Saturday, August 27, 2011

It's a Small (healing) World

Cambria:  "Mom, I think I will call you servant".   {What??????}

JD, listening to Kristian Stanfill sing oh my God, You will not delay, my Helper and Strength, always: "Mom, why is he saying 'oh my God'?  I thought that was bad." 

Cambria:  "We could name our baby boy Jericho, if that's okay with you, Mom."  Mmmm, not okay.

JD, upon pulling out a loose tooth:  "It is so much nicer to eat now.  I couldn't even eat pancakes with that tooth."

Cambria, thrilled that her beloved Jess is engaged:  "Daddy, Paul gave Jess a ring and she's gonna marry him and then after that they're gonna have a baby!"   Ever feel like people rush engaged couples to the next step?  Meet Cambria. 

At a recent meal conversation, I asked the kids to think of where in the whole wide world they would like going the most.

Cambria (without hesitation):  "To a hospital."


adds explanation:  "To have our baby."

Jacob:  "If I could go anywhere in the world, I would go try out that new dentist's office that's over diagonal from Fareway and across from BP.  Cuz I just love getting my teeth cleaned."

Both kids munch on lunch, then realize I didn't say anything.  "Where would you like to go, Mom?" 

"Mmmmm. . . I would go to an island with tons of sand and blue water with Daddy and send you guys to Grandpa and Grandma's." I was not prepared for the instant crushed and downfallen countenances.  I couldn't help laughing.  I guess they thought I'd say McDonald's or maybe the library. 

I think that their world is so large because they experience so much and both travel frequently but I forget that for a child, the world is pretty small. 

A small world is Mommy when you wake up


cream of wheat for breakfast

Daddy mowing the yard

taming a caterpillar and naming it Celery

losing Celery

finding Celery

losing Celery


flooding the bathtub and bathroom  (me yelling me saying no baths, only showers from now on)

being eaten alive by chiggers and then covered with Calamine lotion

camping and cousins



art lessons

cap guns  {10,000+ caps shot in the last two weeks on our street}

67 cent floor length dress from the Salvation Army {princess in peach satin}

Adventures in Odyssey

ice cream cones

shots and bandaids for the school year

singing in the dark at bedtime

Their world is small and there's some stability and it's becoming secure again and I am so so so  thankful for that.

I think of a snowy cold day in Minneapolis, back when both of us were just existing and our kids physical needs were met, but not much more. I was riding back to our hotel with dear friends Luke and Anne, scrunched in the backseat and appreciating the distraction of friends from the endless sea of grief.   They asked how the kids were and I can still feel how much my heart hurt, looking out the window at the skyscrapers and lights. . .

I don't know.  I'm so afraid they're going to be so scarred, guys.  Scarred and scared. 

I haven't forgotten their words and they gave me hope. . .

Jacob and Cambria did not lose their son.  That particular grief isn't theirs.

Children are resilient.

Time soothes faster for children.

Their grief (though real) wasn't the same as ours.

I think of that conversation so often, when I wonder if my kids' hearts ache like mine and when I long to shield them from the cruelty of life.

I think of it when Cambria looks at pictures of her new cousin and then asks to look at Gabe's.  She cries.  I cry.  We get Kleenex.  Jacob cuddles in and we watch the images slide by, so much love, so much sweetness, such a short little life.  The slideshow loops and the kids know it and as we come to the end, Jacob says "Mom, I wish it wasn't the last picture, and I don't know why I don't cry.  Why don't I cry?"

Oh, my little man. . . it's okay that you don't cry, it's okay if you do.  It's okay that you wonder.  It's okay to wish there were a ton more pictures.

I think their grief isn't the same as mine when I hear Cambria point out to little friends "Oh, yes, that's the picture of our baby.  He died."  Those are the facts.  She has accepted the reality.  He existed, we loved him; he died, but he's still her brother and worthy of being acknowledged.  Sometimes children get it right.

I think they heal faster when I hear them shrieking with laughter as they jump on the trampoline with friends:  an awful new game where they play dead.  I cringe and then I remind myself that normal children, including mine, play dead, and that's okay.  They heal faster.

