At the grocery store, my children enjoy helping me load the belt at check out. They also load the bulging bags back into the silver cart for the stroll to the van.
The middle-aged clerk commented, "You sure have a lot of nice helpers today."
"Yes," I beamed the proud mommy grin, "I have a the best helpers in the world."
She seemed a tad confused by the compliment. Maybe moms aren't supposed to brag on their own children, or maybe it's that we aren't even supposed to like our own children. She furrowed her brow, "Are they yours?"
I gave the simple, "Yes" but I could feel it coming. It happens all the time.
She suspiciously eyed my brood more closely. Our family could enter the Sesame Street "one of things is not like the other, one of these things just doesn't belong, can you guess which thing is not like the others, before we finish this song" contest. And we'd win. One boy does more than tan in the summer sun- he practically glows an unmistakable bronze. All my other children blaze a sunburned red smeared over Lilly white when sunscreen is not applied.
Anyhow, the clerk proceeded, "Are they all yours?"
"Yes, all mine." I proclaim with a gratuitous smile. But I know what she's thinking. It became obvious as she was no longer friendly to my sweet helpers or me.
With strangers there is always the painful scrutiny that I'm probably one of those loose women who has multiple baby daddies, and one man was the wrong color. Or maybe they are thinking something worse about my "poor" children. There's no comfortable way to stop the scorn. While we are proud to be adoptive parents, pointing out his birth circumstances to complete strangers wouldn't bless my son.
I wouldn't trade my life for the world, but I'd like to change the world. For the better. I just so happen to believe change begins with me, so I concluded my grocery store experience with the most sincerity I could muster, "I hope you have a great day. And thank you for your help."
I never been in a carnival before. I've just gone to one and wildly whirled around in the leg of a black octopus ride. So it's a very exciting day as I can say for the first time, I'm in the Carnival of Blogging Chicks. So what if I never found an acceptable prom date, and I didn't win homecoming queen- I'm a high tech queen of my own blog.
And Thank you Michele for the hyperlink advice. It worked!
Birthday cake. Abundance of fresh flowers. Boatload of children. Hilarious conversation. Chinese paper lanterns. White bird house churches. Tulle. Watering cans. Ribbons. Brightly colored birthday plates, cups, napkins. Electric yellow table cloths. Oriental fans and parasols. Presents. An assortment of very yummy desserts. Mini vans galore. Smiles. Prayer.
And of course, garden quotes.
There can be no other occupation like gardening in which, if you were to creep up behind someone at their work, you would find them smiling. ~Mirabel Osler The best place to seek God is in a garden. You can dig for him there. ~George Bernard Shaw, The Adventures of the Black Girl in Her Search for God, 1932 In gardens, beauty is a by-product. The main business is sex and death. ~Sam Llewelyn God made rainy days so gardeners could get the housework done. ~Author Unknown Gardens are a form of autobiography. ~Sydney Eddison, Horticulture magazine, August/September 1993 One of the most delightful things about a garden is the anticipation it provides. ~W.E. Johns, The Passing Show Many things grow in the garden that were never sown there. ~Thomas Fuller, Gnomologia, 1732
"One went to the door of the Beloved and knocked. A voice asked, 'Who is there?' He answered, 'It is I.' The voice said, 'There is no room for Me and Thee.' The door was shut.
After a year of solitude and deprivation he returned and knocked.
A voice from within asked, 'Who is there?' The man said, 'It is Thee.' The door was opened for him."
-- Jelaluddin Rumi
The poet Rumi apparently doesn't mind waiting. For a year. I, on the other hand, am not quite so wise. I've been wondering why the printer hasn't come up with an estimate on my project after three weeks of waiting. I called yesterday ready to go pick up my things from them and find another company with a little more zip and an interest in the printing business.
The co-owner wife of the shop came to the phone and was all apology, "My husband, who was just putting your estimate together after going over those last details with you last week, was in a freak accident. A tree fell on him and he hasn't able to move until yesterday. I knew I should call you, but I've also needed to care for him."
