Friday, August 16, 2013

Jarble Splat

She snuggles up to me at bedtime on the night before third grade begins.  Eight-and-a-half, with a deep tan earned throughout a blissfully busy summer, she is feeling contemplative.  Chatty, in other words - which usually seems to happen right when it's time to turn out the light.  
"Mommy?  I have so many different feelings about us starting school stuff tomorrow.  I mean, I love the reading part, and I'm really excited to be a third grader.  That sounds so grown up!"
"Mmmhmm,"  I agree.  "You are getting to be a pretty big kid."
"But...I also don't know if I want the school year to start, because that means the summer is over.  And we've had such a fun summer!  And I like it when we can be lazy in the mornings."
I nod my head, choosing not to point out that there wasn't much about the past couple of packed-full months that felt "lazy" to me.
"Hey, Mommy?"  Her voice drops to a shy whisper.  "Do you know what I call it in my head when I feel like this?  Sometimes I call it 'jarble splat'."
I stifle a giggle at first.  "Jarble splat?"
"Yeah.  Jarble splat is when you're feeling so many things that you don't really know how to feel and it's all confusing."
Then it doesn't strike me funny anymore.  It strikes me as so very right.  
"You know what, honey?  I think that's the perfect way to describe it."
She sighs.  "I was grown ups ever feel jarble splat?"
Oh yes.  Goodness, yes.
I consider my own emotions as the daylight hours have begun to grow shorter and the rhythm of routine starts to pick up again.  Schoolwork, dance classes, piano lessons - all poised to open new discoveries and fill up our Google Calendar, and I can’t decide whether it’s more exciting or intimidating.
Jarble splat.

I think about watching this kid on the soccer field the past several Saturday mornings, running after the ball with joy and determination.  When I'm all, "Look at my baby go!", and equally "Where did my baby go?"
Jarble splat.  
The way it feels to be on the last day of a getaway with my husband, when we're eager to see our kids again, but also don't ever, ever want the weekend to end.  
Jarble splat.
Oh yeah.  Grown ups feel it too.  The jarble never ends, and sometimes I feel a little heavier on the splat.  Now, though, I have the right words with which to label those moments.  So from this point on - don’t mind me - I will be regularly using an expression straight out of the insight of my little girl.
And I'm a little bit jarble splat about that.

Anything you've been feeling jarble splat about these days?

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