Sunday, January 31, 2010

Why I cried in church today

Today, as is our custom on the Sabbath, we loaded what children we could round up and headed to our chapel. I know some think we are odd and even deluded to participate in such activities. We don't. We try to go each and every Sunday, as well as participating in a few church-related activities during the week.

No, the reason I cried today has nothing to do with the amount of time we spend at church. I like being there, with other people of faith and the fellowship and spirit that's always there bolsters me and carries me into the week feeling uplifted.

But I digress.

In the pew, we were sitting with Ashley on the end, then Lance, then Stephanie and Allison then me. Chris had to work so he wasn't with us today.

No, the sitting arrangement in our pew didn't make me cry--though I wouldn't have minded sitting next to my husband.

Alli and Steph have a sweet habit of cuddling...hugging and leaning on one another. At night we can hear them (they share the room off ours) laughing and giggling and yelling. It makes me smile.

As Alli leaned over to lay her head in Stephanie's lap, I placed my hand on Stephanie's hand, which was laying on Alli's shoulder. Stephanie's hands. So beautiful. Long, slender fingers, beautifully shaped nails that taper to the exquisite ends of her fingertips. I held her hand in mine---my pudgy old stubby hands---and I marveled that I'd had any part in this beauty.

Then, as sometimes happens, my memory flashed on Stephanie's hands as an infant. The way just placing my finger in her palm would cause her tiny fingers to curl around my single digit and hold tight.

I placed my pinky on her open palm and nothing happened. Her eyes met mine and she held my gaze. I smiled at her, looked down at my hand on hers, then I looked back into those startling blue eyes and my own green eyes started to fill.

No more tiny fingers curled over my own. She doesn't need to hold on that tight any longer.

She might not need that...but sometimes I do. Sometimes...I just do.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

This post has no title.

Today was one of my busiest of the year... Hmm. I take that back. I got home before ten this evening so perhaps it just felt busy. Yesterday I taught class, did several interpreting sessions, went to Children's for Alli's MRI, then went across Lake Washington for another appointment, rushed home and then went back to Children's for another meeting with Ashley's swim team board of directors.

I'm getting sucked in just as I did with Wonderland and to be honest it feels wonderful to be involved again in a non-profit that helps disabled youth. I took over the fundraising chair last night so I'm sure I won't lack for things to do.

Not that I do. Lack I mean. But I enjoy being busy.

After ten or eleven Interpreting appointments today, my brain was fairly well fried. I came home, made dinner then rushed out again to take the girls to Young Women's and Achievement Days at church. We picked up Steph from work on our way home and then I walked our dog.

This is where the night became magical for me.

The night is mild---so mild and amazingly wonderful. Remember when you were young and the very act of taking in a lungful of sweet spring air filled you with a sense of.....something. A yearning, but you didn't know quite what it was you yearned for. An expectancy of something wonderful just around the corner. Almost like the smell of a freshly mown lawn. It fills your chest and your head and your entire spirit. You can't help but close your eyes as you breathe it in and hold it tight within.

Tonight was like that. Right up until the moment the dog pooped and I had to scoop it up----but hey, I'll take what I can get.

It also helped that I had my iPod on and was listening to this song as I danced my way around the block and back into the house. I danced around as I cleaned up the kitchen and my father asked me what I'd been smoking. I grinned at him and just kept dancing.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Bad blogger...

yes, that's what I've been. I've let a lot of time go past without writing anything here.

In my defense, I have been busy and secondly, I've been busy. Did I mention the busy?

Our basement has flooded. Flooded again. Then it kept raining so it kept flooding. We've been pumping it out for days. It fills up, we empty it out, lather, wash, flood, repeat. We've been searching online for plans for an Ark. I think that would make a splendid DIY project, don't you?

I've been busy taking my Alli out of school and putting her into an online school that she can do from home. Now, before you tell me I'm insane and I'm going to socially stunt my third child thereby creating a defective human being, let me say this to you:

And also, she asked to do this, we're not forcing her. In other words--this is HER choice. I think it's a good one for her at this point. Her school is not an environment conducive to kids that actually have values. It's very sad.

Also, she's on crutches and wearing a knee brace. Her MRI is scheduled. She may have torn her meniscus. (sound familiar?)

Soooo, let's see. My two oldest are in college, my third is in an online school and my fourth child is pouting because SHE wants to do online schooling too so she doesn't have to get up in the morning. In her mind, this is a HUGE perk. There are many mornings when I would completely agree with her. She's NOT a morning person. Come to think of it, none of us really are that chippy in the morning.

I've been Interpreting and teaching up a storm, burning obscene amounts of fossil fuels and spent one day trapped in Puyallup because my alternator died. Alli was with me and my brother came to the rescue. In the meantime, Alli and I (due to her lack of Ipod) spent time communicating. It was a wonderful experience and I would like to thank my defunct alternator for arranging this time alone with my beautiful girl.

And so, there you have it. Pumping water, jumping through institutional hoops, putting miles on the vehicle, cooking meals, cleaning, walking dogs, working and making sure the medical community gets an enormous amount of our income and going to the gym five times a week. (Yeah, hush. I know you can't tell. I don't want to hear about it)

And now...I have a Spanish class to teach so I'd better run.

Saturday, January 02, 2010

21 Years Ago Today....

I gave birth to this child.

Granted, 21 years ago she didn't look like that. No, she looked even better if you can believe it. Small, softer than anything I'd ever touched in my life, squirmy, cuddly and she smelled so good. I think I spent most of my time that first year with my face buried in her sweet smelling neck and kissing her face.

The pain of a 21 hour labor was soon forgotten (sort of) as I brought this tiny squalling person home to our basement apartment. Sleep was no longer what it once was in my life---from that day forward it came in spurts and sometimes it didn't come at all.

I'd lay awake just to listen to the gentle sound of air entering and exiting her tiny lungs. That sound was music to my heart and better than any soundtrack I'd ever listened to up to that time. From moment to moment I'd lean up and place my hand on her--just to be sure she was still there and still breathing.

There was snow that year---and three days after her birth we had to get her admitted to Children's Hospital for a week or so until her bilirubin count came down from it's lofty frightening heights. We had a private room, she and I. I'd put my hands through the holes in the incubator and stroke her back or watch in amazement as her tiny fingers wrapped around one of my fingers.

Nights of sickness, days of laughter, pudding in her hair, pullups and tricycles. Her first snow when she learned to walk and her faceplant in the snow that frightened her half to death. There were pink dresses and bows in her long honey colored hair. Foot stompings and I-can-do-it-myself's. Girls camp and crushes on boys. Obsession with Titanic and piano lessons and learning to drive. Gifted programs and books by the bushel. Graduation and college and the wonder of watching her try to find her way in the world and discover just who she is.

The relationship between a mother and a daughter is tender and oft times tense.

I grew her in my belly and she in turn, grew me into a mom for the very first time.

I made mistakes....but I always did what I thought was right. I taught her to pray and to read the scriptures. I took her to church and spoke to her of her royal heritage as a daughter of God. She knows where she comes from.....and my heart, the heart of a mom, yearns for her to sit in my lap once more so I can whisper the gospel truths in her ear and feel her arms go around my shoulders and squeeze me tight.

I know there will be no more dressing up as princesses and putting on dancing shows for me. I know the time for jumping into my warm bed in the morning for a Sunday snuggle is long past so now I look forward to watching you graduate this Spring, to see you find your way in this confusing world and I hope for the occasional passing hug and 'I love you Mommy'.

I love you sweetheart.