Sunday, June 27, 2010

(didn't get) to the church on time

as i try to get into a regular routine of this blogging thing, i suppose i'll have to let my grammar and content struggle and straggle until maybe, magic happens and once in a while, like my iphone and my computer, syncs up....

today, we didn't make it to church. my girls and I made it to teach class to five year olds. (because I LOVE teaching 5 year olds - they say things like "yesterday, when my dad took me to Hooters...") anyway, i'm wondering, is it awful if I don't go to church, yet teach? it's not as if i don't get anything out of church, it's just that today, i got SO much more out of sleeping. last week was 21 days crammed into 7...i needed sleep.

i wonder, am i sending the wrong message to my kids? is my faith lived out everyday or is it validated by the 30-45 minutes i might spend in congregated worship on sunday morning before i teach those Hooters-going five year olds?

i let little brother skip out of it all and stay home with dad - when we go just to teach, dad doesn't go to church by himself (i won't mention i've spent a lifetime hauling children to church and class by MYself...that's another blog).. what message does that give? i'm not sure, but i may have seen redemption later, through a tarantula...

you see, little man caught a tarantula last night (we have them all over) as it crawled towards the hot tub. he retrieved a plastic container (think cottage cheese size) and caught it. kept it all night. we have one caged tarantula - a Chilean rose hair appropriately named Rosie. Rosie has been with us for over 12 years - tarantulas live FOREVER. the new one couldn't go in her cage - they'd kill each other. and, I explained, Rosie was bred in captivity - her glass home is all she knows. this wild tarantula only knows the outside - his compassion took over. he decided to let the new spider on the block go back where it knew how to be a spider.

i liked his reasoning, i loved his compassion, and i admired the way he's learning to care for creatures ......however, he let it go right by the hot tub - on the patio of the pool. where it could run into me. again. because, he said that was where he found it and where the spider would know what to do. i would have to fend for myself if i got in the hot tub.

i think God does that for me sometimes. i get lost. i find myself where i don't know how to be me. i'm not sure how, but i open my eyes to once again find myself in familiar territory. maybe i get caught up in things i shouldn't. maybe i learn how to be me and find the familiar. i don't know. i think God just picks me up - trap and all - and gently shoos me out into a land of familiarity ...

no, i don't think missing church was all that big of a deal....but then again, who knows?

Monday, May 17, 2010

foreshadows of growing up

tomorrow, my youngest daughter becomes 16. her birth vividly plays my mindscreen - the birth i always wanted - home, four hours of labor, my body pushed her out with no conscious effort. i could continue, lavishing letters into words about this experience, but this is about her, becoming 16 - and remembering the moments leading up to this day.

i remember walking, her little hand in mine. i thought she'd hold my hand forever. as we crossed a parking lot - me reminding her "cars backing out cannot see vertically challenged individuals - so hold my hand." her spindly legs easily kept pace with my long legs, i remember thinking - she won't always need my hand. i'll miss this birdlike hand planted within mine. her fingers around my palm feels like home. i wanted to remember what it feels like - her hand, my hand. i can still feel her and see black asphalt hot under our feet . i miss that hand at the end of her arm reaching up, up, up to a momma who stood five-nine.

today, she is five ten and still reaching. she carried her dancing blue eyes and blonde hair into her teenage years. she's even managed to bring the spunky two year old who determinedly told her father "I paint NOW with 'dis color!" and...even though it wasn't in dad's plans, she painted NOW with that color. standing up on a chair so her eyes could meet her father's eyes, she never waivered.

i remember a little girl with a small gift bag permanently swinging from her wrist. i never knew what i'd find inside -- usually something different every day. many days, my car keys would be in the bottom of the tattered gift bag with fraying ribbon handles.

today, her room is full of sparkling wild purses, handbags, and satchels. from zebra print, to turquoise, to florals and pastels -- gift bags morphed into today's accessory du jour.

there was a little girl who played and played and played until she got tired. when she got tired, she sprawled on the couch - a dry washcloth over her face blocking out the light. out to the world, recharging her batteries.

