You’re four now. Looks like you are ready to take on the world!
You’re four now. Looks like you are ready to take on the world!
Last night I was single-mama putting the the three kiddos to bed while Doug was at Fuller remembering how to do Greek Exegesis. It was getting late and Elijah, who is typically my very easy little guy at bedtime, simply could not settle down and go to sleep. After all the normal bedtime routines of stories and prayers and songs and that one particular way he likes his blankets to cover him, I shut off the light and closed the door.
It was barely a breath later that Elijah began to scream, and I ran back into his room to find him sitting up looking terrified. “Elijah, what is wrong?” I asked him.
“When you turned the light on (he gets his opposites confused) and closed the door, there was a monster in my room,” he sputtered.
I reassured him that there were no monsters in the house and that monsters aren’t real, and I closed the closet door just in case there were any shadows inside that might frighten, and I prayed for him. Then I shut off the light and again closed the door.
There were a few moments of quiet while I attended to the squirrelly siblings in the room beside his, but then the screaming resumed.
When I entered his room the second time, he was again sitting up with tears running down his cheeks. “Elijah, what happened? Why are you crying?” I asked.
He sputtered: “When you turned the light on and closed the door, there was a second monster.” He looked at me gravely. “And a fifth monster.”
My attempts to push back the smile failed, and I laughed while I again sought to soothe him. I was dying to ask him about the third and fourth monsters, but opted for a simple cuddle instead.
Sorry for the long bout of silence here. I was in a minor car accident with the boys that left me pretty sore for a couple of weeks, and in the midst of recovering from that we all came down with the lovely H1N1 virus. Doug and I are alternating three-hour shifts caring for the kiddos which is about as long as either of us can handle.
I am wondering if this would be any less miserable if it was called the Gazelle Flu, or the Butterfly Flu, or the Squirrel Flu? Swine just sounds so hard-core…
“Sammy, you are so beautiful. I would never sell you, not even for something expensive. I love you, Sammy.”
We got back from the lake late, late last night after leaving Spokane in a thunderstorm and driving with fierce wind across the state. The kiddos slept, mercifully, and we got a call part-way from Doug’s twin brother that we are Aunt and Uncle to a precious new little girl who is much too far away in Florida.
This afternoon I will head to University Presbyterian for a wedding rehearsal and dinner in preparation for a wedding I will officiate tomorrow. The bride is someone I have known since I was a kid and our families have been dear friends for many years. I have great memories of babysitting the bride and her sister when they were kids.
How fun to celebrate with this bride and groom and their family, and what an honor to stand with them as they make their vows to one another tomorrow!
We made it up to Orcas Island for the last full day of KindlingsFest 2009 and had a delightful day with new friends and old. The Staub girls courageously wrangled our children for much of the day, and Kathy was the consummate hostess as always. A chance to spend time with Imbi and Bill Kinnon was a total treat! The day ended with dessert and wine at the Staub house with an amazing view of the thunderstorm. It was well worth the 4:30am wake-up and late night post-ferry drive home.
(Photos courtesy of Bill and Imbi Kinnon.)
“Sold out of all fans and air conditioners.”
The Haubs are sleeping in the basement tonight.
This past weekend brought home to me how very different our life feels up here. Apparently in Shoreline, when the law says that fireworks are illegal in the city, people for the most part comply. The night was a far cry from the Kenwood war zone we encountered during our first Fourth of July in L.A. I remember that first year actually being frightened when Doug went out on our little front porch, and begging him to come back inside. I remember not being able to see the apartment building across the street due to the wall of smoke.
This year, Doug and I packed up the kids and made the very long journey to 178th (we live on 180th) to spend the weekend at my parents’ house. We grilled and played in the yard and took a little day trip to Puyallup to see my cousin and her family. Mercy really wanted to see fireworks, so she and I and my dad drove down into Edmonds and sat perched on a bench next to the beach and watched the city show held in a stadium nearby. Aaron is terrified of fireworks so he opted to stay home and cuddle up with On-Demand TV and his grammy.
As we walked along the beach, we passed a quinceniera that was being held in a beachfront community center. Mercy stopped in her tracks and gazed at the dresses and hats and the sheer volume of brown skin that has already become foreign. The bounce of the music was familiar to her and it made her smile. “Mercy, that was the music you went to sleep to for many, many nights,” I told her, smiling as well. This was a serious quinceniera too. There was a tour bus parked outside of the center and a fleet of very fancy cars in the parking lot.
Mercy still asks me a lot of questions about Los Angeles. It’s almost like she wants to make sure that she keeps a hold of her memories. I think we all miss it more than we know how to say.
Driving home the other day, I passed by the fire station while a crew of firefighters were in some form of training involving a bunch of wrecked cars. It was kind of a spectacle and I shared about it with my kids when we drove past the location later that same day. I pointed out the crushed cars and told the kids that the firefighters train to be able to help rescue people in the case of a car accident.
“Mommy was once in a very bad accident where my car got crushed like that,” I told them soberly. “Only I was able to crawl out, and so was my best friend. We didn’t need to be rescued.”
And I added: “God really protected us and saved us that day.”
There was a moment of silence in the back seat before Mercy spoke: “Mommy, I know why God saved you.”
Mercy has had such a sensitivity of late to my role as pastor that I fully expected her response to be something about serving others or teaching people about Jesus.
“Why, Mercy?” I asked.
“Because you were going to have the most wonderful kids.”
I snuck Doug away to the Salish Lodge for our anniversary thanks to parents and friends willing to care for the little ones. It was a total splurge and worth every penny.