On Snails and Heaven

Naomi has been a handful today.  She’s tired, waaaay over-sugared, and fairly under-napped as well, since Malachi just HAD to go get his light-saber rightthisminute and forgot she was asleep.  We went to an evening church service tonight. After church the kids ran around in vicious circles screaming and playing and knocking stuff over and sticking their hands in my water (Just, why?) until I was dun-dun-DONE and we left. Titust cried all the way home (poor, sleepy baby). When we got home and it was time to go inside, Naomi was dawdling and then turned around to look at the snail on the sidewalk.

There’s this awkward commercial (here it is) where the guy opens with, “Has anyone else been experiencing a snail infestation?” and I always yell, “Yes! ME!” because every time it rains we get tons of them all over our walkway. It was raining on the way home from church so when we got home – snails. Everywhere, snails.

Naomi: turns around
Jeremy: Naomi, don’t step on the snail!
Naomi: crunch
Me: Naomi! Daddy said no! You killed the snail! It was alive and now it’s dead.

Yes, I actually said that. I shouldn’t have – but I was mad and tired and stressed out and really, really ready for bedtime.  Naomi sauntered proudly into the house with quite the unfazed smirk on her face and I started the “Jackets off! Shoes off! Someone get the baby his paci!” routine when I looked up and noticed Malachi’s lip was quivering.

“What’s the matter, buddy.”

“I’m sad because Naomi stepped on the snail!”

And then he burst into tears.

You guys: this was heartbreaking. 99% of the time if my kids are crying it’s because they’ve been hurt or they’ve been punished. They are little, they haven’t experienced any kind of death yet, and it’s rare that true, genuine, innocent sadness happens. But here it was, sitting in my lap (barely fitting), crying on my shoulder because his sister killed the snail.  After a few minutes he asked me,

 

“But why did Nani kill it?”

“I’m not sure, buddy.”

At this point I notice that Naomi is staring out the window, refusing to look at Malachi and I, completely expressionless. It scares me a little how she can detach herself from things. I turn her face towards me.

“Naomi, you need to tell Malachi you’re sorry.”

Two big tears roll out of Naomi’s eyes, and she quivers, “I’m sorry, Malachi.”  I pull her into my arms and let her cry.

Me: “Naomi, I forgive you.  This is why Daddy told you no, and why you should listen when we say no. He was trying to save the snail and to save you from being sad about the snail.”

Malachi:  “But I’m sad Nani killed the snail.”

Me: “I know, buddy.  It’s sad when something dies.  But you know what?  Jesus tells us that every time a leaf falls, or a bird sings, or a snail dies, He sees it and He cares.  Because He made the world and He loves it.”

Malachi: “How will the snail get un-dead, Mama?”

Me: “Well, it won’t, buddy.  It’s dead now.  But it’s ok – there’s lots of other snails.  God made a lot of snails.”

Malachi: “But I want ALL of the snails to be alive!”

Me: “I know, buddy.  But if snails never died the whole world would be full of snails!  Sometimes animals die to make room for new animals.”

Malachi: “But if Jesus loves the snail, why did He let it die?”

Me: deep breath… “Well buddy, even when Jesus loves something, He still sometimes lets it die. Everything that is alive dies sometime.  Animals die.  People die one day.  Flowers die.  It’s how the world works.”

Malachi: “But isn’t Jesus really sad about the snail?  That Nani killed His snail He made?”

Me: “I’m sure Jesus is sad that the snail died.  But you know what?  He’s more sad that you are sad, and that you are sad, Nani.  He cares a lot more about you than about the snail.”

Malachi: “But how can Jesus love Nani if she was bad and killed the snail?”

Me: “Malachi, have you ever done something bad?”

Malachi: “Yes.”

Me: “And did I still love you?”

Malachi: “Yes.”

Me: “Well, Jesus loves us, even when we do something bad, he still loves us so, so, so, so much.  And Nani, just like I forgive you and Malachi forgives you, Jesus forgives you, too! And he wants you to be happy.”

