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.


  1. Wow, he loves getting his teeth cleaned? Your kids say the cutest things, ever!

    I, like Jacob, wonder why I don't cry. and then I wonder why I still do. I lost my dearest, most precious aunt this summer and it's been a process of healing, memories and wishing for more time with her... her life was far too short.

  2. i love your posts.
    i love your honesty.
    i love your kids {and you}