Thursday, May 29, 2008

Odds and sods of Spring

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

The day after

News vans, satellites, clean-up crews and random spectators are everywhere as I step outside my door. I tried to garden, watch "Rupert" with the kids, eat a pizza picnic in the backyard. Normal, everyday things. Things that remind you that life keeps ticking away no matter the circumstance.

Though I go through the motions, my mind returns constantly to a friend of mine who is now mourning the loss of a family member. It has vividly brought back the feeling I had in the first weeks after Dooger died. That desperate need to scream at the universe, "Take it back!!!" Trying to figure out how to claw back the hands of the clock to a place in time when you could change the course of history.

Now, mingled with the news regurgitating everything about the Sullivan mine accident two years ago tomorrow, there is news of this new tragedy. New people whose absence this community must adjust to. New people whose stories will be told over and over in the coming months through tears and laughter.

So again, as two years ago, I am reminded that the only day we were promised was yesterday. With my beautiful munchkins beside me I am going to put some more green things in the ground and let the sunshine wash away some of this weary feeling.

Last night a friend shared a song with me that was perfection in that moment.
The last verse goes like this....

It all seems so obvious now
When I look back over my life
There's a need for sorrow and doubt
For darkness and for light
It's how it must be

All in good time.....
The bad time will be gone

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

May 13, 2008

Approximately two hours ago, four people died tragically in a helicopter accident at the bottom of our alley. We were sitting at our window when we noticed the low flying aircraft above the houses across the street. The men inside appeared to be looking for something as the helicopter swayed from side to side. Moments later we heard the crash and saw the smoke.

We rushed outside to find the alley engulfed in thick black smoke. We thought the house on the corner was on fire. As the smoke cleared we stood helpless while a body lay in flames in the street. We could not go any closer to try and help because of the ignited fuel on the ground and the popping sounds still coming from the wreckage.

Now, as I watch the spectators congregating outside our windows, I am repulsed by the gawking. People taking pictures with their cell-phones and camera's. Teenagers laughing and pushing each other around. The looks on people's faces make it seem as if they are at a carnival; as though they aren't at the site of a tragedy. As though four lives didn't just end in all this entertainment. As though there aren't four bodies of people who were loved laying underneath those tarps.

I find myself offering up a prayer not just for the victims and their families but also for the people walking down my street. I pray that they may be touched by the deep sorrow of what has happened here. I am not sure how I feel about being part of a society whose curiosity is capable of outweighing their compassion.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Mommy, Madre, Mama, Mammy, Mutter

Tomorrow will be my 9th Mother's day (if you count the pregnant one) as one of the honored guests. My house daily overflows with kids and their laughter and tantrums alike. And I love it! And I am regularly seized with excitement mingled with terror as we ride this wild roller coaster of parenting.

Even on the days that I am longing for a vacation, I am filled with gratitude. I won't tell them until they are ready to move out (for fear that it may go to their heads) but these small people inhabiting my home are the not the only students of life lessons here. Even as I instruct, and console, and mend, and kiss, and wait, and breathe, and count to ten, I am struck by the knowledge that these "teachable moments" are as much for me as for them. There are so many revelations to be unwrapped in the words and through the eyes of children.

I have learned that patience takes practice for everyone, no matter how many years you have lived.
I have learned that ants, blades of grass, wind, moving water, and human body are creations deserving of observation.
I have learned that even something as common as the birth of another baby can hold the status of miracle.
I have learned that crayon can be washed out of a dryer with WD-40 and time.
I have learned that potty-training comes in it's own time despite singing potties, color changing pull-ups, and cool books about peeing.
I have learned that the very best, meticulously made plans just aren't worth anything when the latest favorite teddy is lost.
I have learned that love has no boundaries. None. It can go everywhere.
I have learned that little boys are born thinking little girls have penis envy. That one is definitely nature rather than nurture.
I have learned that even though scraped knees hurt, they are crucial to the process of learning to ride a bike and the even more difficult lesson is that heartbreaks are crucial to learning the lessons of friendship, self-worth, and compassion.

I am still learning how to let go and trust other people not to damage the children I love so deeply.
I am still learning how not to come to the rescue all the time.
I am still learning how very not in control of anything I really am.
I am still learning that sometimes resistance is futile.
I am learning that Motherhood belongs to anybody who chooses to nurture, lift up, mend, and teach.