Naomi: “But it was an accident, Mama.”

Me: “No, you didn’t step on him by accident. You stepped on him on purpose. But you probably didn’t mean to kill him, did you?”

Naomi: “No.”

Me: “Why did you step on him, Naomi?”

Naomi: “I wanted him to move out of the way.”

Me: “Well, next time why don’t you just step over the snails, ok?”

Naomi: “Ok.”

At this point both kids are in my lap, with one arm around me and one arm around each other, having completely forgiven but still sad.

Me: “You know what, guys? We don’t have to be sad anymore. One day when go to Heaven, nothing will ever die, and nothing will ever be sad! Because Jesus will be there.”

Malachi: “But what if there’s snails in Heaven and what if Nani steps on them there?”

Me: “Well, God won’t let that happen because sad things don’t happen there. And we can pray tonight that he will bring us a new snail friend tomorrow!”

Malachi: “But what if Nani steps on the snails tomorrow?!?!”

Me: “Are you going to step on them, Naomi?”

Naomi: “NO! I’m not.”

Me: “That’s good!  See, Malachi?  It’ll be ok.”

This whole time Jeremy was putting a crying, over-tired baby down for bed, so we finally went upstairs and got ready for bed. Naomi went potty all by herself without any prompting (this is HUGE) and that helped everyone feel happier and gave me a good reason to act (and be) super, super proud of her. We read our bedtime story with both kids cuddled up together in Naomi’s bed. When we prayed, we thanked Jesus for dying on the cross and rising again so we could live with Him forever. We asked him to take care of our snail in Heaven and send us a new snail friend. Malachi got a little teary again because that boy is MADE of sensitivity and Naomi got excited that she gets to put another sticker on the chart for going potty.  All ended well.

I know more things were said that I left out – something about the snail turning into dirt to grow food for new snails to eat (which Malachi quickly interpreted as cannabalism #backpedal). And most of what I said was directed at both kids equally – Naomi listened intently to Malachi’s questions and my answers.  Now I can hear them snoring through the monitors and hopefully soaking up all the sleep their bodies need.

For children, disobediance seldom leads to true remorse or repentance, but when her actions gave pain to those around her Naomi’s heart truly grieved over and repented of her sin.  If Malachi wasn’t so sensitive, the whole thing would have blown over.  If I wasn’t so stressed, they probably would never have known that the snail actually died. And even though it was sad, sitting on my living room carpet cuddling with my teary babies and talking gently about Heaven and forgiveness and the cycle of death and new life was such a gift.  He makes all things good.  He makes all things new.

Happy Easter.

 

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My best friend on my hip

When I was little there was a short span of time when the majority of my life was just my mom and me. I don’t have a lot of specific memories of that time, but I remember feeling happy and content. From the time I was very young until this very day I have considered my mom my best friend – truly my best friend in every sense of the word.

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I always wanted boys growing up – lots of boys. I think boys are easier, I play better with boys, I relate better to boys, their clothes are cuter, I had a lot of practice with my brothers, and I saw myself in Jo March. But despite all this little-boy-loving, I knew I wanted at least one girl, so we could be best friends.

I knew Naomi was a girl from the moment I found out I was pregnant, and before the ultrasound tech confirmed it I had already seen it on the screen. My pregnancy, like every pregnancy, was both painstakingly slow and surprisingly fast. Her due date was February 22 and on the 20th at 7:00 p.m. I started having very regular, mild, painless contractions and I went to bed early just in case. I woke up 10 hours later feeling immediate disappointment followed by an immediate painless contraction followed by immediate excitement. I sent my husband to work, straightened the house, spent extra time with Malachi, downloaded a contraction-tracking app, put my son down for a nap, mopped the floors, did some yoga, called the nurse to find out if I needed to go to the hospital for painless contractions that were only 2 minutes apart, felt like an idiot when I showed up wondering if I was in labor to find out I was 6 cm. dilated, and 2 hours later there was the most precious, most sweet baby girl you’ve ever seen.

