Sometimes it seems there is a huge divide between the silliness of my day to day life and the seriousness of this blog. To help restore a little balance, here is an image of real-me, real-now. I do so love being ridiculous!
Photo courtesy Elsha
When I pictured NYE at Disneyland, I did not picture dealing with my most horrible diaper-gone-awry mess to date with bad wipes and a handful of damp paper towels. In a public changing stall.
I did not imagine how embarrassing it would be to spend ten minutes trying to clean up a mess only a bathtub was adequate for.
On the bright side, I also didn’t imagine you, the mom who would stop and ask, “Are you OK? Do you need anything? I have spare clothes.”
By the time you saw me and asked, I was almost done. But your question made me feel not alone, and turned my frown right upside down.
Like I told you then, I thank you so much just for asking. Your questions alone, and the care behind them, were all the help I needed.
Happy new year to you, all of you who stop and ask! May your new year be full of many sweet tidings.
En route to Christmas dinner with my fiancee’s family, we pulled over at a convenience store. When Ba.D. left the car, our son asked me a few questions.
“Mommy, are we going to see your family?”
“No, sweetheart. We’re going to visit Daddy’s family.”
“You don’t have families, Mommy?”
“I do. They’re just far away.”
“Hey, I’m your family, Mommy!”
The other flaw in my explanation struck me only when I read the exchange to Ba.D. a couple of minutes later: We were going to visit family. Our family, not just Ba.D.’s.
It should have been clear to me earlier, thanks to text messages still fresh in my mind from the beginning of our drive.
We had just begun driving when my phone alerted me of a text message. I unlocked my phone and read a text message from my sister, Silver Star, before seeing the picture attached to the message. Read more…
I climbed out of the car, readying to free my son from his car seat, when I overheard the folks parked next to us.
“They’re black,” one man said derisively.
Said the other with equal derision as he glanced toward my son, “That bodes well for the future.”
After a moment’s debate, I decided not to say anything. Because, no matter how the words were spoken, their truth is undeniable: our sweet children, being raised to see beyond our superficial differences, do indeed bode well for a future more full of love.
Anna is a longtime friend of mine. Although she is not a blogger, her words in handwritten letters and emails alike have moved me for more than a decade.
I knew she would do well by the series with anything she submitted, but did not know just how deeply what she eventually sent would rock me. The moment I read her post’s concluding words, I knew hers would be the post to close out the FTIAT series. I have reread the post at least a dozen time since, and my conclusion is always the same.
I want the words Anna has written here to be the ones indelibly etched in people’s hearts when they recall this series. I want them to send long-lasting ripples of love and grace through those hearts the way they have done with mine.
And I want to thank Anna for not only writing but living by example, and for always, always loving without strings.
Recommended post: This one
A Love Without Strings
(Note: Out of respect for the recovering, some names have been changed)
I met Gabriel in my living room, where I was sunk into a fat flowery couch with my right foot propped up, recovering from ankle surgery. I was four months sober at the time and had been scared to death of general anesthesia– not because I thought I might not wake up, but because I was terrified I’d like the drugs so much they’d pull me back into the hell I’d just climbed out of.
Gabriel was a 28-year-old French-speaking guitar-playing wisecracking heroin addict. He was tall and cool, slouching down in the chair in my living room while his recovery teacher Mark chatted with me about God and friends and the world outside my living room. Read more…
Anthony R. is better known to this blog’s readers as “Ba.D.” Since he’s worked hard to build his name, it’s important to him that name be included here.
I wrote in preface to his other guest post that “our relationship was built through the written word.” Before our son was born, I loved reading between hundreds and thousands of words written by him any given day. After our son’s birth, his written words became fewer, mostly reaching me in text message-sized bites.
I’ve missed his written words. I’ve missed their rhythm, so different than that arising in conversation, and the lovely heart so clearly revealed by them.
This post is a gift to me in so many ways, and one I am sure to savor for a long, long time to come.
The Ocean Roars, Too.
When Deb approached me to write a guest blog for her “For This I Am Thankful” series, I was both flattered and terrified. I used to be a semi-prolific blogger, but I’d not penned anything worthwhile in a long time; my current well of writing was dry. I was full of false starts, neat ideas that wouldn’t go anywhere, and lots of staring at a blank screen until I’d fall asleep at the keyboard.
I had no idea what to write.
I was lying in bed, struggling to stay awake and considering Seppuku when I heard the soft sounds of my son snoring in the other room, when the Eureka moment hit.
I’m going to let you in on a little secret: I snore. I’m not talking about just a little heavy breathing or a light purr. I saw wood. I am a chainsaw. I roar like a 747 coming down for an emergency landing, or a Mack Truck bearing down on a stalled out Datsun on the I-5 on a rainy evening: My snore is the Destroyer of Worlds and the Eater of Suns.
Of all the things for my son to inherit from me—my sense of humor, my dashing good looks, my penchant for bad movies, my funky eyesight, that annoying thing I do that Deb keeps telling me about—one of the few things I could have wished on him was my snore. Read more…