to trust is to love.

“Testy Pony” by Zachary Schomburg

I am given a pony for my birthday, but it is the wrong kind of pony. It is the kind of pony that won’t listen. It is testy. When I ask it to go left, it goes right. When I ask it to run, it sleeps on its side in the tall grass. So when I ask it to jump us over the river into the field I have never before been, I have every reason to believe it will fail, that we will be swept down the river to our deaths. It is a fate for which I am prepared. The blame of our death will rest with the testy pony, and with that, I will be remembered with reverence, and the pony will be remembered with great anger. But with me on its back, the testy pony rears and approaches the river with unfettered bravery. Its leap is glorious. It clears the river with ease, not even getting its pony hooves wet. And then there we are on the other side of the river, the sun going down, the pony circling, looking for something to eat in the dirt. Real trust is to do so in the face of clear doubt, and to trust is to love. This is my failure, and for that I cannot be forgiven.

tea pots

I had my first baby shower over the weekend. I have been to a lot of baby showers. I have played a lot of baby shower games. For that reason, my friends very graciously opted not to make me eat (or observe people eating) baby food. There were no clothespins and everyone was allowed to use the word baby. There was nothing mysterious in any diapers. No one measured any stomachs. Instead, we drank tea and I opened adorable presents. In short, my friends are, without question, the best. Also, the people who think that boy stuff is not as cute as girl stuff are wrong. I mean, come on:

mike shirt

There were women from several different stages of my life: someone I have known since I was 6 years old all the way to someone I met only last year. There were hundreds of years of combined friendship in the room (no, seriously, I did a little math). We have stayed up late, gone to weddings, yelled at basketball games, lingered over beer and chips and salsa, road tripped, watched silly television, whispered confessions, laughed and cried and watched each other grow. There have been difficult things, too: cancer and illness, car accidents, premature babies, miscommunications and misunderstandings, broken trust and a whole lot of grace and forgiveness. Not just my good times, not just my hard times. All of us together.

Atticus will only have one grandparent, which is something I have been sad about for a long time. But it is hard to ignore how many people love and care for him already. I could have named that before this weekend, how lucky he is to have a wide circle of people who are waiting for his entrance into the world. On Monday morning, though, the above poem was in my inbox from, and it made me think about where all that love has come from. It is hard to trust people with your stories, hard to overcome hurt and betrayal and fear. I do not find it easy to walk alongside people in my life. I live out of insecurities, get hurt, and feel unimportant. But when I choose trust, I allow something much bigger than myself to grow. It grows slowly, over hundreds of combined years. Until, one day, it fills an entire room.

Today’s Imperfect Prose.

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