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I was in shock at both how fast and how easy my labor was – and then I was in shock at how fast and how easy my second child was. Having a second child is so different from the first. Nursing came quickly and naturally. I recognized her different cries the first time I heard them. I watched a movie while still in the hospital with her because I didn’t have any problems and didn’t need the nurses. I laughed – laughed – when we drove away from the hospital with both our children crying buckets.

I also put her in the swing a lot, instead of carrying her around constantly. I had another child to tend to. I let her sleep in her crib instead of my arms so that I could play with her (very distraught) brother. I cuddled her and sang to her but we didn’t read as many stories or take as many pictures. I lived each moment because each was so precious and so fast – but I didn’t document as many of them. I was very content in this. Whereas Malachi’s first year felt like a series of highest highs and lowest lows, Naomi’s first year was steady, happy, and calm. Part of me hadn’t realized how very difficult it would be to get alone time with my new baby. She was happy, observant, cuddly, and sleepy. She was easy. I loved every minute with her, but those minutes flew by.

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Now there are times I’d like to play or read or go somewhere just the two of us, but it’s not always possible. Naomi doesn’t care – she sits on my hip and watches what I do. Follows her brother around from her perch in the Ergo on my chest. Follows me around clapping and bouncing from room to room. She’d rather play with my kitchen tools than toys, nap than go to story-time, and sit on my lap and look at iPod photos than read a book. She loves time with just Mommy but given the choice she almost always follows Malachi anyway. She tends to tag along with me on errands and follow me while I do grown-up things. It would be nice to have more “baby” time with her. But then I remembered that the friendship I developed with my mom was built on grocery-store trips, dinner prep, and me following her everywhere no matter how mundane it was. I would rather have helped her clean the bathroom than watch TV without her. We talk nonstop and have 4 conversations at once. We yell at each other and laugh 15 seconds later. We take one car when it’s inconvenient just so we can ride together.

Naomi loves to go with me to the grocery store. She follows me when I’m cleaning the house. She jabbers all the time and I jabber right back. We get on each others nerves and I think it’s hilarious. And even though I sometimes feel guilty when I throw her on my hip and bring her with me to the kitchen instead of going to her room with her to play, she always settles contentedly and smiles at me and I realize – this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

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Happy (belated) first birthday to my sweet baby doll. I love how adaptable and content you are. I love your silly giggle. I love how you scrunch up your nose and whine when you aren’t happy. I love the way you bounce up and down when Noddy comes on TV. I love your rolly-polly belly that pops out of your ever-creeping shirts. I love that you are still nursing. I love the way you say “Nigh-nigh” when you are tired. I love your head of hair. I love when you give me hugs. I love how you rush to the door when Daddy comes home. I love how you think it’s funny to suck on my finger. I love how you adore your brother. I love the way you sometimes yell for no reason. I love that you smile so big every time you sneeze. I love how you fake cough to get attention. I love the way you sleep. I love how tough you are. I love that you are a dare-devil. I love how much you eat. I love the way you grin when you put on hats. I just love you. And I always will.

102_4048Happy birthday.

 

Snow and Other S-Words

You can fill in the blanks on your own if you want, but snow and I have a hate-hate relationship. An inanimate substance can’t hate me, you say? Allow me to prove you wrong:

