I really miss eating “real” food.
If you follow me on Twitter or if we’re facebook friends, then you’ve probably figured out that I had my surgery and I didn’t die.
And actually so far it hasn’t been nearly as bad as I expected. The horror stories that people told me had me scared senseless.
Supposedly the next few days are going to be the worst, so please keep the good thoughts, prayers and such coming this way.
I spend every moment of every day with you.
You don’t go to school.
You don’t have ball practice.
You don’t go on play dates.
You are my side kick.
You laugh often and make me laugh often.
You love with your whole being.
You hug and kiss and snuggle.
You can always find just the right spot to nestle in
And it warms me to the core.
I spend every moment of every day with you,
And yet sometimes it doesn’t feel like enough.
Don’t change so fast.
I love you, little man.
*One of my favorite posts, reposted from June 25, 2009 but with a new picture.*
You smell like a boy.
Not a baby, not a little boy.
But a real, stinky, sweaty boy.
Your hands are covered in dirt and grim.
Your cheeks are dusty,
Except for the tear tracks left from a now-forgotten playground tragedy.
It’s time for naps.
You’ve outgrown naps, but you still “rest”.
But today? Today you ask me to hold you.
How can I say no to that?
So we crawl into bed.
And I cradle both you and your sister in my arms.
And I realize that I am the luckiest person in the world.
You take your grimy, dirty hands and rub them across my cheeks.
You flutter your fingers over my closed eyelids
Just like I’ve done to you a thousand times.
And I completely don’t care about how dirty your hands are.
Or how my precious pillow is probably going to stink now.
All I think is, “I love you.”
And then I think, “I almost chose to check my email.”
I’m glad I didn’t.
The world can wait.
Pink, purple and glitter.
So unlike me with all the glam and fluff.
But so much like me with her determination and independence.
She, who up until a few days ago said “firty” and “I’m finking”, now clearly speaks “thirty” and “I’m thinking”.
She wants to play ball…as long as she can do it in a dress.
On Wednesday, I’m having surgery. In the big scheme of things, it’s minor. A tonsillectomy. (Luckily, a coblation tonsillectomy which should hurt a little less than the traditional deal.) And though I’ve been promised that “it’s gonna hurt like hang”, I’m hoping for a good outcome. Excruciating pain for a few days will be much, much better than this bi-monthly recurring dull & frustrating throat and ear pain to which I am accustomed.
But I have to admit that while I am looking forward to next week when I can eat what I want and swallow without crying, I am not looking forward to the surgery or recovery. I’ve had enough surgical procedures to know that I don’t take well to anesthesia. I also know that although I can be a really big wuss when I stub my toe, when it comes to the major pain I take it like a big girl. I can be tough. I will be tough.
But right now?
Right now I’m scared.
And I can’t help but wonder about the what ifs?
What if something happens and I can’t sing anymore…or, God forbid, speak!
That would be devastating.
What if that 1% of fatal complications is me?
What if, at 30 years and some odd days, I’m through? My jig is up?
I know it’s unlikely, and I know I should just push it out of my mind.
But I can’t.
And so I find myself sitting here thinking and typing instead of packing for the hospital trip.
And I wonder…what if I died?
Morbid, I know…but hang with me a minute.
I’m not worried about my afterlife. I am a Christian and I do believe in heaven.
And I believe that should I die, I’d go there.
(Although I must admit that the image of mansions and streets of gold don’t really…um…fit the bill of my idea of heaven.)
But what I do worry about is what I’d leave behind.
Obviously I’d hate to leave Marshall and the children.
For selfish reasons, I’d like to be around to see the children grow up,
and to be old and gray with Marshall, holding hands on the front porch while watching the sun set.
But even that’s not what I’m talking about.
I’m going back to that damn purpose problem.
Is my purpose fulfilled?
How can I even know if I’ve fulfilled my purpose if I don’t even know what my purpose is?
Have I been a good enough mother, wife, friend, person?
Would I be leaving behind a legacy that I’d be proud of?
(Would it bother me in heaven that I ended that sentence with “of” instead of saying “legacy of which I’d be proud”?