The funny, crazy things my kids say and the hilarious things they do remind me that God heals and time heals and stability heals and home heals.  A small world heals.

My children heal.

And I am so thankful.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

When the Dave Ramsey Van Died

So did you want to hear the story of my Dave Ramsey van's kapow kachunk the end?

You don't?

Oh, well, sorry, I need to vent it.

That lemonade cake, a few posts back proved to be really destructive.  I wasn't even sure I had time to make it for Daniel's party and I had his favorite, root beer floats all ready.  But what is a birthday party without cake?  I berated myself, and off to Fareway I ran with about an hour and a half to spare.

Exiting the store with my one little sack of ingredients, I put the key in the ignition, turned, and. . . . . sputter. . . nothing.

That has never happened to my faithful, steady van.  It runs and runs.  I have sworn that we would drive it to our children's high school graduations because God wants the humiliating exterior of that van to refine my character. 

I put in a call to Daniel, who luckily was home and available (of course, since we were having his birthday party)  "Surprise, babe, for your thirtieth, I present you with a broken vehicle!!"  I ground my teeth, hating the way this was turning out. 

He quickly (and I might say, correctly) diagnosed the problem as the fuel pump, which he emphatically said he was not replacing and since he didn't have time to deal with the van, just gave us a ride home.

Not having time to deal with the van is a gross understatement.  I am not sure I know anyone busier or more booked than my man.  Or maybe that's just because I know him really well.  But at any rate, after a week and an apologetic call to the manager of the grocery store, plus numerous comments from friends (is your van at Fareway??  Still??), Daniel enlisted me to help him tow our affable bumbling van to our our mechanic.

I thought  my job would be driving the van.

No, apparently my husband didn't think I was capable.

"You can tow me," he said with absolute confidence.

"I have never done that before."

"Oh, you'll do fine.  I really think you can do this."

Unbeknownst to us, we were about to commit a crime with an impressive fine attached to it, which might explain the angry glares, gestures and honking we received, but I get ahead of myself.

With everything properly attached, cell phones set to speakerphone on mode, I climb into Daniel's truck with one last plea:  "Can't any of your guy friends do this?"

Apparently not, and on we went.

"I'll just coach you," my husband says through the phone.  "Turn wide when you leave Fareway and just go slow."

I go slow.  I turn wide.  This creates a sling shot effect and isn't recommended by veteran tow-ers.

Frantic screeching from my calm man.  "Don't turn wide -- JERK-BONK-- that was a bad idea!!  My bad!  Don't ever turn wide again!!"


More coaching.  "Never brake."

Uh huh.  Except if there is a car in front of you, probably brake then, wouldn't you say??

Approaching big hill, which we must descend, with multiple curves.  I put my foot down, quite literally, and refuse to tow down the hill.  "Can't you coast?"

My man thinks this is an excellent plan, and unhooks our towing paraphernalia.  "I still need you to be right in front of me.   You lead me through the 4-way at the bottom, okay?"

So I inch ahead of him,  trying to see if he can coast through the normally deserted 4-way at the bottom of the hill.  Uh oh, approaching SUV at the intersection. 

"Can I go? Can I go?" screeching from the speakerphone

I'm trying to judge who will make it to the 4-way first.  If I get there first I can hog the intersection, right?  "Just a sec, I don't know."

"I need to know!"

Yes, I make it.  Yes (so sorry, silver Toyota SUV, I am not normally like this) I hog the intersection.  The van coasts safely on through.

Jacob:  "Mom, I have prayed several times already."

Uh huh, you and me both, pal.

The end of the story is that I did a great job and glowed under the praise of my man as he bragged on my mad towing skills until dinner with friends one night where we were informed that this story could have had a $600 fine attached to it. 

This has since been confirmed to be quite illegal and I share this story here hoping no one will report me to proper authorities but instead just tuck this lesson away for future reference. 

So my van died, and the search is on for a replacement.  The longer and more cheerfully I wait, the nicer the replacement gets.  I'm planning on cheerfully waiting until we drive a 2012 Chevy Suburban off the lot. 

Hee hee hee.