Monthly Archives: January 2012

Shush.

I see you hurting and I want to rush to you and fix it.
Tears slowly drip – one by one.
The strain in your voice tries to hold it all in.
And I want nothing more to stroke your hair and shush you.
It’s gonna be alright.
It’ll be okay.
Shh-shh-shh…

Where you are…
Where you are right now?
It’s lonely.
I know.  Oh, I know.
And it hurts.
Oh, my how it hurts.
I’ve been there.
And – in some ways – I am still here.
(Is one ever in complete remission?)

My heart reaches out to yours.
And I hope, I pray that your heart can hear mine.
Because I want you to hear.
I want you to hear how powerful and brave you are.
And I want you to hear how loving and caring and kind you are.
(Those things can’t be counted with statistics or dollar signs,
but they are the things that really matter.)
And I want you to hear how you’ve changed me.
How your words and your actions have pulled me up when I was low.

I needed you.
I need you.
And you need me.
(And that’s as it should be.)

It’s my turn to be needed.
And it’s your time to just be.

Shh-shh-shh.
It’ll be alright. 
~for more just write posts visit heather

367 Days and Counting


Sweet Anna Alden,
You are a few days past one and I’m amazed at how big you are and how much you’ve changed just in the last week.  You started cruising a few months ago, but that didn’t last long.  Once you realized you could go, you went.  For a few days you wobbled back and forth and took a step, maybe two and then BAM you were all over the place.  You are always, always trying to catch up with the others.

You are chattering away lately.  When I come into your room in the morning, I always say “Good mornin’” and you’ve started groggily mumbling “moh-een”.  You ‘talk’ to us all the time.  I really wish we could understand what you’re saying!  Because you obviously think you’re very funny.  You’ll blabber on and just laugh and laugh.  (Don’t worry.  I do the same thing sometimes.)

You love all of your siblings so much.  I love the way you and Asa seem to talk without words.  Just a look here or there and little sounds.  And then with Lydia…your eyes just sparkle when she focuses her attention on you.  She thinks she’s your little mama and you love it that way.  Carter is a little more reserved with you, but when you interact it’s adorable.  He throws his arm around your neck and you lean into him – eyes closed – and smile.

You make us all smile.  You always keep us on our toes.  You are almost always up for a cuddle.  Your favorite food is cooked carrots and you transitioned from bottle to cup overnight.  You love to sit in Asa’s little recliner and it is so stinking cute.  You love to ‘read’ books and play with trains.  You still cross your legs like they were in utero – although that’s beginning to fade away.

You are one.  I can’t believe you’re one.
But I also can’t believe that it’s only been 367 days since you first came into our lives.
I pray we have thousands and thousands more.
We all love you so, so much.

p.s. Yesterday when you gave me an unprompted kiss and then giggled, my heart nearly exploded from happiness.

My Guys

There are three of them and three of us.
Boy Girl Boy Girl Boy Girl
All the boys have birthdays right around Christmas.
One before, two after.
It makes for some crazy times around here, but it’s fun.

Asa,
It sounds cliche to say, but it doesn’t seem possible that you are three years old.  You are my little buddy.  No matter where I go, you are never far behind.  You still like to be held and carried and cuddled – but only when you want to.  You are funny and tough and bull-in-a-china-shop all the time.  You fall and pop right back up.  You crash into the wall and keep on going.  Nothing phases you.  You love all of your siblings and being with them, but your favorite time of day seems to be when the bigs are gone to school and Alden takes a nap.  It’s one of the few times you have me to yourself and you relish every moment.  I do, too.  I love to watch you play.  You are so animated, with those enormous, sparkling eyes.  You are going to break some hearts with those.  It’s hard sometimes to get on to you when you do something wrong because of those eyes.  You are just so dang cute.  Lately when I tell you not to do something, you say “oh.” in a very short, staccato way that makes me laugh.  Even if you are doing something you know you shouldn’t do, when you get in trouble for it you just say “oh.” like you had no idea that it wasn’t allowed.  And when you ask to do something and the answer is no, you say ‘aaaaawwwww…’ in the most adorable way possible.  You hang your head down and slump your shoulders over and look like Opie Taylor.

Happy third birthday (a little late), bud.
I love you!

Dear Marshall,
As I write this, we’ve seen each other no more than about 2 hours today.  Your commitment to your work is something that I am proud of.  There have been times that I’ve been at my wits end with your schedule, but it’s hard to be mad when I see all the good that you are doing.  You don’t just have patients.  Every child that walks through the doors of your office is made to feel like royalty.  You are good at your job.  You are passionate about learning and keeping up with all the new recommendations and literature.  You don’t just walk into a room and rush through the exam, you are specific about educating parents and patients about why you are doing what you are doing.  You care.  You care a lot.  And it shows.