today, come nine-thirty at night and she's nowhere to be found, i've only to peek in her cave of a bedroom to find her in bed, big dorky yellow lab at her side, arm and elbow over her eyes sound asleep. recharging the batteries.

i looked at the newborn and wondered when she would walk, what her voice would sound like when she called for me, i wondered what her favorite toys would be (please, God, not Barbies).

then, as she played with her toy animals (foreshadowing), carried cast aside and used out gift bags, and filled her days being busy, busy, busy in her own way, i wondered some more. pink sparkly princess dresses, shoes and tiaras called her name. who would she become?

i wondered, how tall will she be? what will become her passion? will she get along with her sister when they are teens?

now, i know some of my answers. her voice is strong and uniquely hers - allowing no one or anything to walk or sway herself or hassle her friends and family. she walked, much too early -- pulling herself up to standing at six months and running by nine. she hasn't stopped since. she never much cared for Barbies (God does listen) and the toy animals became real ones - ponies, horses, puppies, kittens, dogs and cats with a tarantula and snake thrown in for variety.

her days are full - caring for animals, working at the barn, riding, teaching, and riding some more. the end of those busy, busy days finds not a worn gift bag but a faux zebra purse with matching wallet and phone case tossed on the steps by the door. she retreats to her hot pink room to recharge those batteries. cowgirl bling is the new princess sparkle. and yes, for the most part, she does get along with her sister who is also a teenager.

now, i have a whole new set of wonders. will she find love? what will she do with her life and career? how will she do in college? will she go to college? where will she settle? i hope nearby, but it is not my life to choose - it is hers to live to its fullest. will she have children? will i rock a blonde baby with a button nose and dancing blue eyes to sleep while she enjoys a night out or clears the table for a family supper?

each step is new, bringing its own set of questions, accomplishments, and amazements. she is a remarkable girl with depth and compassion for animals and those less than well off in our world. she is strong in her beliefs and voice - she has found the solid ground with which she plants her feet and digs into life. she makes me smile, she makes me laugh, she makes me proud.

i've been chosen to be her earthly mother and for this i am humbled and grateful. being a part of her life has taught me more about my life than any book, therapist, or documentary.

today, i'll plant the memory of zebra bags tossed on the steps, cowgirl bling, the smell of alfalfa and i'll hold onto them until new ones are made...happy birthday pink cowgirl!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

a spurting newbie

i will attempt to do this in spurts. spurts of blurts of words and letters. maybe i can rearrange them to make sense. maybe not.

today i thought i had the coolest dentist. he has a massage chair. so totally cool and completely awesome in a nanny-nanny-boo-boo valley-girl kinda way.

then, i spent THREE hours in it. after one hour and 3 shots of novacaine, i began to remove my thumbs from my ears and reel in those waving fingers. after two hours and 5 shots, i hid my fingers in my lap, closed my eyes, sang pooh songs in my head and searched for my happy place between deep breaths - of which i carefully breathed out my nose - dentist-type people HATE it when you don't breathe out your nose. after 7 shots of novacaine and 3 hours in the chair, i thought a dental massage chair was ridiculous torture. the side to side movement never changed and threatened to push my scream from my throat and my palms back to my head. Only this time, they would cradle my skull, not even close to the smug dance of nanny-nanny-boo-boo .

the last bloody cotton roll (dental tampon) removed and temporary caps sealed, i rose from the evil massage chair, ashamed of any boasting i'd done in my mind. i hung my head, thought of Bill Cosby and walked to my car.

jigsaw words

okay, so i titled this a very long time ago and i thought, deep in my heart, i had posted something. but, i can't find it. so, i'll begin. again.

words bounce around the padded walls of my head. multiplying exponentially. the drain they fall into and travel outward into my mouth is narrow and unpredictable. some fall through well before their turn. others, the ones that should be allowed first exit, cling to the walls, afraid of pending independence.

later, i will try to encourage some down the long drain. the one exiting through my fingers to the keyboard where the jigsaw words are splayed upon the screen to make sense. maybe.