Triskaidekaphobia (For Megan, on her 13th birthday)

Sometimes we are too slow to properly perceive the pairing of joy with pain.

Too giddy with anticipation.

Too awed by the gift of life.

I steadied myself with the forewarning that you would be squishy.


More troll than doll.

But long labor helps the eyes see beauty and perfection.

Pain births a love more pure.

Sleepless reality set in with your built-in altimeter requiring us to stand and walk.

Walk and rock.

Motion moved us through the years;

schlepping past slurping fingers and satin blankies.

You sat and crawled and then one day walked past a dead bird on the road.

Why does God, who watches over sparrows, allow birds to die in the street?

you wanted to know.

How to explain freedom and its inherent cost in a sin-cursed world?

How to convey the ways our joys are now acquainted with sorrow?

Some fear the 13th floor. The 13th step. The 13th Friday.

Too slow am I to perceive the rocky road ahead.

I think “rocky road” and imagine us eating ice cream with nuts and marshmallows.

Nuts to being scared of the teen years!

We’ll step on the sidewalk cracks when we cross them.

We’ll taste the salty tears that spill onto our table.

We’ll walk under ladders.

More often we’ll try out the rungs as we step up

and view the world

from a different vantage point.

[I love you, Megan.  Always, Mom]