‘Cause it sure ’nuff bothers me on earth…but it also sounds weird.)
Would I be remembered for making a positive impression on people?
Would I be remembered for always doing my best to help and encourage others?
Would I be remembered as a nice person?
I don’t believe that nicer people get a better seat in heaven.
And I’m a big believer in faith, not works.
And although it’s ultimately not about the stuff I did or didn’t do, I still wanted to be remembered fondly.
I want to be remembered as a good person, a fair person, a loving person.
I want to be one of those people that others remember with a smile.
Remember the time Bridget did so and so?
Remember how she’d make us laugh?
I want to be remembered for speaking kindly to and of others.
I want to be remembered for being gentle and fair.
I want to be remembered for being loving and witty.
And if I want to be remembered for that kind of stuff, I need to be sure that I’m doing that stuff now.
And so here, while I sit and struggle with my silly purpose dilemma,
I realize that my purpose isn’t really a one-purpose kind of thing.
It’s a call to be authentic and genuine and loving.
My purpose is to do good and to love others.
And my purpose above all purposes is to teach my children how to do these things.
And that? If I can do that…well I will have succeeded in fulfilling my purpose.
And I will be remembered.
This year for lent, I am trying to explore various forms of prayer. I love the idea of prayer: talking to God, listening to God. But I’m not very good at it. Often when I sit down and start to pray, my mind begins to wonder. Instead of actually praying, I usually end up making a to do list for the day, or wondering what in the world that noise in the playroom was and if I should go be a mediator between Thing One and Thing Two.
I bought a book a few weeks ago called Praying in Color by Sybil MacBeth. I’ve read the book and done a few colorful prayers, and it is right up my alley! It’s really perfect for anyone who likes to doodle. And after doing one, I feel like I’ve paid more attention than in my usual try-to-put-my-thoughts-into-sentences prayer. When I’m praying in color, it’s easy for me to focus on one specific thing. You start out by drawing a shape. The shape may have some significance(like a heart if you are praying for a newlywed couple, or the shape of a pill if someone is battling an illness) or you can just draw a random shape. Then you add the name(s) of the person(s) for whom you are praying. Then you can color it in, and add dots, dashes and lines. While doing this, try and focus on that person. Don’t worry about forming coherent thoughts or trying to verbalize a prayer. Let each penstroke be a prayer. And then throughout the day, try to visualize the shape you drew for Person A and say a quick prayer for that person. If you drew a pill shape and then go to take your vitamins, pray for Person B. It may seem kind of silly to you…I don’t know. But I’m a visual person, and it helps me. And its something I can do while my kids are in the room because I zone out(like I’m not able to do while praying “traditionally”).
**Want to try praying in color? Get the book here!**
This morning I really wanted to do a color prayer. However, Asa apparently didn’t want me to. 🙂 Although I can do it while the kids are in the room, I can’t do it while I’m holding one of them. So I strapped him on in my sling and went off to do the laundry, hoping to get back to the color prayer before our playdate this morning. But as I began to pull the laundry out of the dryer, I thought: Why not make doing laundry into a prayer time? So as I would pull out Carter’s shirt or Lydia’s pjs, I would pray for each of them. When I pulled out a pair Marshall’s work pants, I prayed that God would give him wisdom with a particular patient’s issue. With Asa’s bib, I thanked God that he doesn’t have reflux. Folding Carter’s socks(which doesn’t take long, I know), I thanked God that eventhough his feet are abnormal, he doesn’t seem to be bothered by that. And with Lydia’s dress, I prayed for the day when I’d see her in a wedding dress instead of little pink dresses with butterflies. And I prayed for the person she may one day marry. Each piece of clothing went like that: one piece of clothing, one quick prayer.
So what today began as a Lenten prayer became a “lint”en prayer. Without looking for new opportunities to pray, I’m not sure I would have found God in the laundry basket.
A few weeks ago I read this post and sobbed. (I’ll give you a second to click on over there and read it.)
Was that long enough?? It really is a must read!
Renee and her husband adopted a daughter(Bunny) from China a few years ago.
And now, they wait…and wait…and wait for the opportunity to go get her little brother, their son.