  1. Several years ago I wanted to have a cookie exchange party. I invited everyone. I designed my own invitations. I spent hours making earrings as party favors and put them in to hand-decorated bags that I also spent hours on. I made the dough. I laid everything out the night before. Then it snowed – a lot – and I had to reschedule.
  2. So I did. And on the rain date? 10 more inches. And yes, I cried like a disappointed toddler. I begrudgingly handed out the favors in person to everyone who had RSVPed and it took me two years before I finally had one again. Guess how many people came to that party? Eight. And I love them all (in case you are reading this) but guess how many of them actually brought cookie dough? Four.
  3. We have taken Malachi to the Christmas parade two years in a row. It’s one of our favorite Christmas traditions – we walk down the trail from our house, get hot chocolate on the way, and get back in time for bed. This year it snowed and they cancelled it.
  4. I started tutoring from my home this year to bring in a little extra cash. Out of 5 scheduled sessions we’ve had one so far.
  5. Since the start of the year Malachi should have gone to pre-school 12 times. He was sick two of those times. He went three times. Snow (or the threat thereof) cancelled SEVEN OTHER PRESCHOOL DAYS.
  6. Jeremy and I kindly found a babysitter for Thursday night so that we didn’t ask any of our friends to babysit on Valentine’s day. We made a reservation for one of the nicest, most expensive restaurants in town that I have been wanting to try for 5 or 6 YEARS. By Thursday morning we had 10 inches of snow and the restaurant was closed.
  7. Last week we had to reschedule my husband’s 30th birthday party because we all got sick. We rescheduled it to tomorrow. We cancelled today because of the snow.
  8. Our Valentine’s day gift from my MIL still isn’t here (I’m reaching, I know.)

I am the queen of the badittude, I realize, and I know I should be grateful that we have power and that they plowed our road and that we have heat and all that jazz and believe me, I am, but you better believe that I have been OBSESSED with planning our Myrtle Beach vacation all day even though we are something like 7 months out. And I’m a little bit smug that even though Malachi enjoyed making a snowman and playing in the snow for about 15 minutes yesterday, he is tapped out and asking me when we can go “swim watuh beach?” every day. Today he said, “I don’t wike it cold snow yucky” and I almost cheered but I held myself back with the sheer force of my bad mood.

Plus sides of being snowed in:

  1. Jeremy got two days off work.
  2. I keep forgetting it’s only Friday.
  3. I keep rolling over the same lesson plans so I can procrastinate planning ahead for yet another week.
  4. This:

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How We Met

Linking with Grace at Camp Patton.

Every time I try to remember exactly when Jeremy and I met I get really confused, which is kind of ridiculous – you’d think I could remember something like that.  But apparently I can’t, so I just spent the last 10 minutes exploring this ancient artifact blast-from-the-past and looking at old blogs like this one and old pictures like these and….wow.  That was all sooooooooo long ago and I don’t even know how to process it.  I might need to spend an hour or seven in the near future reacquainting myself with that Memory Lane.

Anyway, apparently we met sometime in 2003, which means that we have known each other for 10 years now. 10! Whole! Years!  And amazingly it feels like waaaay more than that because I was such a child then and since that time I’ve had 2 years of highschool and 3 and a half years of college and 1 graduation and 3 jobs and two houses and 1 husband and 2 kids and a whole lot of maturing.  Moving on.

When Jeremy and I first “met” I was at some kind of youth group shindig and he decided to join (why…? He was in college so….not sure) and my sister and I were watching him walk across the grassy lawn from a distance and our conversation went something like this:

B:  Who’s that?
A:  I don’t know.
B:  He’s kind of cute.
A:  Yeah. He has a really strong jaw line.

Behold:

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This is exactly how he looked when we met but I’ve remedied the haircut, don’t worry.

The only thing I really remember about that night was that I was sitting on a picnic table eating Cheetos and I kept sharing them with Jeremy because it was an excuse to talk/flirt with him and he was taking them from me because it was an excuse to eat free food.

I think we crossed paths in church a couple more times and then I went camping with a family from our church.  On the last day a bunch of people from the church rode up to the lake to have a cook-out with all the campers and Jeremy drove in his van with my sister and someone else insignificant.  Jeremy and I refer to that as The Honeysuckle Day because he and I spent a lot of time walking around picking honeysuckle.  Since he’s from Seattle he had never seen, smelled, or tasted honeysuckle so I schooled him.  We were on the way to his car to get some Tylenol because I had a headache (seriously?  I remember that detail but not what year we met?).  Later that evening Jeremy and I sat and came up with ridiculous excuses to keep sitting together and talking (me scrolling through all the music on his blackberry, him promising to e-mail it to me, me getting excited because that meant I would have his E-MAIL address) and I remember looking up and seeing my pastor who was also a close friend just smiling at us with this very knowing smile.  I would be remiss if I did not say that he had a profound influence on Jeremy and I’s actual getting together.

