Freedom of Restraint

You know when you’re a kid and your mom gets roses from your dad because its their anniversary, or he’s trying to figure out what she’s miffed about, or he just likes her? Or your sister gets some from some dude trying to beat out the next dude? Or maybe your grandmother who is living with you gets some because she’s just had surgery? And you’ve never really looked at a rose up close and personal before. And so you get a stool and scootch it up to the kitchen counter where the crystal vase is sitting throwing rainbows all over the walls. And then you put a book on the stool because it doesn’t get you up high enough to see anything?

¬†Finally you are at eye level and you’ve got this luscious tear drop-shaped thing the color of embarrassed cherries and velvet staring you right in the eye, and there’s a smell tickling off of it that alerts all of your future woman hormones and sets a booby-trap for unsuspecting men who’d better know to get you a bouquet of these things just exactly when you need them or their life will be mildly painful for awhile. And you stare at it because you can’t believe anything like that exists.

And then you look a little more and realize that a bunch of these Johnny-apple red blooms are actually unfurled, and their ruffliness leaves you breathless, and you want the little bud in front of you to be just like them? So you reach up and gently, so gently, coax the tightly hugged petals to un-cone themselves. And one petal at a time you get the bud to relax, open, ruffle out like the others. And Oh my! Isn’t it beautiful? And aren’t you so good for making that rose bud be just like the others and stretch its bound self out in unctuous waves? (except that you’re only six so you don’t know what “unctuous waves” are, but they sound elegant so you’re pretty sure they’re a good thing) (when you eventually find out what “unctuous” really means it’s going to explain a lot.)

You get the same temptation later when you are raising children. Or writing a book. Or painting a picture. Or doing anything that takes time and restraint. Problem is, if you give in to that temptation and force the rose to open, all that happens is the petals turn brown and fall off because it wasn’t ready and your hands were too rough.

I learned as a six year old that there are times when I need to restrain myself a bit so I can have the freedom to enjoy beauty in its own time.

But I’ve still got a ways to go.

Sitting on my hands. Sitting on my hands. Sitting on my hands.

About Janiel 432 Articles
I have managed to keep the same husband for nearly three decades, and the same four children for almost that long - although one or two of them say it has been much longer. I have been writing since I learned to hold a pencil, and trying to make people laugh even longer. I hope to do some good in the world before I go the way of it. And if not, I'd better at least get to visit Ireland.

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