And most importantly, I think, I am coming to understand why God doesn't always come to my rescue just when and how I ask. Yet, just as I am waiting to embrace my children after a particularly difficult lesson or applaud them when they accomplish something that seemed impossible to them before, I know my Abba is there.

There are so very many lessons yet to come on this ever evolving journey and I hope I remember to slow down and pay attention enough to learn them well.

Friday, May 09, 2008

Happy 29th birthday to my very own genius saskwatch!

So, we were at a wedding last year or maybe the year before and Alex's big revelation to the groom was that marriage was like a really long sleepover. It's probably not a comment you're going to read in a Shakespeare romance, but it gave me warm fuzzies all over anyway. Probably the biggest compliment a person could get is that after several years of marriage, their spouse still calls it a sleepover. On one Alex-planned anniversary, we dyed our hair blue. Now that is some sizzling love-life right there. Serious points for originality. He is an amazing Daddy who isn't afraid to change a diaper or kiss a boo-boo. He is also a fabulous teacher, not just to our kids but also to the people around us. He has this way of being downright direct without ever making you feel judged. He is equally passionate about his faith and his pursuit of science. He can bring the two into a harmony I never would have thought possible. He is friendly and warm, gentle and honorable. He is generous and forgiving beyond anyone else I have ever met. He is an artist and a scientist. A skilled tradesman and a poet. A geek and goofball. And above all else, he is hairy. Really really hairy. Our children will have toe hair.

Happy birthday my love!!

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Blog therapy

After a very in-depth, emotional conversation with my mother, I have come to the conclusion that my undisciplined toe hair practices are a result of low self-esteem caused by seeing my father wearing pink tights in public. Childhood trauma like that simply cannot be undone by therapy.......

( I should probably clarify that the pink tights were part of a town crier costume for the children's festival. For the record, when you are coming up on adolescence, knowing the purpose of the pink tights does not lessen the impact.)


After doing some errands with spring fever afflicted children, I still needed to go to the store but didn't have the motivation. So, to keep myself going, I called a very pregnant friend who just started her maternity leave. Seconds after getting into the vehicle, she comments on my bright yellow socks and tsk's at me for wearing them with sandles. I explained that I do understand, and mostly follow, the no-socks-in-the-sandles fashion rule. The reason for the yellow socks was Selah's music lesson this morning. Toddlers and toe hair don't mix. Now, this answer seems perfectly reasonable to me. However, her reaction was bouts of laughter intermingled with a lecture on tweezers and their usefulness. My reaction, of course, is why the heck would I tweeze my poor toes when I can just apply yellow socks? My way seems far less painful and time-consuming. Besides, what did my toes ever do to deserve that kind of torture. yeesh.

So anyway, we continue on our way and it begins to bucket rain. Big, fat, splats of water worthy of rain forest weather were hitting my windshield. So I did what I usually do and rolled down the window about two inches, turned on the wipers, and stuck my hand out so the wiper would hit my hand and bounce back instead of getting stuck on the side like it usually does. My friend starts laughing hysterically. In retrospect, this seems far less odd than it did at the time. I would probably laugh at someone if I saw them casually flicking their wiper back into rhythm at every swipe. The whole trip reaffirmed once again that my life is just not boring.

Monday, May 05, 2008


So my world has (from the moment I was born, I'm sure) been this big ball of uncertain evolutions. This particular season has many interesting turns of events. My hours are cut at work again, we may or may not be housing a fifth child on weekends for awhile, the "Refuge" has closed for the summer, Seattle and teaching children's music is back on, the van is dying a slow painful death, Levi has officially moved downstairs and, to top it all off, Levi is enrolled in school for the fall. Whew! I can barely keep up, I am sure you guys are reading it twice making sure you don't miss anything important.

In the meantime, I am still finding my moments of sanity in the wee hours when I arrive home from work. Hence this early A.M. post. Can't say this is where I pictured myself at 26, but I am certainly far from bored!

Besides, that cliche about kootenay weather applies to my life too. You know, if you don't like it, wait 5 minutes, it'll change!