Thusly the e-mail relationship ensued, but right before that I had the PROFOUND revelation that Jeremy – THIS Jeremy who (luckily for him) I already had a “quiet crush” on as I so-journaled – was the same guy who completely grossed me out by cuddling during church movie night a little too much with his then-girlfriend who went on to hate me and then went on to lose because HAHA!  He’s MINEallmine! and no I will not apologize (though I did not steal him – let’s be clear – but I did keep him).  Once I got past the fact that this was the same guy, I pretty much fell in love and we proceeded to our own grossing-people-out.

Jeremy and I e-mailed and IM-ed a LOT.  My parents also have always taken in “strays” as they call them and Jeremy ended up spending a whole lot of time at our house eating and sleeping and doing homework and eating and doing laundry and sleeping and eating.  And also falling in love with me.

This post could get real long real fast so let me skip on ahead about three years.

Before Jeremy and I ever started dating we broke up.  Yes, you read that right.  I prayed about our relationship a lot and really felt that God was saying “no.”  It was very sad and quite a defining moment for us but it was also probably the best thing that ever happened to us because we took the next four months of hardly talking and always crying and fasting and praying to really  individually figure out who we were and where we stood with God.

Gradually we started re-connecting and four months later I was starting college and he was my lifeline.  He helped me register for classes, find a good dorm, figure out the dining hall, learn how and where to park, and in general he was my sanity and my best friend those first crazy-long, crazy-hard (and in retrospect crazy-short) few months of school.  We both realized that we didn’t know how to be friends without being in love and we were both praying on our own about the future of our relationship.  I read the same verse twice in one day and truly felt the Spirit confirming that now was the time for us to get together.  Literally, the next day, he asked me out.  And boy was he romantic – there was a poem and flowers and candy and a whole lot of awkwardness and it was perfect.

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Jeremy proceeded to celebrate every Valentine’s day in a way that made every single girl on campus jealous (not exaggerating).  Summer after junior year he proposed in an airplane flying over a field where he had written out “Allie, Will you marry me?”  Summer after graduation we got married.  He is the only man I’ve ever kissed.  He’s the father of my children.  He’s my provider, encourager, prayer-warrior, grass-cutter, dog-walker, massage-giver, laugh partner, shoulder to cry on, hand to hold, and my best friend.

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And THAT little novella is how we met, but if you want to hear the 79832759832977659832 details I left out, come ask me in person.

7 Quick Takes Seattle Edition

2 weeks passed and did anybody miss me?  I hope so.  I missed me!  I really thought I’d write one more post before we left (nope), a couple while I was there (nope), and one right after we got back (n-to-the-ope).  I still haven’t finished unpacking and I don’t really have time for this, but has that ever stopped me before?

