Thursday, March 29, 2012

In which my sister steps on my son's head and makes crazy ninja noises

I laughed so hard I cried...

Also, can you believe how Baby he looks in this? Compared to now???





Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Just Writing about Grandmom

It's been quite a few years since she was a daily part of my life, but now that she is Gone (at least for the moment), I find myself suddenly missing her at the oddest moments. It is in those trivial moments, when you suddenly and very clearly hear that long-thought-forgotten voice ring out so loudly that you realize how large a figure she loomed in your life. How many things she touched-- directly or indirectly, for good or bad. The music, the gardening, the birds, the snowball fights, the laughter, the yodeling. Also the paranoia of Fat, the shame of a runny nose in church, the sly whack on the rear as you run through the kitchen. And the fart jokes. Although those tend to shift from column to column depending on how eight-grade-y I'm feeling at the moment.

All the things, good and bad, that were (are) Her are also part of Me. And every so often I remember and I miss her. And there's this nagging little ache in my middle. Then it's gone and life goes on.







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Saturday, March 24, 2012

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Going home for a visit

I never thought, when I lived here, of Virginia as my home. Various places IN Virginia, yes. The state itself as representative in some way of Home-capital-h, no.  But moving to Florida and visiting Virginia to take my children to play in the park where I played as a young girl... There's no denying it. This state is Home. And tonight, at my parents' house, rocking Jamie to sleep in the room I slept in as a girl, in the rocking chair in which my parents rocked me and all my siblings, and I rocked Sofi and Judah (we had to leave it behind on the move to Orlando-- it wouldn't fit in the truck); well, I teared up a little.




Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Just Writing about My Journeys

In a few short days, I will be climbing aboard an airplane, with three children in tow, to begin a new version of a journey I've taken manymany times. My brother and his wife, my sister in every sense of the word, are having their first baby (please-God-next-week) and I am going home to be there with them.

This journey of anticipation is so familiar to me, and yet each time so new, so different. Each time it has a different, and often deeper significance. When I was a young apprentice, unmarried, inexperienced, the excitement on the journey was surface-- or maybe just a little deeper... What will it be like this time? Will we make it in time? And the usual speculations about statistics; height, weight, length of labor, name, gender...

When my own babies started coming the journey changed, deepened, lengthened and grew ohso slow and ponderous. Now no longer a car ride away, but months and weeks and days and hours. Then minutes. Then seconds, creeping by, drawn out breath by breath. In... out... breathe... And finally, arrival! Joy!

Then my sister-- a plane ride, a few days of waiting and a somewhat-tense ride to the hospital. A friend, who came to me, to pace my sidewalk and look at the stars together along that journey. My sister, again. This time we waited at home and her husband was the traveler, the journey-taker. In between those and since, there have been travels to birth-side by phone, or in prayers and thoughts. Always my place beside the laboring mother is so familiar, so right. It's where I belong. An honor and a privilege to serve, even if only with prayer and words.

(I heard a man say that last night in answer to a thanks for his service to his country, and it stuck in my head-- such a fitting response to thanks for service of every kind. As followers of Christ, it is our honor and our privilege to Serve)

This time I'll be on a plane again. Going home-- doubly. Home to my people and home to the job I feel most at home in. Standing shoulder to shoulder to a woman in her finest hour, giving her whatever comfort I can, encouraging, upholding and enabling her (and him) as they start off on a new leg of their journey. And this time the experience will have that added beauty of watching my little brother become a father. This is the child that will take him from Man and Husband, into the new-and-dangerous-but-so-beautiful world of Father.

And in a way, I will have come full circle in my vocation. Because my very first of these journeys was down the stairs from my bedroom to the living room, full of a quiet light. I saw him, lying on my mother's stomach; umbilical cord attached, still covered with vernix and amniotic fluid-- the vestiges of his previous warm, dark world. And although at that age I could not articulate it (other than to weep) I never forgot that sense of having come so close to something Holy.


Birth is an everyday miracle and I will never tire of seeing it performed.





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Monday, March 5, 2012

My Portion

I love my house in the early morning. That brief space of time after J and Sofi leave for school and before Jude wakes up, or Jamie climbs anything. I sit at the table with my second cup of coffee, while Jamie babbles quietly to himself (still too sleepy to do any real damage to his world). While I sit and ponder and slowly begin to wake up (90 minutes after I've wrenched myself out of bed), I soak in the sunshine...

This is the room, dining/living area, that sold this house to me. Before I even saw the fireplace or the enormous oaks in the back yard, or the gardenia bushes, this long room with two walls of windows spoke to me.

"Here," it said. "Here is where you will sit in the morning, watching the early sun rush in, the dust motes dancing in the golden streams... You will paint this room golden and in the golden sunshine, flooding the golden room (while dust, ever triumphant over all attempts at proper housekeeping, dances riotously), you will find an early morning peace and New Mercies for the day."