Saturday, November 30, 2013

A Lot Of Beautiful Work

In August, when the whole world was ripe and blooms had swollen to blossoms, we took a drive through the country.

We passed a house well set back from the road. In front of the house was a fairyland of flowers. This was no cottage garden running wild and sweet, it was a planned, precise, aisled garden. Well plotted rows of dahlias and roses ran obediently along from the house to the road.
I gasped when I saw it and shouted, "Look!"
It was so lush, so beautiful, I wanted the kids to see it. I slowed the car and let everyone get a good look. Grant was in the front seat and as we drove away I asked him, "Wasn't that beautiful?"
He paused and then answered, "It looked like a lot of work to me."
I had to laugh because my logical son is so different from his passionate mother.

A month later I was sitting in an airport waiting for my plane to Alaska to board. Grant and Rowan sat in seats across from me. They were reading something together. Grant had his arm draped casually, big-brother like, around Rowan's shoulder. Rowan would look up and he and Grant would share a laugh. It was a beautiful picture and I sat soaking it in. Then I realized that I wasn't the only one soaking. The woman sitting next to me was watching the boys also.
She looked away from the boys, found my eyes, and said, "Someone put a lot of work into those boys."

She was right.
Raising these children well is a lot of work.
But, oh, the beauty of a well tended garden is more than enough reward for this passionate mother.

A cup of tea and a nap are also appreciated.
Also, a good book.
I've always wanted a grand-father clock.

Monday, November 11, 2013

He's Eight and I'm Great!

We were at the cottage and I was having nightmares.
First, I woke up after being pursued down a forest trail by a wolf and a bear.
Then, I was at Avonlea's wedding reception, a kind of glorified birthday party in our yard, and I couldn't see the groom's face. (OK, you may not think this sounds like a nightmare, but it was right up there with bears and wolves.) I saw Avonlea, beautiful and grown, riding a pony around the yard in her wedding dress, but I couldn't find the groom. I didn't know who she married.
After that, I fell into another nightmare. A little voice chanted even numbers. Then multiples of 5, then 10. Oh no, she's starting into 7's. (Again, if you don't think this qualifies as a nightmare you've obviously never done math with Rose. Wolves and bears are nothing in comparison my friend.) Wait, she doesn't need to know 7's yet. This thought jerked me awake. I listened and realized that it wasn't a nightmare, Rosy was actually counting in the next room.

I investigated and found Rowan, with a lapful of math manipulatives, quizzing Rose.
"What in the world are you guys doing?" I asked.
Rowan piped up, "I thought I'd work with Rose so that she wouldn't stress you out so bad in math."
He had made her counting sheets and practice worksheets, laboriously copied out by hand. He had been drilling her for an hour by the time I woke up.

If you recall, three years ago I wrote a blog post entitled He's Five and I'm Still Alive. And that about summed it up. Rowan was a very difficult child. He was sick a lot. He had a 50% hearing loss. He had allergies. He woke up 4 or 5 times every night. His temper was a thing to be reckoned with. But all that has changed.

If you would have told me how utterly sweet and sensitive he would become I probably wouldn't have believed you. I recognize the change for what it truly is, the work of God in my child's life.

Rowan is delightful. He loves to wear hats.

He loves his grandparents.

He loves to go fishing.

He loves his brother.

And as I look at the amazing contrast in his life I am reminded that nothing is too hard for God.

When I took a situation that felt overwhelming to me and gave it to the Lord and learned to pray hard and love hard and forgive hard things I was changed, and so was Rowan. Rowan recently told me that he wanted to be a pastor when he grew up so he could teach people to love Jesus more and tell them what the Bible says. I don't know what he will become, but I know what he is, and through him I know God better than I did.

Thank you God for my precious son!

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Generational Naughtiness

I've been missing this space. This white page...waiting....for black laughter and stories to dance across it. Iconic letters and captured picture moments and the record of a life lived. Cuneiform etched into brick. Words typed on a page. A life processed through fingertips tapping.

Today is my mother's birthday.
Last week she came to our life group because we were doing an India night. I wanted her to come share about the work she did there this summer at the orphanage. She came and sat in front of our little group and held up a big map.
She pointed out India and said, "It's right here next to the Bay of Ben Gay."
We all kinda cocked our heads, trying to remember why that didn't sound quite right. Dave piped up with a, "Are you feeling stiff or achy Gloria?"
At that I dissolved. She will never live that down.

So today we had the following text conversation.

Me: We've got all kinds of birthday crafts going on up here. You might need a bigger house
Mom: Would it justify a second story on this one?
Me: Remember your 73 now, you won't be able to walk up steps much longer
Mom: STOP! I can run thru a troop and leap over a wallllllllllll
Me: And afterwards you can take a swim through the bay of Ben-gay
Mom: U r so naughty

It's a little hard to wrap my brain around the fact that I'm in my late 30's and still being called naughty by my mother. Serious repercussions coming on this, can't I report her to child protection services or something? Oh wait, then who would do my dishes? Never mind. But speaking of naughty children...

Rose was in RARE form on Tuesday. Now those of you who have the pleasure of interacting with Rosy know that she is usually a wild card. There is no guessing what is going to come out of her mouth at any given moment. But on Tuesday she surprised even me. We had friends over and she came and planted herself in the middle of my tea party. I told her to go play and she asked if she could have candy. I told her no, she didn't need candy. She looked at my friend and said, "I have to cry to get candy. I just cry and they give me candy to make me stop. But I don't even cry anymore, I just go into the bathroom and put water on my face."
I was speechless. For one thing it's untrue, for another it's so naughty.

Where in the world does she get it?


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