I think I can wait some more. And be thankful for all the moving I've been able to do for the past seven days. Walking through the kitchen. Racing my children at swim team. Running in the park. Shopping for groceries. Strolling through my garden picking flowers and fruit.
My impatience does not become me. Everyday is a gift.
I'm not whining and would despise pity when I say I don't know my dad. I simply don't know him. And it's not that I'm not welcome in his home. I could make the four hour drive; I know the way. He and his wife, Lou, would politely invite me into their split level living room to sit on the comfy couch, offer me a coke, and Lou would talk about the weather and the latest news on television. She might even mention my half brother and sister whom I wouldn't recognize standing behind me in the Kroger buying United Dairy Farmers icecream. I think I held my brother as a newborn, but he's probably changed- a whole lot since infancy.
The last time I visited my dad's house was in the sixth grade, long before I could drive. Is it just that I'm out of the habit of dropping by?
The whole painful F.D. ordeal begins for me early in the week the moment I stand in Target to make my Father's Day card selections. It's a cake walk to pick a card for Uncle Laughter, my mother's husband, my father-in-law, and my husband. I enjoy friendship with these charming men. On the other hand, I can never find the right card for my dad, so I never buy one. Does that make me a horrible person? How could I possibly buy a dad card for someone I don't have a clue about? When I sit near him in my sister's kitchen or at a funeral every five years or so, he's silent and sullen. Tips from Carnegie's How to Win Friends and Influence People don't work with him.
Why is that I can hang with my quiet cousin Nadine in a constant vegetative state more easily than my dad? One difference is that I can tenderly touch Nadine.
Before Buck and I had children, I avoided Father's Day altogether. When the sun rose, I'd pull the covers over my head. After getting out of bed, I'd keep busy all day to escape nagging thoughts. Oh, and I'd make an appointment with my therapist on the following Monday well in advance.
On the other hand, my husband has the most intimate of daddy relationships with our children. Buck plays and works with the boys. He spoils his daughter endlessly. His great admiration for his little people is evident in the visible sparkle in his eyes. His life centers and winds around his children and myself like lush green ivy on a professor's brick house. How could I be so lucky? So blessed?
And I see that same twinkle in Buck's father's eyes for his son, our children, and even me.
Most importantly, my heavenly Father's eyes shines brightly over me. I have all I need. In fact, I have need to celebrate this holiday.
However, even with all I need, Father's Day haunts me like an Dicken's apparition reminding me of something mournfully unresolved. There's still time, but without a starting point beyond prayer, I'm at a loss. I wonder how much longer?
Here’s where I run into trouble. I fall down. I blow it.
The charitable assumption- thinking the best of someone when motives are unknown.
If I got it right, I wouldn’t blog about it every other week.
Even our American justice system operates on "innocent unless proven guilty". But not me. My thoughts are sometimes a horror to me. When I disagree with someone, I think a sarcastic “Right” or a condescending “You’re certainly not perfect. Look at the way you deal with…” Or worse, “I, the perfect one, would never do that.”
The good news is that I have learned to keep my critical thoughts to myself mostly, unless you ask my husband who actually hears far too many. It is one of my deepest sorrows that one the I love most gets my worst.
During my morning reading I came across these profound words:
“But refuse foolish and ignorant speculations, knowing that they produce quarrels. The Lord’s bond-servant must not be quarrelsome, but be kind to all, able to teach, patient when wronged.”
The sentences were sweet balm to my guilty soul, because they gave me fresh strength, fresh like biting into an crimson apple plucked straight from an orchard in September, to fight my uncharitable thoughts. I don’t want quarrels; I am much more interested in kindness. I want more than most anything to be an excellent teacher, and absolutely nothing is wrong with patience.
Most everyday I get a visual demonstration of quarrels due to untrained hearts in my children- “He ALWAYS…” “He NEVER…” “She’s such a bother!” My children are full of foolish speculation shared out loud for all to hear. Maybe your children do not quarrel, but mine have their fair share of arguments. I do not know a human on earth who naturally gives the benefit of the doubt, so I believe it is a learned skill wrapped up in forgiveness and the hard work of setting things right. Am I wrong about this?
