Sunday, January 22, 2012

The Color Blue

I'm sitting here writing this at midnight, knowing full well I should be drifting happily into my second hour of sleep. I'll blame tonight's night-owlish behavior on the unique combination of the Coke I downed an hour ago and the irresistible urge to express overflowing emotion on the page (or, in this case, on the laptop). Undoubtedly I will regret this when my alarm beckons me to hygenic and motherly duty bright and early tomorrow morning. I suppose, though, that there are worse things: Fingernails scratching across a chalkboard, for instance, or reality TV shows.

I've spent some time tonight listening to a song by Shawn Colvin called "Never Saw Blue Like That." As it happens, this is the song my husband and I refer to as "our song." We didn't choose this song as "ours" during a moment of exuberant, blissful emotion, or even during a time of nostalgic reverie. We weren't dancing to it. We weren't even listening to it on the radio. Honestly, I think the scenario involved a conversation that went something like this:

Debbie: Hey, Mr. B., do you know that song called "Never Saw Blue Like That"?

Jerry: I don't think so.

Debbie: Oh. Well, you need to listen to it, because I think it should be our song.

Jerry: Uh. Okay. Sounds good to me.

And there you have it. Romantic, isn't it?

At any rate, it's our song. To be fair, even though the means by which it became our song is rather unorthodox, there was a reason I suggested it to him, a reason why I thought it would be a good song for "us." First, I liked the song. I thought it was a particularly lovely melody, and I found the lyrics sweetly vulnerable. Second, it wasn't cheesy. There was an earthiness to it, a real world reality in the emotions expressed, although poetic. Third, whenever I heard it, I would inevitably think of the day Jerry and I met "in person." We had experienced, I guess, some of the song on that day, even though it was never intended for us:

Today, we took a walk up the street, picked a flower, climbed a hill above the lake;
And secret thoughts were said aloud, we watched the faces in the clouds, until the clouds had blown away.
And were we ever somewhere else? You know, it's hard to say...

We walked up the streets in Hot Springs. There's a national forest there, right in the middle of town, and we climbed the hills via the walkways there amidst the pine trees, soaking in the warm spring sunshine. We shared thoughts two people share when they are falling in love, the silly and the serious. And then we sat on a bench and looked at the sky and the clouds, and Jerry told me about them -- not poetically -- but in true, meteorological terms.

He explained, also, why the sky was so blue that day. It had something to do with moisture in the air, I think, or the lack thereof. But as we gazed upward, he said something like, "That's why the sky is so blue."

... and I never saw blue like that before -- across the sky, around the world. You're giving me all you have and more. And no one else has ever shown me how to see the world the way I see it now. Oh, I never saw blue like that.

The song goes on to express the surprise of unexpected love, and I had thought many times, when listening to the song, of how that also paralleled our story. So it was perfect to choose that song for "us," and -- in the romantic sense -- it will always be our song.

But as I listen to the lyrics now, I hear more. I still hear, and more poignantly as our life together grows, the sweet love story in the song, the hopeful expectation. But I also hear now something that reminds me of our life as parents -- not just the story of "us" as a couple but "us" as a family, with a daughter. I don't mean, in any way, to negate the uniqueness of the romance in the song or to compromise the meaning it has to me in regard to Jerry alone. But there is something in the words that undeniably speaks to me also of our daughter:

I can't believe a month ago I was alone, I didn't know you, I hadn't seen you or heard your name.
And even now, I'm so amazed, it's like a dream, it's like a rainbow -- it's like the rain.
And some things are the way they are, and words just can't explain...

We sat there in the living room, and we held this little baby. She was so surprising -- we hadn't known her five days before, hadn't even known of her five days before! So amazing, such a dream... so full of color, of joy. It's just the way it was meant to be, and words couldn't express why or how or what it meant to us. And those eyes, those beautiful blue eyes of hers. So blue...

... and I never saw blue like that before -- across the sky, around the world. You're giving me all you have and more. And no one else has ever shown me how to see the world the way I see it now. Oh, I never saw blue like that.

Jerry is my love in a way that no one else ever can or will be. This is "our song."

But Lilia is a product of our love, not biologically, but in this way: Our love sought her out and our love took her in. And who she becomes will be the result of, in large part, how Jerry and I love each other. She is, in a sense, "our love."

It's true that I get extra sentimental when Jerry is away (he's in New Orleans this week) because I miss him terribly. The empty space in bed beside me, the lack of green-bean-length toes playing "footsy" with me as we read on the couch together... well, you know. It's just so alone without him.

But there's this little Peanut toddling around, with eyes as blue as a sapphire sky, and every time she says "mommy" and "daddy" my heart melts into oblivion. It strikes me how the present, the now, is such a gift. I want it to be this way always: Me and my love and the home we have made.

...and it feels like now, and it feels always, and it feels like coming home.
You're giving me all you have and more, Jerry. No one else has shown me how to see the world the way I've learned to see it from you. And you Lilia, with your little Peanut ways, always showing me life through your eyes. My dear ones.

I never saw blue like that.