But you are so much more than your work.  You are a fabulous father and wonderful husband.  When you get home, you pick right up with helping around here.  It’s usually wild when you walk in the door – loud, hungry children, me trying to cook, dogs whining to go out – but you don’t let it bother you.  And just by you being in the room, it makes things better.  (I feel like I’m oozing cheesy right now.  (I am.)  But it’s true.)  I don’t thank you enough for all that you do.  Thank you so much.  I couldn’t do it without you.  Sharing this crazy life with you is truly one of my biggest pleasures.

I should stop now. I’m kinda making myself gag with all the cheese.
I love you.  Happy (belated) birthday.

Dear Carter,
You.are.amazing.  You are so smart and kind and funny.  I sometimes miss the little baby that you were, but I am so in love with the person you have become.  You are so grown-up all of a sudden.  You crawled into your Daddy’s lap tonight and said, “When I’m eight years old, I’ll be too big for this.”  And I know there will come a time when you really are too big to crawl into our laps, but I most certainly hope it’s not next year.

I love your passion for learning.  You seem to soak up every piece of information that you hear.  You know more about planets and space and stars than I do.  You love math so much that you asked for math workbooks for your birthday.  When it comes to learning, you are wise beyond your years.  But the thing I love most is that you are still a kid.  You still love to play with cars and draw with chalk and ride your scooter and now your bike, too.  I’m so proud of you for learning how to ride your bike.  It didn’t come easy for you (and you aren’t used to that) and at one point you looked into my eyes and there were tears welling up in yours and I told you, “You can do this!  You can.”  And you, completely seriously said, “But Mama…tricky peddling is much trickier than tricky math.”  But you conquered tricky math and tricky peddling and now you proudly zoom by us all.  Seeing your smile when you finally got the hang of it was priceless.

Happy (late) birthday, my super seven year old.
I love you.

Little Words

When we finally get them all to bed, his phone rings.
A sick kid, one who lives close by.
So he slips on his shoes and heads out the door.
(House calls in 2012.
I don’t imagine that happens often.
And it makes my heart swell with pride.)

The wind blows the raindrops onto my bedroom window.
I should go edit those pictures, I think.
But instead I slip on my pjs and brush my teeth.

I flinch just a bit when I hear the garage door start to open.
(I am so easily startled when he isn’t here.)

“Kid looks pretty sick.”
“Oh, yeah?”
“Yeah.  May have to admit him.”
And he’s out the door again.

I’ll just lie down and read until he gets back, I tell myself.
After one paragraph, the words begin dancing on the page and I realize that my eyes are crossing.
It’s 8:30.

*****

I hear him shuffling around in the other room and glance at the clock.
It’s well after midnight and he hasn’t been home long.
He realizes I’m awake and we lie in bed and chat in the dark.

This is what intimacy really is.
These moments when you aren’t even touching but you are closer than ever.

The chatter dies off and his breathing becomes slow and steady.

I knew it would happen like this.
I knew if I fell asleep that early, I’d wake up and be wide awake.

It’s even quieter at 3am than it is at midnight.
Or at least it seems that way, save the wind chimes.

I take advantage of the silence and let my mind roam freely.
And I write words that have been aching to come out – most of which will never be read by any other eyes.
And I edit pictures that have been sitting and waiting – most of which will never be printed out to enjoy.

I wish I had more time and resources to devote to both of them.
But part of my heart breaks when I realize that one day I’ll have plenty of time but no subjects.

Babies don’t keep
.
It rattles around in my head again.
And I think of Katie Granju’s words, her story (and his).
And I am grateful for this day.
And these children.
And I am certain that today I
“made sure that our children
were protected
and educated
and loved as fiercely as we know how to love them.”

For a second time, my day winds down.
And I close my eyes and whisper big prayers with little words.
Amen and amen.

Move Over Mopey Monday

Apparently it’s been a true Monday for most of my friends.
If I could give all of you flowers, I would.
But since I can’t, I’ll share the ones I got with you!

You can see more on my flickr stream.  They are gorgeous flowers!

Babies don’t keep.

I knew that It was coming and I knew that this time…this time?
I was gonna fight.
And I was gonna fight harder than ever.
And I was gonna win, dammit.

And so I looked at the things around me.

Things I wanted and didn’t have.
Things I had and didn’t want.

And I realized that there were times – many times – when I was merely treading water.
And I was doing things that I hated and I was trying to make them perfect and it just wasn’t working.
And I looked at my children and remembered my dream, the dream that changed it all
And the enormity of time crashed down on me.

Many times, I’d heard “babies don’t keep”
And I’m quite certain I muttered it myself a time or two.
But all of a sudden, the words spun around me as time rushed past me so quickly that I fell down.
I stumbled and struggled to get up and I looked around me.
And my baby, my sweet first-born baby, looked back at me.
He is seven. S-E-V-E-N.
No, no…babies don’t keep.
But I will keep them.
I will soak up the moments with them.
And, for them, I will say yes*.
And, for them, I will say no.
And though it may be selfish, I am also saying yes and no for me.
I want them to remember this.
I want to remember this.
And in order to remember it, we have to actually do it.
And so we stay up past bedtime and break our own rules,
we read scripture and say prayers,
learn to ride bikes and celebrate milestones.

