getting up

Easter is one of those times I find my heart in my throat, a thick lump.  Occasionally I feel it leaking out through my eyes, tears of love and of grief and of great, great happiness.  Actually, it's not just Easter.  I pretty much have to pass my hand in front of my face like windshield wipers on a regular basis.

On Saturday it was warm and sunny and the boys hunted for Easter eggs with their cousins, followed by lunch outside -- I pushed pear slices and applesauce and string cheese and peanut butter, because they'd essentially eaten donut holes and jellybeans for breakfast.  After lunch they rode bikes from one end of the block to the other.  Tuck - on his new, bigger bicycle - fell over once and looked up, stunned.  Andy quickly made a big deal about it, "You had your first bike wreck!  And look, your helmet protected your head and you're fine!  You're not hurt!  Hop up and climb back on!"  The next time Tuck toppled, the sidewalk touched his shoulder for a split second before he jumped up and hollered, "I had my second bike wreck! AND I GOT RIGHT BACK UP!" 
I can recall several conversations with Tucker over the past year that have gone something like:
When Celia comes home from heaven's house, she can go to the beach with us.
Well buddy, once you go to heaven's house you can't ever come home again.  Once you're dead you're dead.

We baked bread today, and Andy talked about the way dough rises.  There's no such thing as letting it rise too long he explained.  Although it could turn into sourdough, a little extra rising time might deliver a more desirable, complex flavor.  He lifted the heavy ceramic pot into the oven and went on, "And even if the dough rises for so long that it begins to fall a little, it can't really unrise.  It'll pop back up as it bakes."
Of course bread left too long could lose its structure and its ability to hold air and just collapse into a glob, and there's probably a metaphor for life and death somewhere in that sticky mess too.
We watched a short Easter video online over the weekend, an illustration from the Jesus Storybook Bible.  In it Jesus is clearly dead, and then not dead.
Tucker, who was sitting on my lap, turned back to look at me, confused.   Once you're dead you're dead, I heard myself saying to him yesterday, last week, three months ago. 

When you're dead you can't become undead.  What rises cannot be unrisen.  You fall down and you get back up.  His making sense of the world comes from us.  From us and from the media, from his friends and his teachers and from books and from being outside in it.  Some sort of delineation of who rises from the dead might be helpful, and although I think I understand most of it on an intellectual level, I find myself without a confident explanation for him.  I'm fairly certain that grace will fill the cracks where I fall short.

In the sorting it out process he is constantly taking us on explorations that make us think hard, and much of our own making sense comes straight from him.  Know which button you push to get to heaven? he asks, his imaginary rocket in hand.  Hope radiates from his face as he answers his own rhetorical question, The green one!  If only he could levitate on hope alone.


rht said...

“I do not understand the mystery of grace -- only that it meets us where we are and does not leave us where it found us.”
Anne Lamott

I believe grace does fill in the cracks... you and your sister provide considerable evidence!

Tiffany said...

Oh, your boys. They make my heart happy.

Your sister in constant windshield-wiperdome. ;)