With inspiration from these words, I just may give pause to my negative thoughts. I’m more aware of consequences. If given a foothold, harshness would only lead to a hard heart. A hard heart would drive me to internal quarrel discounting the words of the person I disdained. In turn, I’d become the very person I scorn.
My prayer again for today is for sensitivity to the humanity within my fellow man and woman- that I may make the charitable assumption.
Wise One came into my room a few minutes ago wearing gigantic grin and oversized snow pants over his legs with the bib rolled over his belly button. Folks, it's June and 90 degrees outside here in TN. "Mom, what do I look like?" he inquired.
Inside my brain I thought, " A Goober" but managed to keep the comment to myself.
"Are you supposed to be a character?" I smiled a bit disingenuously.
"Yep. Guess who I am." He proceeded to stiffen his arms and legs and walk about my room like Frankenstein. He added"Zurrp, Zurrp" to each step for sound effects while pushing invisible buttons on his tummy.
I nodded and answered in my very best British accent, "Must be the wrong trousers, buddy."
After four years of my boys on swim team, I'm becoming a stroke and turn judge. While it's all very interesting to put into practice all I've learned over the fours years, I figured out something not taught at the stroke and turn clinics- During close scoring meets, judges are unfairly scrutinized, criticized, and are subject to ugly comments.
Tonight I worried a disgruntled coach lay in waiting to jump out at me and claw my eyes out in the parking lot after our team suprisingly pulled off a slim victory after getting out tail kicked to Australia and back last year by the same team.
Next week, I think I'll bring a change of clothing, a wig, and dark sunglasses to wear to my car on the way home in the unlikely event of another win.
Blogger Friend (possibly imaginary): What did you do yesterday, True?
True: I had the amazing and awesome privilege of watching a beautiful baby be born into this world.
Blogger Friend: Are you some kind of nurse?
True: The medical profession doesn't allow people with such pea brains to be responsible for the lives of others.
Blogger Friend: How is it that you attended a birth?
True: Svetlana, my lab partner from seventh grade IPS class invited me though I insisted I had no known skills to offer whatsoever in the area of birthing.
Blogger Friend: How did it go?
True: Though she claims she'll never have another child, she's really good at it. A natural. Honestly, she made it look relatively easy.
Blogger Friend: Tell us about the baby.
True: She is possibly the most beautiful newborn on the planet at this time. Perfect head, nose, toes, fingers. She weighs 7 pounds and 3 ounces. She favors her big sister, Anna. Her real name is incredibly lovely, but for the purposes of the blog, we'll call her Lienna. I haven't had the opportunity to stare deeply into her eyes to get some answers to the secret of life yet, because she's sensitive light just and had to squint after emerging from her dark and peaceful womb home.
Blogger Friend: What precaution did Svetlana take to ensure the hospital staff treated her with dignity?
True: Svetlana cleverly covered her embarrasing thigh tattoo with bandaids, and when the nurse kept asking about what could it could possibly be, Svet, Barysnikov and I shook our heads in silent solidarity.
Blogger Friend: Even in labor did Svet bring you to your knees crying in laughter?
True: Of course. She cracked jokes like a whip in between labor agony. I especially liked how she kept returning to a conversation about ants in her shed as a distraction from suffering.
Blogger Friend: What did Svet want as a celebration dinner after two days of excruciating labor?
True: What else? Spicy HOT beef chinese dinner. Isn't that what every woman wants?
Blogger Friend: How did her husband hold up through it all?
True: Barysnikov is truly a good man through and through, so the answer is obvious. He could not have possibly been a better support or more tender with his wife.
Blogger Friend: True, do you have any final words?
True: Thank you Svet and Bary for the unearned honor sharing this matchless moment with you. And thank you to Lienna for the years of joy to come as I watch you grow.
My mind is set on you today. It's not that I need you; it's that I miss you terribly, fiercely. If you sat on your flower covered porch feeding the squirrels from your dappled hands this evening, I swear I'd get in my car and drive to you; just to hear you say, "We-ell" followed by a sweet "ha, cu, cu, cu" laugh. And that smile; it just doesn't leave your face unless you stare off in the distance toward the bark of a strange dog.
