly fallen snow.  He kisses me and we smile and sigh and close our eyes, and no words need to be said; it just feels so good to be reunited.  The day has been so long up until 6:30pm.

When my husband looks in my eyes, I am his and he is my world.  I can't even stay mad at him for anything because I am defenseless against that look he gives me...a mixture of playfulness, of knowing me inside and out, of pure contentment and familiarity and sweetness.  The way he looks at me, I've never seen him look that way at anything or anyone else.  It exclusively belongs to me.  When he is beholding me, I feel that I am all he sees.  He is the most attractive when he's looking at me because his face and eyes are filled with the highest, noblest form of love; romantic love.  Marital love.  So superior to all other loves because it encompasses them all in one; love shared between friends, companions, siblings, parent-child, teacher-student, protector-protectee; each contains common elements found within the bounds of romantic love, but none are quite so powerful and determined, so beautiful and eternal as this one.  And I know the way I look at him is a way I've never looked at anyone else before.

I feel as though I've been married to him for years and years..our connection is so much deeper than an 18-month+ acquaintance should allow.  Surely, there has not been another love as great and as sweet as this one in all the world.

December 20, 2012
Ladies and gentleman, I am Mckenna.  This is Spencer.
I give you...our happily ever after.
This is where our life begins.