He brought me the massive cardboard book we rescued from beside a dumpster.
I overlooked it at first, because it’s words are written in German, but it shows us where we and the words don’t matter much.
And now it’s been wiped clean and we talk about this whole big world, and not just the little world that surrounds us.
He asked to know where Germany is and we drew a heart in red over where we are, where we live, where we call home.
He pointed to the castle within the borders and said he’d been there. I nodded and said yes, even though we’ve never been to a castle that big.
I asked him if he knew where his Daddy is, and he said “Afghanistan, all far away.”
A red heart covers Afghanistan now. He showed me there was desert and big hills all around.
And then he pointed across the ocean, “Alabama?”
I showed him by drawing a third heart over another far away land.
And he asked if we could connect the dots.
I pulled the orange marker from his hand and drew a line clear across the Atlantic from Alabama to Germany.
And another line across mountains and valleys and roads and farms and castles and deserts to Afghanistan.
I replaced the cap of the sharpie and put it away… My nose wrinkled as I searched for fresh air, the smell of the markers lingered, and my thoughts wandered to the place we visit often filled with people we love, to this place we call home, and to that place we’ve never been, but know so well…. My heart, stuck in three places; three hearts on this map that someone threw away….
He folded the book closed. As he ran away with this as big as he is book, he smiled and said, “Thanks, Mom. Orange is my favorite color!”
“Just Write” with Heather at The EO: The challenge is to just write. Put words to screen and resist the urge to clarify…. I spent several minutes editing pictures of the book, and resisted the need for pictures- after all… just write.