I picture your jet black hair unrolled in waves all coming together in a hidden barrette close to the nape of your pale white neck. I can't understand why, but I don't smell the stale odor of cigarettes on you, but more a somewhat mossy body smell overshadowed by Jergens hand lotion. You pat my knee now and then describing the terrible storm which blew your bird feeder clear out of the tree. You make a dinner, so simple and delicious from white flour, salt , pepper, eggs, chicken, broth, and meaty scarlet tomatoes. You serve it on the same Formica plates with wheat stalks and flowers painted under the plastic. Chocolate pie for dessert.
You say to me as you cradle Peace in gently in your arms, "This baby smells so good. So clean. Not sour. You take such good care of your child." Later you dispense advice involving beer as a cure all for breastfeeding problems.
I miss sitting and watching the artistry of your simple and plain days. Observing while you work, wash dishes, cook, sit, scrub, sew, fold laundry, smoke, fix your hair, apply your makeup. Call me nuts, but I as a child, I was always intrigued when you pulled out hairs from your chin with tweezers in that magnified mirror in the early morning hours.
What's that soap opera you had to see everyday which you referred to as your "stories"?
When I wake up to the house and my bed quaking and the train whistle, you say, "Well, sleepyhead. It's nearly 8:00am. I wondered if you'd stay in bed all day."
And I so miss the way your bird feeder connected to a string from your kitchen windowsill to shake off "fat old bluejays" and squirrels so the little birds would have a chance at breakfast.
How can I love you more than ever when you've been gone for so long? You wouldn't be on your porch glider watching cars go by if I made my way to Berea now; I could only visit your gravestone. And that is not what I want to think of.
So I listen to the lyrics of the song over and over again which have brought you so close to me this moment.
At the wide open vista A the wide open sweet someday Climbing over the ridge top To finally see the view That none of us ever have known Crossing over to home In the vista Home David Wilcox
I don't wish for death, but I want to be near you. I want to be home with you again. Not to do anything, but just to be for a time. I feel impatient for us all to be Home together. I want you to know my children. I want them to make pictures for you and have you coo over what fine people they are. I want my mother to be able to ask those questions she never got to ask of you. I want to hear about your covered wagon ride to Florida too. I'd like to cook one meal for you, because I never got to. I'd like to ride the chair lift next to you to the top of the Great Smoky Mountains and have our picture made together.
So, what can I do except keep listening to that song considering your wide open vista? You gave me a love stronger than death. Do you see?
Please, if you have any inclination to come visit me, now is the time to do so.
My. House. Is. Clean.
As I mentioned before Buck has invited two complete strangers (should be just fine as he met on them on internet) to stay with us,for the weekend, and I found myself compulsively scrubbing today. You can actually walk across our kitchen floor without sticking to it. The refrigerator is mostly white again. I even put new towels, throw rugs, and shower curtain in the bathroom.
I'm fairly certain that tommorrow, despite all the scouring and swabbing I accomplished in the four-boy-one-man bathroom today- the not so pleasant hint of urine will be back again by 8:00am in the morning. No way around it as those males marking their territory willy nilly with all those willies.
And I decided it is not mopping I hate; mopping is simple. It's all the scrubbing next to the nasty baseboards beforehand.
The sad part of all this cleaning, is that there is no ball for me tonight- just a morning swim practice evening swim meet for the children.
Where is my handsome prince?
Oh, yeah. He's headed to his songwriter's conference while I keep the children. Don't tell Buck, but the kids and I are going to have FUN without him somehow. I'll just sigh alot on the phone when he calls to check in, so he thinks we are all terribly bored without him.
So glad you asked. My gardens of flowers and vegetables have never been so well loved and well used as this summer. Since this is my third year of gardening, I know more of what I'm doing than ever before.
In my former suburban and city life, I may have planted spices, never cared for them, and certainly didn't know how to cook with them. This summer, since I've learned to grow and care for them, I've begun to choose recipes which require the herbs I've grown. I even bundled a few up and hung them from the pot rack today to dry for future use.
