The Baby married in the middle of October on the first cold day in Tennessee – but, oh, my! How our hearts were warmed.
He’s been co-oping for electrical engineer. He does numbers in his head like his dad does. It’s so visual to them. Story-telling is a woven thing of hilarity and beauty with him. You should hear his version of the story of me calling to tell him to visit our Sadie Girl before she left us. Only he could make us cry and laugh at the same time. His vows were about a paragraph long, and he worked the following quote into the introduction of his vows, “Days like these are far too rare to cheapen with heavy handed words” (A Knight’s Tale) and continued with his cheeky smile to also admit that he wouldn’t be giving compliments because giving those got him in trouble.
She met him, pulling her verses out of a lovely decolletage, verses well over two pages. As she unfolded them, she explained those vows had been waiting a while, and commenced to blow prettily all the dust of time that had settled on them.
He was well met.
The son of a literalist had met his match, in faith, in love, in the giving and taking – and this mama’s heart could not have been happier.
So what does this have to do with being fussed over?
Sometimes fussed over looks as fussed over as a half a page of vows or two pages of vows. Both beautiful! Both fulfilling! Both filled with unspeakable love.
. . . fussed over. . .
Just last year, fussed over looked like cleaning a half dozen glasses of chocolate milk a day.
Fussed over never looked as attentive as my 4th son’s fiancé looked over my son when he had his wisdom teeth pulled.
Fussed over isn’t the words from me, or the stories from me. Mostly fussed over is just watching them be themselves. Watching them tell their stories. Making room for their version, their perspective, all the ways they love.
. . . and in the waiting, they fuss over me in their own special brand of fussiness that probably doesn’t look like fussiness to anyone else. Somebody else might call it neglect. I imagine that’s how it feels when you don’t receive “hugs” from someone else’s love language. How many people miss an avalanche of love because they are not fluent in the love language of the one they are fussing over?
“Fussing over” in the wrong love language can be painful, like rubbing a cat’s fur backwards.
I’m a literalist. Yeah – there’s a lot of history with that. Yeah, I never had the father words telling me good things about myself. I struggle receiving word hugs – and I am a word hug hugger!
Grooms Dessert – homemade banana pudding with meringue. . . fussed over. . .
My sweet mama told me I was a pretty child, but that didn’t help when the kiddos on the bus made fun of my buck teeth.
The God-infused desire to be a writer wasn’t fussed over when my dad complained that the poetry in my book of poems was too small to read so he didn’t read it, but he was sure it was good, though he wouldn’t give me a nickel for it.
Yeah, the literalist in the word-love-language person has an innate distrust in “word hugs.”
Yet, if I hadn’t, where would I have been if I hadn’t learned to listen to the voice of God? To listen to him, to only hear his voice when I write? Would I have learned to listen to anybody. . . instead of the unique still small voice that is His? To lean in to His fussing over me?
Would I have heard the fussiness needs of each son? Would I have learned to stop and listen, and in the listening, learn fluency in the language of fussiness? To learn that fussiness doesn’t expect a response?
Over Thanksgiving, I fussed over pies. I fussed over Honeycrisps, Granny Smith, and Gala apples, sprinkling them with orange juice and the magic mixture for baked apples. I doubled the oysters and halved the crackers for oyster dressing – and am still learning how to fuss better for evolving tastebuds. I fussed over the flavoring for the Normandy Pie – and fussed over the deliciousness of every dish carried in. The carrots were fuss-worthy – the best I’d ever had. I just wish my stomach had more room to fuss!
“Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.”
~ Philippians 2:3
He wanted the G.I. Joe Tank Cake for the rehearsal dinner. . . fussed over. . .
I’ve learned, like my son, that sometimes it’s better to fuss with less words. Words in a generation and culture that change at the whims of a movement make everyone feel like that little girl on the school bus – distrustful of those who try to speak good things into your life.
But actions – oh, my friends, paring actions with those words – letting the actions be the focal point of the stories page, and the rare word running across the bottom. . . I am learning how to. . . a sign language that goes straight to the heart in the form of a sight, sound, taste, touch memory.
. . . fussed over. . .
“Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.”
~ 1 John 3:18
I’m learning the he’art of actions. I’ve a long way to go.
My father-in-law used to say, “I can’t hear what you’re saying because your actions are so loud.”
Fussed over . . .
How I want my actions to fuss over in a way that isn’t clingy, isn’t self-serving, isn’t something it’s not. How I want my actions to fuss to feel like cozy comfort, balm to a sore soul, a just-right wind lifting another in their dreaming, an ease of a heart ache, a rest to another’s loneliness. . . fussed over. . . it’s a life-time training learning how to love this way.
“As we actually taste the flavor of what he’s teaching, we begin to see that it’s not proverbs for daily living, or ways of being virtuous. He’s proposing a total meltdown and recasting of human consciousness, bursting through the tiny acorn-selfhood that we arrived on the planet with into the oak tree of our fully realized personhood. He pushes us toward it, teases us, taunts us, encourages us, and ultimately walks us there.” — Cynthia Bourgeault
Praying that this Holiday Season finds you fussed over in a heart-spilling over way.
how she fussed over us. . .