Upon request, Krista sent me five words as a writing prompt meme (not that I usually struggle with verbal constipation; I was more curious than needy, surmising what five words she might think to send me). When I asked "why these five?" she said she thought I'd either have a lot to say about them, or she had no idea what I'd say.
In the order in which she wrote them, I will respond in a stream-of-consciousness way. No real organization. (My excuse? It's Friday night. The first syllable of that word is "Fried" as in my brain's condition right now.)
1 BOOKS ... I love the sound of the word "books." Only positive images come to my mind. Hearing my mom's voice read to my sister Rachel and me at naptime when I was three. Watching my dad take posterboard, markers, and a copy of Yertle the Turtle to create a children's sermon on pride. Smelling the brand new pages of brand new books when the Abingdon library opened . Smelling the musty old pages of Grandpa's Baptist hymnal whenever I dust them, and get the feeling of touching the hands that held the very same book and sang the same beautiful anthems to the same wonderful God. I grew up with parents who highly valued books. My mother was never what you'd call a "shopper" of clothes, shoes, and trendy household goods, but she could spend hours upon hours in a bookstore. I worked for a summer at a Christian bookstore, as did she. My son, Stephen, it just occurs to me, is a third-generation Christian bookstore employee. Much as I love books, I don't have as much of a problem parting with them as some folks do. This summer, when I decided to alphabetize all the books in the basement by author's last name, I heeded the Lord's prompting when tempted to hoard even such valuables as books: tithe on them (as in, give away ten percent of them).
2. ADVENTURE is a word that conjures up feelings of excitement and fear and wonder and energy. When I think of adventure, it involves a modicum of mystery: Where exactly is Vladimir, Russia? Will my room in heaven have all the flowers my mind and heart can ever want? How can I make grammar NOT boring to fifth and sixth graders in such a way that they "get it"? What will I look like when I'm 80, if I'm still alive? What if Plan A doesn't work out? I'm excited about Plan B. It always works out, and sometimes is even more fun that Plan A.
"Adventure" makes me remember Great Adventure, a theme park my friend
Cindy and her sister Sondra invited me (and my older sister) to when I was in seventh grade. It was one of the most fun days of my entire life. I splurged on a stuffed frog at the end of the day and had a bunch of people at school sign it. How many other people can say they've owned an autographed frog?
3. BABIES... Nothing says "Made just for you by Jesus" quite like a baby. No two alike, not even identical twins. I loved being pregnant with my babies, an unspeakable, unmatchable, unquestionable pleasure of being Woman. Never has joy been so great as when I felt a baby kick inside my womb. Never has a sorrow been so deep as when the doctor said, two different times, "I'm sorry, there is no heartbeat."
I can't write those words without crying, and it's been ten years since our second loss.
I didn't think I could ever love a baby as much as I loved my first baby, Ben, and when I got pregnant with our second, Sarah, I begged the Lord to give me as much love so that she wouldn't feel deprived. I think He laughed; it was an absurd request, thinking back now. Of COURSE, as surely as the sun rises and sets, I loved all my babies, and would love a hundred and twenty babies if I had them (though I'm glad God chose a much more manageable number for me).
I'm looking forward to having grandbabies. In fact, I find myself wondering what they will call me. Paul wants to be PopPop. I know I don't want to be Grandma (sounds so old ladyish) or Granny , but would love a completely unique name from my grandbabies, something one of them creates for me from baby babble. "Priddy Gammy" would do!
4. CHANGE--I am just about evenly split in my knee-jerk reaction to this word. Having lived in 13 houses by the age of 11, I adapted quickly and rather easily to change. I have lived in the country, the city, a small town, a college dorm, in the 'burbs, at the beach, in a duplex, in single-family homes. I have lived on food stamps and have dined on gourmet food. (I much prefer the latter.) After 21 years as a single, I got married and the change to wife was a lot harder than I imagined. But the change from not-a-mother to a mother ? Totally unprepared for that. To be responsible for another human being 24/7 changed me profoundly. The starkest revelation was that I hadn't changed fundamentally; I just couldn't hide the parts of me I had always been able to hide before: the ugliest, most selfish me. But then again, changing diapers and
hearing my babies coo and seeing their luminous smiles and gazing upon their blue-eyed beauty for lo these 21 more years, has been an uncomparable experience. I am ready to die, for I know my Savior and have been a mother. Those are the two deepest joys of my life.
5. PUNS -- For the most part, people think of my jokes as the first two-thirds of the word "pun." I can't help it. My husband calls it Dauber humor. I call it Kansas humor. I have no concept of living a day without puns. It would be an adventure, a real change, an idea to baby, something to put in the record books. Punless Zoanna. Unthinkable! (But worth a try, perhaps?)
Anybody else like to write on 5 words? Let me know in the comment box.