My tall zinnias are just about to open with first blooms, but I picked six of adorable dwarf zinnas today and put them in a tiny bottle on the stove. At this moment, the Snowball bushes produces the best flowers growing to place on my kitchen table and around the house. I learned last summer that bouquets always look best with three sprigs rosemary or cat mint poking out the sides. I picked three pink roses and deadhead the rose bush for the first time this year.
I picked two baby zucchini squashes and a few lettuce leaves for late lunch/ early supper. All four children swim on a swim team in the evening, so I try to feed them mid afternoon and a snack after practice at 8:30 or 9:00.
I've fallen back in love with my wheat grinder and am baking bread, muffins, sweet rolls alongside the early veggies from my garden. Sometimes, when I hate my wheat grinder for all its mess, it sits under my sink sulking and weeping for company to come over so I'll make bread again.
Already the children have asked when the sugar snap peas which keep appearing on their plates will be finished growing. Today I noticed no buds on the sugar snap vines, so very soon they'll be moaning over too much zucchini.
This afternoon Peace and I made from artichoke hearts and fresh basil (from my plants) red sauce over pasta. When I'm not homeschooling, suddenly I'm the kind of mother I want to be. When a slightly annoyed Peace asked me"Exactly how long is dinner going to take?" My good mommy reply? In a steady, kind voice "Sooner if you help me. Grab the mushrooms and chop them." When I'm homeschooling or busy otherwise, I find myself snapping onery replies like, "Dinner will be done when it's done. If I had any help around here...blah, blah, blah." Summer can feel so relaxing. There are times I wish was a relaxed homeschooler, but academics concern me too much.
My husband has invited overnight guests from CSO (Buck's Christian Songwriter's Organization) whom we've never met will appear Thursday, so I should get to work less outside farm and more on neglected inside of my home.
While at the gym this morning, I noticed the crazy eye thing. The eye thing where everything I looked at I could see the jagged curve of a star superimposed over muscle men, the door to the tanning bed, tread mills, leg press, leg extension machine, etc.
I knew what was comin', so being the praying kind, I threw emergency flares up to God. God I'm an not good at this, so if You wouldn't mind, like the last two times, could you please fix me before it all starts?
I finished up my workout quickly and drove home. There's always a window between the lightning eye and agony. I decided against whining to Buck prematurely which I later regretted. He drove off to get Wise One a desperately needed haircut leaving me with the other three children while I prepared a fantastic enchiladas recipe Svetlana had given me. I was so very hungry until it came time to fill the tortillas. A wave of nausea poured over me like gravy on warm mashed potatoes- guess it was coming afterall. I showed Tator how to wet and warm the tortillas, fill them, and lay them in the tray hoping I could keep down the breakfast waffle and the three pounds of water I'd sucked in at the gym. "Can. You. Finish. Tator? I've got to call Daddy." I grabbed the phone, and instead of hearing my beloved's voice, I heard his ring tone in another room. Rats. He'd left his phone on the bathroom counter. That's precisely when I felt a lead ball behind my left eye pounding about inside my brain like a pinball machine popping and flashing. "Tator. I. Am. So. Sick. I have to lay down right now. Listen for the timer, and please take the enchiladas out when you hear it go off. And most of all. Be. Quiet."
This was the first day ever the neighbors let their cows into the field next to our house. Their nervous "where am I?" moos sounded as if the cows were in the bed with their wet noses right up to my ear amplified on setting 11. The security "beep, beep" of the door opening and closing, a noise I rarely notice, sounded like I was on top of a blaring foghorn in Wuthering Heights just before daybreak. I threw some tylenol down my throat and laid down on my bed. I pulled covers over me as chill bumps formed on my newly freezing body. The migraine consumed me. All I could do, was pray for sleep. Mercifully, Buck drove up and I begged him to stop all the noise in the universe, so the pounding in my head wouldn't be so pronounced.
I'm not sure how long it took for sleep to come, because one minute of the agony seemed like a thousand, so it was true mercy when disconnected dreams finally carried me away from the thunder strikes behind my left eye. I woke up to a severely drooled on pillow for a moment, enough time to know it wasn't over yet, and entered that Alice in Wonderland dreamworld again. The second time I woke up, the severity had significantly reduced to a dull ache. I still have the dull ache tonight, but I'm grateful that's all it is.