They are so close, yet so far.
They what he looks like and they know his stats, but they don’t know what it feels like to hold him in their arms.
And while they wait, we(Renee’s internet posse) want to celebrate Lion, celebrate the family they are becoming.
Congrats, Renee & Frink!
We know he’s already in your hearts, but we can’t wait to see him in your arms!
A girl’s weekend of Bliss.
A surprise get-a-way with my husband.
Some time away from the kids and my volunteer job.
I needed those.
And in many ways I do feel rejuvenated, renewed.
I’m happy to be back with my kids. They’re funny and adorable and super squeezeable.
But I’m not glad to be back to a schedule I can’t seem to keep up with,
deadlines looming over my head, and plans that desperately need to be made.
My house is a disaster.
I haven’t edited photos in weeks.
I finally finished my book for book club, and I’d like to start another one but I know I don’t have time.
While Marshall and I were on our mini-vacation, we had a lot of time to talk.
(We also had a lot of time to just be quiet and enjoy that comfortable silence that never happens in a house with 3 kids.)
We talked a lot about my feeling disconnected and out-of-touch with him, my friends, even myself.
As usual, he was kind and understanding, wanting to help me
but willing to give me time and space to figure it out on my own.
(Have I mentioned how much I love him?)
We talked about what was holding me back from being content.
We talked about depression. And he and I both agreed that this time it’s different.
I’m not depressed, but I am out of sorts.
I think part of the problem is that I’m just tired.
I bit off more than I can chew.
I see that now, but I can’t stop.
I will finish my commitments.
I will do my best.
But in the future, I’ll take saying “yes” more seriously.
I’ll quit giving an automatic “yes” to every request.
I’ll start pausing, thinking.
Someone once told me that you don’t really find yourself until you’re 34.
That’s her opinion, and I don’t think it’s true for everyone…
But I have to admit that I’m wondering if she didn’t have a point.
I look back at how much I’ve changed since we got married,
since Marshall started med school,
since I became a mother,
since I moved back to my hometown.
I’m not who I used to be or who I want to be.
And maybe that’s a good thing.
Apparently I only have 3 1/2 more years to figure out who I am.
I fill lots of roles. I do lots of things. I go lots of places.
But in all this doing and going and going and doing, I seem to have somehow gotten lost.
For the past few weeks(months, really), I’ve really been struggling with my purpose, my passion.
Once upon a time(not so very long ago),
I was fire-y.
I was quick-witted and funny.
I was someone that other people wanted to be around.
Instead of being the kind of fire-y that makes you smile, I’m the kind of fire-y that makes you roll your eyes.
Instead of quick wit and jokes, I tend to get stuck in my own mind…unable to verbalize my thoughts.
Instead of being fun and exciting, I struggle to stay awake and make even polite conversation.
In an effort to become more, to do more, to love more…
In an effort to be the best I can be, do the most I can, help as many as possible…
I forgot that I have to make an effort to just be me.
Even after a weekend of recharging, I’m dreading the days to come.
Something’s gotta give.
It’s not going to be my children.
It’s not going to be my marriage.
It’s not going to be my friends or my faith or my writing.
Oh, how I need my family and friends and faith right now.
And my writing? I can’t stop it from coming.
Even when I step away from the computer, the writing is still there, filling page after page in my trusty, battered notebook.
Sometimes the words are my own, sometimes comforting words from others.
Bible verses. Sacred words.
Or delicately and patiently drawn and decorated.
Praying in color.
Praying with a hodge-podge assortment of words that sometimes don’t even make sense to me.
Searching. Longing. Wishing. Hoping. Seeking.
What is my passion?
What stirs my soul?
I’m not sure anymore.
But I’m not giving up.
I’m still listening to that soft voice inside my heart and my head.
I will find me again.
At Blissdom, Amber from the run-a-muck said something in one of the sessions that really resonated with me.
It obviously hit home for a lot of folks because I saw it all over twitter for several days. She said:
My blog is a good place for you to get to know me, but my blog is also a good place for me to get to know me.
And she’s right.
It’s through my writings and ramblings that I am really figuring out who I am, what I am, and what I’m going to be.