Friday, July 11, 2014

For Nana

I like small things.

Every time I see you, you have some small, sweet thing for me to take home. A little trinket, a little notebook, a little gadget for the kitchen in my dreams. Little stationary with little cupcakes and duckies and turtles on them. Socks, jammies, sweaters, always size "small", since I am also small. (I won't go so far as to say I like myself full stop, but I will admit to little stretches of time where I come to like myself a little more each day.)

Often you give me things that seem big at first but are really just a bunch of little things. Brightly colored baskets filled with seasonally appropriate candy and knick-knacks. Care packages with hand towels, window stickers, and kits for making cupcakes out of felt cut-outs and pompoms.

You've probably given me some actual big stuff too over the years, but I hope it doesn't offend you that I honestly don't remember them. So I'm going to say that the biggest things you ever gave me were hugs, because I like the sound of that.

See, the thing about big stuff is it's too easy to get too much. A giant piece of cake that you either don't finish or regret finishing is way worse than a little piece of cake that doesn't turn out to be enough. In the latter case, you frequently have the option of going for seconds, and even if it turns out there are no seconds because some jerk took more than their share, you appreciate that little piece you had. You spend a tidbit of time thinking about how good it was, and what a shame there isn't any more. You move your tongue around in your mouth in the hopes of finding some sweet particle you might have missed.

Neither of us are big on big gifts. We don't want them and don't give them. It makes us feel weird, and who knows how the other person might react. When we give, we don't want to needlessly complicate a good thing with feelings of insecurity, and frankly speaking, big gifts tap you out for a while. We want to give, because it's in our nature, and we don't like the idea of being unable to act according to our nature for any length of time. Worst of all, trying to cut back on a gift after it's given has a 100% chance of making everyone feel weird. That's where small gifts have the advantage, because if it's not enough then it's no trouble to give another one. We can keep up a constant flow of giving without ever tiring out.

And the little stuff adds up. Enough gadgets, towels, and dishes in enough boxes can become the best kitchen ever just waiting to be unpacked. I keep them tightly wrapped, not because I don't want to use them, but because when I am decorating that kitchen someday I want to open each box and smell the house it was first wrapped in. I hopes it's soon, because I crack them open once in a while, and find that my favorite scent is fading like the taste of a small piece of cake.

Miles add up too - and years, and the little obligations of everyday life. I'm very far away, and right now I really don't want to be. I hate that as the time between visits home has gotten longer our time together has gotten shorter.

Today that bugged me in a big way, so for the shortest of moments I wanted to come up with something huge to give you. Some extravagant thing like I-don't-even-know-what that would convey everything I've ever felt and and am feeling right now about you, me, us. But my brain isn't wired to think like that, and you would probably feel weird anyway.

So instead, I'm dedicating a rambling blog post to you.

Also, I think you might like this song by The Weepies. There's something about the way she sings "sweetheart" at the end that moves me.