I believe I've had four other migraines before' that's why I anticipated the unforgettable event. My first was in college during an exam- I noticed the words on the page kept jumping around while I studied and then the nausea and brain squashing hit just as I filled in test answers.
Another time I remember a migraine when Tator was an infant and Peace was a toddler. Sleep depravity played a role then and today. My sleep patterns were disrupted by my recent vacation and then bronchitis which made slumber seem unachievable last week.
So it's off to bed. Apparently I have some catching up to do.
And next time, I going to hire a stunt double to do my next migraine for me.
I didn't know David Wilcox's intensity, crazy mad laugh, and profound poetry set to gifted guitar strumming would set me on a rather dark path I'd not journeyed for ten years. After all, I've never listened to any of his tunes before this evening; I'd only read some thoughtful lyrics over at Thicket Dweller's blog http://todayslesson.blogspot.com some time ago. Of course and as far as I know, David nor I had any idea that Bluebird would also attend his concert, and that the combination of his piercing musical questions and her presence would turn my mind toward unvisited deep shadows.
Bluebird is an utterly lovely woman I with whom I used to share friendship. Nita, another dear friend from that time, Bluebird and I chased three wild toddler boys together in a closely knit community. I remember Bluebird cracking me up with her quick wit explaining, "You have my completely DIVIDED attention" once when we were trying to speak in a hallway as her son dashed precariously toward a set of stairs.
Bluebird adopted her first son and encouraged us in our own adoption process. We waited with great joy and anticipation for her second son, a long awaited birth son to come after ten long years of infertility. Nita, our toddler sons and I visited Bluebird and her pink, healthy, beautiful bouncing baby boy, Michael, at the hospital a day or so after he was born. Buck and I may have taken a meal to their home in the busy weeks that followed as they settled into a new life with a toddler and an infant.
A few weeks later, Nita called me to let me know Bluebird had taken a tiny sick Michael to Children's Hospital. RSV. Nita and I didn't want risk adding further germs by visiting the hospital, and like all mothers who feel helpless and desperate to "do something", Nita and I asked permission to clean Bluebird's house. We madly scrubbed kitchen floors and cleaned toilets deeply concerned for the new boy's life. My heart ached terribly when I ran across a storehouse of milk I knew he wasn't able to take in. The day we cleaned, things had turned very serious for the newborn. In fact, we did end up going to the hospital, but not to visit; Nita and I proceeded to quietly pray in the waiting room. While we were there, sorrow of all sorrow, almost unspeakable so I'll whisper it to you now- Michael died in his mother's arms.
Bluebird had been told Nita and I were in the waiting room, and she asked to see us one at a time. I've never openly talked about this before, but now I somehow feel it important to share my journey after ten years of silence. When I entered the room with Bluebird and Michael, I didn't speak as I had no words. I carefully held back tears so as not to have Bluebird focus on my needs. I don't remember all her words, but she asked me to hold Michael one last time. She explained, the nurses had put a heating pad in his swaddling blanket, so we wouldn't notice as he lost his body temperature. My heart breaks, no explodes again at this moment thinking of taking that lifeless precious treasure in my arms and stroking his perfect little sweet pea face. "He's so beautiful, Bluebird. He's just so beautiful" I remember thinking, perhaps even aloud.
A few days later, Nita and I clung to each other during his funeral services where both Bluebird and her husband spoke, yes eloquently about their faith and the One guiding them through the valley of the shadow of death while my eyes stared at the swaddling blanket inconspicuously draped over Bluebird's empty arms beside a tiny coffin.
A month or so later, Buck and I received the wide chocolate eyed newborn boy, Tator, who would become our adopted son after a few years of foster care in our home.
