Sunday, September 25, 2011

Blessings all mine...

There are some things in this life that are precious to me. Things I would describe as filling me with wonder. When I began toying with this idea I thought there would only REALLY be a very few things. Then I got to thinking and there are so many to choose from! There's that first snowfall of the season. There's the softness of baby's skin. There's that reddest tree in town in the middle of autumn. There's the way fire ants all attack you, biting simultaneously. (Okay, I hate that one.) There's the way my Yorkie curls up on the back of the sofa and rests her head on my shoulder. (Yep, even that one wow's me...'cause she's the sweetest critter on earth!) But the biggie, the one that got has my attention of late is the wonder of watching my children grow.

I think about my pregnancies, both of which can only be described as extremely easy and uncomplicated. But I remember that incredible wonder of the very first "fluttering." The tests had already shown I was pregnant. The doctors had confirmed that I was pregnant. But with that fluttering, there was no doubt that within me was my own little baby. What an AWESOME realization! And it didn't stop there. No, that was just the beginning! I remember feeling little feet pushing on my ribs, or running across my tummy. Or the response of the baby when I gave it a little nudge to get that foot off my rib! Absolutely amazing. I could go on and on about the wonders of pregnancy and even childbirth (though, with all women, I heartily agree that THAT is unrivaled pain.) Then come all the amazing baby stages. Isn't it amazing how long you can sit and just watch a sleeping baby? They're doing absolutely nothing, but you're transfixed. Men and women alike get captured by them.

I look back and each and every stage has been SO fascinating to watch. But childhood is winding down now and I figured the "WOW's" would be lessening. I was wrong. I have two little tweenies and it's STILL amazing. My Meg-girl is wearing my shoes and grabbing my discarded clothes to see what she can keep and wear before I haul them off to Goodwill...and some of them are fitting! She's catching me...and I love it. She's becoming this beautiful young woman who I could sit and just watch for hours...just like that little baby I brought home thirteen years ago. Friends and acquaintances all give me warnings, "Watch out for the teen years!" and seem to indicate great miseries are in store. But I refuse to accept that. I have been SO richly blessed with girls who are so sweet and so innocent and I know, I know...some of that will change. And I know that many an unsuspecting parent has wondered where everything went wrong?

These girls, they fill me with wonder, and I fully expect that to keep happening. And I thank God for all the little wonders He created in them, that they reveal day after day.

I am a woman truly blessed. And I thank God for that.

As the song says, "Blessings all mine with ten thousand beside...."

Friday, September 9, 2011

5 Girls and a Movie

This afternoon my girls had two friends over to spend the night. We went off to the movies to take in Spy Kids: All the Time in the World. It was entertaining as are all the Spy Kids movies, but it was an alllll new experience in movie-going.

You may not believe it, but it was a SCRATCH-AND-SNIFF movie! No lie. When we bought our tickets, they handed each of us a card with the numbers 1-8 on them. At the beginning of the movie, they announced that throughout the movie we would see the numbers flashed on the screen and when we did, we were to scratch the corresponding number and sniff it to experience the SMELLS of the movie.

During one part, a baby had a dirty diaper, and they flashed a number on the screen. I did my duty and scratched and sniffed, and whaddayaknowaboutthat? It smelled like a tootsie roll!

No kidding.

What will they think of next???

Thursday, September 8, 2011


My oldest girl, Megan, plays volleyball. This is her second year and she is on the JV team. Today was her first game.

I say game...but I'm not sure if I'm correct. At every "event" the teams play three times. Best two out of three. I don't know if it's three games make a match or is it three matches make a game? Or am I off in both regards?? Well for my sake and so you know what I'm talking about, I'll call it three games in a match.

First game, Megan didn't start, but after a couple of minutes, the coach put her in. She got in there and gave great effort. I was very proud of her. Unfortunately, our team lost that first game. So the teams switched ends of the court and the second game began. The game went on and on, with one team scoring a point, then the other one catching up. Back and forth they went, but eventually we won! Yay! So another game began and it went the same way. Because both of the last two games were so close, the coach kept her starting six in.