And I sort through my To Do’s and To Dont’s
and I write – for them, for me
And I hold my baby in my arms and drink her in.

Babies won’t keep.
No, no…they really won’t.
The chores will always be there tomorrow.

 

*Words from months ago kept coming to my mind and I scoured page after page and archive after archive of blog after blog because I couldn’t remember who had written it, but I should have known it was her.  Hers are words that settle down into your heart-soul and hide there, waiting for you to need them.

I know what you’re trying to do.

Before Thanksgiving, I hit a wall.
I was tired.  I was frustrated.
I was not the person I wanted to be.
I snapped at my children.
Turned away from my husband.
Cocooned myself within myself.

And then something happened.

I spoke not a word to anyone.
I made changes both big and small,
Some for forever and some for the now.

And though I’d been feeling that relentless tug of depression,
I knew, I knew that this was it.
This was my moment to push it away and say,
“I will not let you win.  I will not.”

And though reading the words makes it sound easy, it was not.
It is not.

I imagine that it never will be.
Because even when things are bright and sunny, you know that dark and dreary will come.
And you wait and you wait and you wait.
And the waiting pulls you down and instead of hiding from It, you unknowingly run straight into Its trap.

But this time it was I who played the trick.
This time it was I who called It out and said,
“I know what you’re trying to do and it’s not gonna work!”

(If only it were always that easy.)

(I am grateful that this time it was.)

And it was good.

It wasn’t like I’d walked completely out of the building and down the street.
But I did excuse myself and slip off to the restroom to stare at myself in the mirror.
For longer than I should have, longer than was reasonable.

Rounding the corner, my eyes scanned the room…
Expecting the seat to be empty.
But it was not.
It.
was.
not.

I gently slid into my seat and looked into the face of God -
The one I knew with my heart would wait for me,
But the one I’d let my mind convince me would be gone.
Tears prickled in my eyes, but instead of obstructing my view, it seemed to make things clearer.
And more brilliant, as if the skies had burst wide open and rained stars into the room.
I was here.  And God was here.
And it was quiet.

There were no cheers or loud rejoicing as we eased back into the conversations I’d so hastily put on hold.
There was no pat on the back or ‘attagirl’s.
God knew that those scare me off.
I would blush an unflattering blush…
And feel even more self-conscious than I already did.

And it was here, in this perfect quiet moment…that I saw bits of my life all at once.
Here I was, my 32-year-old self, but I was lying in my grandmother’s lap
with her gnarled, rheumatic fingers dancing on my skin.
I was nine, but I found myself sitting on the edge of my bed in my college apartment, quickly typing messages to a new love.
And I was 25, and though – in this chronos time of mine, of ours – I should have been cradling a newborn,
I was sitting in my chair, reading a book and glancing at my own now-gnarled and rheumatic fingers.
I notice a strand of stray hair fallen into my eye.
It was no longer shiny auburn, but shimmering silver in the sunlight.

For a moment, for this one moment, I had a glimpse of this kairos time that is beyond my comprehension,
This God-time that I can’t even begin to grasp.
It was here, suspended in this God-moment, that the words
“And it was good
flipped from words on a page to writing on my heart.

As quickly as the moment began, the dream ended.
The bubble burst.
And I was just plain old me again.
Except I wasn’t.
I was changed.
And it was good.

 

**Linking up with Heather‘s Just Write.
There are so many beautiful words there.
Take time to click and read.

Sorta Blue

    

My Prayer For You

Sometimes – many times, really – I don’t know how to pray for you.

I want to pray for the you that you are now and the you that you will be and all the yous in between.
And I want to pray for the relationships you have and will always have -whether they are good or bad.
And I want to pray for the relationships that aren’t even possible yet.
I am tempted to pray that these relationships always be good and happy and amiable.

But I don’t.

Because – not that I wish this for you, not really – but it is in the trials and difficulty that you will become you.
It is in the moments when you don’t know what to say that you find that words aren’t as important as they seem.
And it is in the times when you feel most alone that you realize that you aren’t.

I want to pray for you, but so many times…I find myself stuttering, muttering rote words and phrases of old.
Not so long ago, I would have complained that the spirit wasn’t moving,
That because I didn’t feel anything, nothing must be happening.

But I was wrong.

And now when the words don’t come smoothly,
I know that it’s ok.
And instead of meaningless repetitions of prayers I’ve always said,
I simply speak your name.
Over.
And over.
And over again.

And that, my love, is how I pray for you – even when I don’t know how.