As David Wilcox wove song tales this evening, I revisited the circumstances of these two births. Michael, welcomed into this world, arms flung wide open by family and friends; Tator born without notice to a drug using runaway fourteen year old girl in foster care, Hannah. Baby daddy was nowhere. Hannah's birthmother and man rejected biracial origins from the word "go". Hannah's foster care worker mentioned something along the lines of"I've never seen a more emotional disconnected mother in my life." ( I'd like to also mention here that this changed drastically to deep bonds and intertwined hearts with lots of unconditional love poured into this dear girl from Tator, Buck, and myself over the next two years.)
I questioned God ten years ago and again tonight.
Why? Why? Why?
Why take Michael? Why allow Tator to be born under such difficult circumstances? Why did I get the opportunity to raise a child of the same age while Bluebird mourns? I didn't want to be the one given new life, if Bluebird lost hers. It didn't seem fair for me to be handed such incredible blessing, while Bluebird's blessing faded from natural sight. God WHO are you, and what are You up to exactly?
Why did I get to drag around a car seat and proudly display a gorgeous baby? Why did I get to watch his second first steps (Buck beat me to viewing his first steps at a birthday party across the street)? Why was I allowed to push a perfectly healthy boy in a swing? Why did I get to unlock the secrets of reading with a curious boy? What was so special about me that I get to watch him fall more in love with his guitar everyday? What on earth am I doing raising a fine ten year old boy whose sixth tooth fell out tonight?
Where is Michael now? Is he ten there? Does he carry a slingshot? Does he conceal a live turtle hidden in the folds of his summer shorts? Could he also somehow be with us tonight? Who watches over him where You are? Or are You really enough?
When Tator met Bluebird for the first time in his memory tonight, he had no way of knowing these thoughts and questions swirled like a tornado in my head. Bluebird had graciously bowed out of our friendship when Tator was a baby, because it was simply and obviously too painful for her. I wondered how she felt this evening looking over at my bright handsome guy , Tator, seated beside Buck and I. Did Michael find his way into most every David Wilcox song for her the same as he had for me? Did Bluebird silently let tears slip unnoticed down her cheeks as I did grieving for her boy again? Surely she did when David crooned something like "I feel you here with me though I don't see you. You are right here with me. You have always been with me. I hear you calling." In my mind's eye, I pictured a towheaded boy, arms sticking straight out from his sides making airplane wings, joyously and noiselessly weaving behind Bluebird on sea shore while she strolled toward the blazing sun unaware. At the concert, Bluebird sat at the table right next to mine, but I dared not look for pain in her eyes. She's faced an awful lot of that already, and I couldn't bear to see more.
Buck, Tator and I got back in the van to make our way home, after a painful yet lovely evening. I finally let it all go.
I cried. Out loud.
Tator and Buck sweetly comforted me after inquiries.
I don't know if I'll ever understand God's ways, and I certainly cannot explain why, but I still deeply know God is good.
I asked 12 year old Peace to tackle his very cluttered room today. Believe it or not, he really does appreciate it when I take the time to go in and help in sort trash and treasure. Together we end up with garbage bags of trash and suddenly all his treasures fit in their respective storage spaces instead of spread all over the already limited walking space on the floor. I'll try and make time for his room in the next week or so.
Today, in his efforts to clean, Peace came up with an idea. He made a plan for his zillion little origami figures (please no disparaging my tween boy for such a geeky hobby). Peace would like to remind everyone that Samauri's wore origami in battle. While I was burning paper trash (and now please do not disparage me for such country bumpkin ways) when he invited me to look at his solution. On the way to his room from the burn barrel, I prayed the old "God, no matter how dumb or junky this looks, please don't let me be a nagging critical mother about it this time." This time I hadn't really needed that particular prayer, because I enjoyed this creative endeavor. Peace had hung the delicate paper creatures on string from his ceiling making his room an even more magical place. A few years ago, when Peace was tramping about 4-H camp, Buck and I did an extreme makeover on his room and made a tree house (loft) with vines winding about, bird houses and pretend feathered birds (which the cats like to gnaw on occasionally) posted here and there, lush trees painted on the walls, a desk with pegboard lined with hooks beside from which to hang his boyhood pocket knives, axes, Indian scalps, puppydog tails, lanterns, etc. Now his paper sculptures create magic of their own above. Fortunately I didn't manage stomp the wonder out of my boy today yet.