So I sat there, worrying that Megan was feeling sad that she wasn't getting to play and I felt sad for her. See, I've been there. I played three seasons of basketball as a kid. And in three seasons of basketball, I'd be shocked if we added up all my game time and found out I played ten minutes...maybe not even five. I know the bench too well. And I felt it pretty keenly, especially in eighth grade. Always stuck in for the 32 seconds of the game we were losing miserably. It made me angry. "Great, I get to go in for the loss and I'll look like the one who lost the game." I really wished she wouldn't put me in at all if she was only going to stick me in for less than a minute to watch us lose the game. So lugging those memories along with me, I worried about Megan a bit, sitting over on the bench beside her coach.

Then I looked up. And you know what I saw? Not a sad little face pouting over her bench-warming status. Not an angry adolescent acting like "it's just not fair!" Nope. I saw my girl getting the attention of her bench mates and getting them to join her in doing "the wave." She was grinning from ear to ear and having a fantastic time. And when the match was complete and our team was declared the victor, and all the girls were cheering and celebrating, you know who was jumping the highest? My bench-warming wave-maker.

I was proud. And instead of a heart full of worry I had a heart full of thankfulness that THAT's MY girl.

Monday, September 5, 2011

A Lesson from the Princess

Three things come to mind when I hear the words, "The Princess". One is the whole general princess idea...royalty, Disney, little girls playing get the idea. Second is a great book from one of my favorite authors, Lori Wick. It is called...wait for it..."The Princess". And last but not least is my little tiny Yorkie, named Ceci.

Here she is as a baby...

And here she is in her favorite place...the car...

And here she is more recently...sporting her Jackie O look...

Her Princessness is obvious, right? I mean, who could argue against it? And why?

But that's not why I'm writing today. Today she taught me a lesson. It wasn't a NEW lesson, but it was one worth remembering.

Today Guy and I were swimming in our pool. Months ago, Ceci had somehow fallen into the pool, unbeknownst to us until I heard some strange splashing and went to investigate it. Turns out she's a pretty strong swimmer but the problem was she couldn't get out of the pool because she was too tiny to make it from the top step to the side of the pool. (She's just under 4 pounds.) So there was nowhere in the pool where she could touch down and no way she could get out. I scooped her out and she has wisely stayed away from the edge of the pool since then. She is clearly afraid of is Harley, our little Maltese mix. Today, Guy and I decided to try a little "therapy" with them. I brought Ceci into the pool, very carefully. At first she was struggling, struggling, struggling, but I tucked her under one arm, the way she likes to be carried and she calmed noticeably. Guy came close and was talking to her soothingly and put out one hand to her and she was gripping his finger with her front paw, very tense, but not struggling. Then Guy moved away to draw Harley in with us. Ceci latched onto my hand, still tense. Harley didn't fight, exactly, but he was very freaked out about the water and holding on to Guy's shoulder for dear life.

Now something you don't know about Ceci (and why/how would you?) is that when either of our other two dogs are upset, barking or growling, etc., Ceci goes over very timidly and inches up into their face as though trying to comfort or calm them. It's really a sweet thing to watch...and sometimes funny that such a tiny dog would get in the face of another that's acting so aggressive. And if anyone is sick or hurt, she likes to curl up close to them, as though trying to comfort. And if you cry, she licks away the tears.

Back to the pool...
Ceci was in my arms and very tense, very rigid. Harley was in Guy's arms, very scared as well. I moved forward to try to calm and comfort Harley, too, with Ceci still tucked under my arm and as I drew close to his face, Ceci did, too...and I suddenly realized that she completely relaxed.

It may not sound like much, but I was amazed. Doesn't the same thing happen to us? We get so focused on our problems (for Ceci: the water) that we get overwhelmed and deeply distressed. But in those times, when we move to help someone who is in greater need, we gain a different perspective. We focus on what we can do for others and the stress lifts. The problems, like the deep water, don't just go away, but the fear doesn't keep controlling us.

My thoughts seem only half-hatched on this but I felt it was worth sharing...