Our Happy Dance

Joy in the day to day! Joy in who we are together! Joy unspeakable (1Peter 1:8)!

The First Day of School

 

A letter from Mommy. . .

 

Each time school comes again, you and I, we both seemingly swallow butterflies and I help you arrange your backpack and I watch you tie your shoes. I take pause. I wonder. I marvel. I have this feeling, this feeling that I’m shrinking. As a Mom I can’t help these sorts of things, you grow and you grow and you grow and I try to keep up.

 

This year, this year, was exceptional. Although, like every year before, I still wanted to shout, “Stop. Hold the phone!” At eight you are even less a baby and more a little girl. You correct my vocabulary and you correct my shenanigans. You are determined and strong and quite a bit of a fire brand. You are sweet and compassionate and gentle too. I am so utterly smitten with you. I think about my Momma a lot these days and I know just how much she loved me because its like I’m standing here looking at the world with her eyes as I watch you set out on your climb. And I’m so thirsty for grace.  You’ll know this love, one day, God willing. I can’t believe the luck of it, to be swallowed up in something like this. Its the child that makes the Mother. I know this now. We get the title on a little line on a birth certificate. We think we’ve mastered it while deep breathing, giving birth, rocking at midnight. All of it adds up, yes, but its only the beginning. For children are made to color the world, they aren’t made concrete and immovable. Mothers can’t hold on and do their job well; its a continual letting go, of letting it all be, its a continual undoing of my will, a breaking of my heart. And of asking the question: why on earth does time have to go so fast?

 

Yet, there is such joy. I get to join every loving mother before me in this sort of dance of creation, letting you be what you dream to be, letting you go where you dare to go; knowing full well that you can’t ever outgrow, out climb or fall short of my love for you. Let me say this now, I never wanted a mini me. Make no mistake about it. I always wanted you. You, dear, at eight, are world’s better than anything I could have imagined up. You with your love of geology, the moon and dandelions and frogs. You with your hazel eyes and your gorgeous smile! You who have given Mommy new eyes to see beauty where I would have ignored it (um, turtles).

 

Go on doll, discover to your hearts content and Mommy will be right here watching, clapping, and shouting, “She’s mine! She’s her very own! Gee Whiz, Would you just look at her!”

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A Boy and His Trike

You are two and the picture of your Daddy. You have been climbing on the ol’ tricycle for a few weeks now. You sit and you wait. You play with the streamers and ring the bell. Your eyes tell a story as I watch you try to figure out how this new thing runs.  Son, you know things. You know more than your two year old vocabulary lets us in on. You were born the picture of inquisition. In you we see the face of our grandfathers and our Dads, wisdom and goodness mixed with hard work and big hearts. In that we know you are destined for big things, to be known, to be remembered. To date, you’ve mastered walking and running and throwing a baseball. You know the way of a ‘Dozer in a sandbox. These are boy passages.

 

To you, this is simply “Trike.” It’s just a hurdle you’ll have to climb soon so you can keep up with your three year old buddy on his two wheeler. To you this moment isn’t precious or anything to make note of. You can’t see Mommy’s heart as she watches her little man make sure his hat is on just so and grab the handle bars.

 

Your short legs push and the tires squeak and the Radio Flyer does its work. You are pedaling and you are riding down the street a few yards in front of me. A milestone.  I imagine what my Dad would say if he were standing right here with us. I think he’d say this: “this isn’t a moment, Son. This is a magic carpet or a steam engine strong. This is a mustang against the wind or the feel of a large bass on the line. This is a super hero cape and a touchdown with just seconds left on the clock. You just don’t know it yet.”

 

So Mommy takes a picture. . .and you can show Daddy and your Grandpas and they can tell you if Mommy got the words right.  I think I did. . .because I swear I saw the cape from where I was standing. . .

 

 

 

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Blessing for this Sunday

Blessings for this Sunday. . .

 

But let all who take refuge in you be glad, 

let them sing for joy.

Spread your protection over them, 

that those who love your name may rejoice in you.

 

Psalm 5:11 NIV

 

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Stealing Kisses

Our darling girl, has turned a page. She has suddenly come to an understanding of what defines ‘cool’ and what defines ‘weird.’ Worse yet, she’s determined that Daddy and I, fit into the latter. Our friends who hung the moon yesterday, are alien life forms today. Now they all know it. Its right here in writing.

Everything in our home these days, is emotional and pink and tender and pink. Its all eight years old and has a vocabulary…and its pink. Daddy’s tree climbing tomboy has decided its time for pretty shoes and sparkly things. And we are trying to adjust. Most of what we do these days, makes her blush or is considered just cause for an eye roll and a turning up of her sweet little chin. We’re walking a tight rope. Her little brother is on egg shells. It sort of feels like we are always in the dog house. She wants me to check with her before I blurt anything out and she’d rather that Daddy disappear into the garage when her bff is around, resurfacing just in time to make rainbow sprinkled pancakes.

Justin and Selena kiss and its the stuff of heaven, a romantic kiss on a Disney flick requires a rewind or two. Daddy and Mommy stealing kisses in the kitchen, well, that’s gross and SERIOUSLY redefines disgusting.  Her words, certainly not ours.

We are so amused by her. We will stand tall and carry on. We do empathize though.

Darling daughter if you think we’re bad, you should see your grandparents.

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The Way to Grow a Family

My teenage self, who could sleep through a tornado warning, well, she left long ago. She stretched and pushed her way into adult hood. She fell in love. He picked her out. She chose him and then two began a family. I think about teenage me every now and then, particularly when two small children call in the night.

Amazing that one small cry from toddler lips or one tap on the shoulder from a jostled eight year old can send me into “wide awake and ready to go.” My girl and my boy are growing me. They are making me. They are emptying me of myself and filling me with a bright view of others.  They have pushed me past needing sleep, requiring every hair in place and being embarrassed to be seen at the super market in sweat pants. They make me better, more presentable, more assured and more concerned than anything I’ve ever known. I know they’ve changed him too. Only he can know the depth.

I know, I know, we are supposed to be well rounded men and women with career goals and big aspirations of writing the all American novel and maybe traveling the world. Fact of the matter is this, as terrific as those dreams are, I’d so much rather travel all my old haunts through the eyes of my children. I’d rather write the story of a life well lived by holding dimpled hands during the same old annual church supper we’ve attended for years. I’d rather stake out traditions and lay claim to comfort of home. I’d rather say grace from the place of really knowing what I’ve been gifted and that those best gifts are seated around my dinner table. All of our best moments have been together. I’m certain.

I hope for moments to climb mountains, to see sunsets from other continents. I’m excited to grow old with one man and to realize beauty every day. I’m just so certain that our extraordinary is defined by what we’ve made together and these countless freckles, skinned knees and sweet voices calling him Daddy and calling me Mommy.

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