I am walking around upstairs on a Tuesday morning.
Downstairs I hear Gaga say, “And this is when you went camping in the woods. Do you remember what fun that was?”
“Yeah, and me and Sici and J went in the water,” Lala says.
“And here’s when you went to swimming lessons,” says Gaga, her voice turning a smile.
“I was a Goldfish, and I went in the pool all by myself, without Mama or Papa,” Lala says, proudly.
I try to imagine what Lala and her grandma are looking at, as I know my photo albums are nowhere close to updated, and Lala won’t take solo swimming lessons until this summer.
I come down the stairs and round the corner into the living room to see the two of them snuggled on the couch with a black linen photo album laid across both their laps.
The first part of the book holds pictures from a family photo shoot, but the rest is empty.
And that’s when I realize they are gazing contentedly at blank white pages, and their smiles and detail-filled stories are woven only from their imaginations and the tender knowing between them.
My first pangs of guilt (that there aren’t enough photos in the book for our kids to actually look at and tell real stories) fade when I realize just how much joy fills this room.
For there is no sense here that anything is missing. No criticism that the photo book is undone or that I need to get on swimming lesson sign-ups.
On this gray morning, for a three-year-old girl and her grandma, the unknown is an opportunity to dream and fill in story. An opportunity to believe good will happen. The opportunity to color future with water, wild wilderness and new accomplishments.
How often when I gaze upon the white space of unknown do I scrawl details scary dark with worst-case scenarios? How often when I don’t know what the future holds do I tell myself I won’t be able to handle it? That I’ve failed before I start?
How different might things be if I painted unknown blank days ahead with hope, certain of what I could not yet see on the page.
And when I sit in that warm place with ones — and the One who loves me, might I too be able to dream beauty and good and see not what’s missing, but all that will be.
Because why not believe it will be?
This morning, I am linking up with Just Write (a gloriously free exercise in free writing), as I do many Tuesdays.