WARNING: picture overload follows

  1. Day 1, Tuesday  We woke Malachi up at what felt to him like 1:30 in the morning, drove to the airport, got through check in and security where he thought it was FUNNY to put his lovey through the x-ray machine (miracle right there), bought breakfast, boarded the plane, and waited for Malachi to fall back to sleep.
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    And waited.
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    And eventually we just gave up.  But, he stayed happy and never melted down and did manage to take a one-hour nap, so there’s that.  Naomi stayed happy as well.
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    All was nice and well and good until we landed in Seatlle and I kid you not: EVERY (actually all but one but it feels more dramatic to say every so) EVERY elevator was out of service.  It took us 40 minutes just to get down to baggage claim.  But it’s alright.  We got there, nursed, napped, visited, and crashed.
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  2. Day 2, Wednesday  Malachi’s dreams came true and we went to the zoo where we got to see real-life bloop-bloops, grr-grrs, oo-oos, and woo-oooooos.  He also gave himself a hug and got to go down a really big SAH-eed.
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    Then we went to Great Grandma’s house where Naomi got to meet her for the first time and Malachi enjoyed napping, producing the biggest poop-bomb ever in his history, and singing and dancing to every song he knew.
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  3. Day 3, Thursday  <—(Apparently WordPress didn’t pass elementary school because it told me I spelled Wednesday and Thursday wrong.)  Thursday we went to the Seattle Center where Malachi rocked out the children’s museum and the international fountain.  He was really, really into cleaning up the trash at the fountain and his favorite part of the museum was grocery shopping so maybe he needs to get out more?  Who knows.
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    Later that day we went to see Aunt Becca and Malachi played on a playground for the second time that week.  By the end of the week he had played on a playground 5 days out of 7 – go Seattle!
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  4. Day 4, Friday  Friday we got to drive north a bit and visit Jeremy’s best friend and family.  They have an incredible story that you should check out.  It was so, so good to finally get to spend some time with them!  Jana and I are planning to marry off Naomi and Cohen so stay tuned for the latest developments.
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    First we went to an indoor jungle playground which was fun, and then we went to an awesome park.  It was designed so that Malachi could do the whole thing by himself and we didn’t have to constantly supervise.
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    Danny and Jana also brought cupcakes.  The boys hated it, as you can see.
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  5. Day 5, Saturday Saturday was awesome because Jeremy and I went on a date to celebrate our fifth anniversary.  And not just any date – a half-day date.  Round of applause.  We went to the Ballard Locks which were super awesome on their own and made awesomer by the presence of jumping, barking seals.  We went to Kerry Park and got a great view of the city.  We went out to eat at a place that I loved and Jeremy thought was “fine” (story of his life).  We walked around downtown and talked and explored and laughed about almost running out of gas and had a great time.  I love him.
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  6. Day 6 – Sunday  Sunday was church and then a big family party.  Malachi had fun playing with all the wonderful toys that Grandma had gotten for him.  He also loved following around his cousins.  Naomi also enjoyed all the people and family.  She stayed up about 5 hours past her normal bedtime.  Great-grandma held her and sang to her for a while and it was so sweet that I teared up.
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  7. Day 7/8, Monday/Tuesday  Monday morning we just hung out around the house, packed, weighed everything because we really did bring 100 pounds of stuff to Seattle with us, and tried to avoid thinking about how sad it was that the week was ALREADY over and that we were leaving.  I’m always sad to leave Seattle but this was definitely the worst for me.  I wish it wasn’t so far and that Jeremy’s parents could see their grandkids way more often.
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    But at least we had another angelic plane flight to look forward to.  I really was hoping it would go as well as last time.  Let’s just say that Naomi screamed through an entire flight and layover, the only available food options in our budget for dinner was Burger King, and Malachi got a whopping 3 hours of sleep that night.
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    Then we drove home from NC where Jeremy and I switched off driving three times to stay awake and then my heroic/crazy husband actually did a half day’s work on 30 minutes of sleep.  He did make an important declaration though.  “That McDonald’s frappuccino really helped so the next time I’m tired all we need to do is get one of those.”  Duly noted.
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    This was neither 7 nor quick so thanks for tuning in to my “takes.”  Go see Jen for more awesomeness.

Once there was a girl who dreamed of being a mother.

Once upon a time there was a girl who dreamed of being a mother.  She would rather spend hours holding a baby than hanging out with friends.  She adored her little brothers and dreamed of having boys of her own one day.  She identified with Jo from Little Men and was comfortable taking care of newborns by the time she was 15.  Once when she was a freshman in college she was playing with a toddler.  One of her friends said “That’s a mom,” and she considered it one of the best complements she ever received.

She got married at 21.  She and her husband wanted to wait a while to have kids.  She was ready earlier than the agreed-upon date but waited nonetheless.  One day her husband told her that another friend was pregnant, and she burst into tears.  It was time.

