Chaos Ascending

I was the kid in high school who carried a color-coded day planner. I delight in a neatly stacked linen closet. I try to buy my clementines in the wooden boxes that make such attractive bathroom shelf organizers.


I love order. And I need it, to feel calm and centered and ready for each day.

Marrett’s project list is always miles long, and he attacks it on days “off” with a fervor I don’t understand. The more spinning plates in the air, the better for him. He’s the one that thought a party with twenty of Cameron’s closest friends when he was the only adult in Broady Grund Hollow was a perfect plan.

To say that our moving in together was an adjustment is to pass lightly over months of exhaustion and frustration. We fought over the most unimportant issues. I had a few pure moments of panic where I was sure I wasn’t equipped for the life I’d chosen.

Fast forward 16 months to last week,  when we had 10 people here for dinner and I enjoyed every second, even the cleaning up. (Okay, I especially enjoyed the cleaning up, so sue me.)

Being married to Marrett, and working with a therapist, has helped me realize patterns of co-dependence in my relationships, familial and romantic. In my recovery process, I have learned to hold lightly the things outside my control. I am learning to accept with open(ish) arms the chaos that enters my life. There is growth in the chaos, and joy. I never expected joy.

In chaos, I have waded in the joyful conversation flowing between teen and tween girls, whose laughter is completely out of hand. In chaos, I have connected with Caden through ebullient tickle and chasing, a bond that could never have formed out of structured play. In chaos, I have lost my breath to trampoline jumping, sprinkler dodging, frozen creek walking, and fallen log tight-roping with children who will remember those moments forever. In chaos, I have found my yes to all that life has to offer, the good, the painful, and the never-thought-I’d-do-that.

In the Broady Grund household, chaos is ascendent, increasing as our children and friendships grow. And while I have never felt less like I have it all together, I’ve also never been happier. That can’t be a coincidence.

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