Saturday, April 26, 2008

Ordinary Outside Living

Pete surveyed the sun shade I rigged out of a tarp, 5000 yards of kite string, duct tape, bungee cords, chunks of broken fence and exclaimed:

"This looks so white trash!"

To which I cheered:

"We are white trash!"

Just as Gussie stumbled out on the porch wearing nothing but a dirty diaper and blue popsicle juice stains.

Then a bird nipped the end of the kite string, unravelling the roll as it flew up so high. A white streamer painting the bright summer night.

Haven picked a bouquet of dandelions, "Excuse me, Mom, what are these?"

"Dandelions," I replied.

"No they're not," he said, "They're something else."

"Really, what are they?"

"Lemon delights. They are lemon delights and I picked them for you."

"That's so nice, honey. Thank you so much."

I took the bouquet. By morning it had faded to 5 puff balls that the window used to blow a wish.
And it was granted: At least 4 more months of bare feet, open doors and dandelion bouquets.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

"As Long as It's Healthy"

I never found out the gender of my babies before they were born. No real reason. I just wanted to be surprised.

When I'd make front porch talk with neighbors, it was always the same thing:

"When are you due?" they'd ask.

"Soon," I'd reply.

"A boy or a girl?" they'd ask.

"I don't know," I'd say, "I want to be surprised."

"Well, just as long as it's healthy," they'd say and smile and I'd smile too. But inside I'd pause.

Because even before two out of three of my kids were born with significant health problems, this statement, "As long as it's healthy" irritated me.

As if it meant I wouldn't want my child if he had an extra toe, a heart defect or any other malady common to humans, especially baby humans. While I know the comment was always said in good will, my mind would silently reply: "But I'll take an unhealthy baby too. Just give me a baby -- healthy or not. I'll just take a baby."

I remember thinking such sentiment even before my first son was born. Perhaps God was preparing me for the trial we'd later have with Gussie. Perhaps. Perhaps God was preparing me for Simeon. Perhaps.

I'll explain. It has become pretty clear that our little Simeon has Noonan's Syndrome. While the DNA results won't be back for a few weeks, we're pretty convinced that the diagnosis will be positive. I'm sure I'll write more about his condition in times to come but you can check out the sites yourself and know that we are comforted by the fact that Simeon simply has the external characteristics of the syndrome (no heart defect) and is otherwise a healthy newborn -- eats very well, is alert and content.

Keep us in your prayers as the news is sobering. I'm still a bit in shock -- confused by all these feelings. One second I'm staring at him in awe of his beauty, feeling so blessed he's mine. The next, I'm sinking in dark sadness, scared of what life holds for this little man ... and for me.

Fortunately, Simeon thrives. And fortunately he is our baby -- the one God has given us. He is pleasant. He is perfect -- "fearfully and wonderfully made."

Only time will tell what Simeon's condition means for us. But this much I know is true -- I love him. I love him with that magic love born with the baby -- that fierce Mother Mountain Lion Love that breaths fire at predators and needs no rest.

So no, "I don't know what I'm having" as far as what kind of life I'll have with Simeon. But I know that I love him. Of this, I'm certain. And perhaps I'm naive but this love quiets my heart, delivers peace to my soul and makes me certain that it's all going to be ok.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Of Rocks and Boats

Haven picks up rocks and calls them boats. He carries them to bed and the market and Mass. Pushes them through carpets of waves and rivers. Names them. Hands me heavy handfuls. My pockets droop with crusty, cementy "boats."

I walk through rooms and up the stairs swearing under my breath as I step on sharp, hard -- you guessed it -- rocks. But they're really boats. And we have at least 100 of them now.
Don't think it hasn't dawned on me when Haven says, "Ooh, this will be a good one to take in the bath." That these boats won't float. Nope. Cause. They're rocks. But I haven't had the heart.

Then our playmate Ethan stopped by today, observed the boats and said, "But Haven, those boats won't float."

"They're rock boats. They will sink. They're sinking boats. They are boats that won't float."
Haven stared at him in disbelief. I held my breath. A little later Ethan went home.
As I made dinner, Haven gathered up his boats where he likes them best -- sliding and gliding on the kitchen table. They clattered and scattered as he made splashing noises, blew wind through their sails and talked about taking them fishing.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Good Movie

I loved this movie. But I especially loved the ending. Cherie -- watch this with your guitar playing husband & call me to discuss the ending. Like I said, I loved the ending.
Oh yeah -- only watch this if you can handle the F-bomb dropped profusely in an Irish accent. Other than that, there's no sex or violence or midget jokes or anything else horribly offensive to the easily offended. Enjoy.