Several months and 6 pregnancy tests later, she sat in her bathroom and laughed and cried at the same time.  For the next two months she was both ecstatic that a life was growing inside her and terrified that something would happen to it.  When the blessed first trimester was over she gleefully told the world.

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When she found out she was having a boy it felt like all her dreams had come true.  She was wrong.  The day he was born was when all her dreams came true.  Life with him was everything and life before him, though precious, seemed like a distant memory.

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Every day that felt like a year waiting for him was nothing compared to the weeks that passed like seconds now that he was born.  She soaked in every one.  For the first few months she never put him down, held him while he slept, cried when he cried, woke when he uttered the slightest sound, and found herself completely incapable of “taking a break” and relaxing even when someone else held him, took him outside, or fed him.  She dressed him in the cutest of outfits, took hundreds of pictures of his feet, squealed when he first smiled, bit her lip and held it together when he got shots, texted the world when he said his first word, played with him, prayed for him, and loved him.

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Then she blinked, and he was two.

Dear baby boy,

I love you because you love to be tickled and wiggle your own finger whenever I stop tickling you.  I love you because you excitedly announce “Dada!” whenever someone comes to the door.  I love you because you love to brush your teeth.  I love you because you insist on putting mousse in your hair whenever I do my own.  I love you because you say “Bye bye baa-baa” when we leave the farm and “Bye bye water!” when you have to come in from the rain.  I love you because you make your stuffed animals act out your songs.  I love you because you eat all manner of vegetables and fruits.  I love you because you love to say prayers.  I love you because you take a deep breath to calm down when you are in trouble.  I love you because you think buckets, laundry baskets, and storage cubes are hats.  I love you because you love to dance and clap to music.  I love you because you say “uh-oh” whenever Naomi is crying and bring me every pacifier you can find.  I love you because you say “ha-ha-ha-haaaa” whenever you are proud of yourself.  I love you because sometimes when you are bad you are so cute and funny that I have to leave the room and laugh after I put you in time out.  I love you because you love to go to Arby’s with me.  I love you because I prayed for you.  I love you because I waited for you.  I love you because you can break and mend my heart at the same time.  I love you because you forgive me.  I love you because you love me.  I love you because you are mine.

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[Insert Title Here]

I love to write.  I used to write poetry all the time.  I have about 10 notebooks full of poetry upstairs somewhere.  Sometimes I love to sit and read my past.  Sometimes I’m too afraid to open the cover.  Some of those poems bring back memories so strong I can taste it.  Not just memories of what was happening, but memories of what I was feeling.  That’s the difference between a journal entry and a poem – every poem I’ve written is a piece of my heart.

I haven’t written much poetry in the last 10 or so years.  It saddens me, because I love to write.  I guess the good thing about growing up and “settling down” is that there aren’t so many earth-shattering events and emotions to inspire me.  The emotions I have now are so much less violent, but also so much deeper.  I want to write poetry again, but I’m not even sure where to start.

About a year ago, however, I had a brief flash of “Write it down, write it down NOW!” that any poet could tell you they would understand.  But I always get stuck on titles.  So, if you have a suggestion on a title, leave it below.  I may or may not use it.  =)

Nostalgia is a dangerous game:
The seed of comparison that breeds discontent
Clinging to the heat of a dying flame,
a broken heart wonders where the pieces went

When what was is no longer, hope finds itself
dreaming instead of what could have been
Seeing the road to a deep, empty well
as a path untaken and Heaven-sent

Yet clear, true memory of a former time
is the anchor to hold to when doubting the now
The past should be hope, should be strength, should be life
Not an alter of memory on which to bow

Past futures are over, old seasons are gone
The moments once dreamed of are passing too fast
But what seems to have perished does, in us, live on
The future is shaped by the days we’ve amassed

And when tears and regrets, both of truth and of wish
threaten to bruise and to bloody the soul
One truth everlasting, despite all that’s missed
Says the future is promise, waiting and whole