Tuesday, July 30, 2013

From her backseat perch in the car Ainsley initiated this conversation yesterday:
Ainsley: Mama, do some people call Jesus Santa?
Me: I don't think so, sweetie.
Ainsley: Oh, 'cause I learned a song at church that talked about it. "Ho, Santa! Ho, Ho, Ho Santa!"
Me: It's Hosanna, sweetie.

These moments make my entire day.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Just an Ordinary Week Until I Almost Died.

(Not that I ever in a million years would exaggerate or anything.)

Last week was a blur. Like a big speedy blur of fullness. It started out ordinary enough. Summer days filled with sun and swim. Wednesday was a highlight when I got to go and see one of my dearest friends, Marianne. She's in the middle of a big battle and she's way ahead. Knocking cancer in the kisser and teaching me so much about life, grace, and love all the while. She is one of my favorite people on the planet. There's just so much to be said for being present in the right here right now stuff of life and she's really good at this. Refreshment:)

The next day was ordinary enough and I was enjoying the daily-ness. Ordinary is good. I have never underestimated the power of a calm life. All the same I really was focusing on enjoying the simplicity that is our daily schedule on this day. I met with the gardener to show him some stuff that needed tending to in our Big Ivy and when I walked back in the house and noticed that my head was throbbing. It hadn't seemed like a stressful encounter but I took two Tylenol and went about making the girls' lunch.

I noticed that my ankles and hands were itchy which seemed irritating but not a big deal. But when my hands started to be red hot with itch and I realized something was amiss. I gathered that some kind of allergic histamine something was happening though I don't have any known allergies. I looked in the mirror on my way to the medicine chest (plastic shoe box) and noted that I was as red as a beet. Like ruby were my ears and neck. My underarms were suddenly as itchy as homemade mittens. I saw that I was spotted like a red hot leopard all the way to my waist. I'm no doctor but I gathered this was abnormal.

I dug through our little stash of meds and came across a Claritin. I took one and thought that I'd be good as new in no time. But instead in exactly no time my tongue started to swell. I wanted to talk to Dirk about it. To see if my voice of reason thought this was a big deal or not. But I was reasonably sure I'd sound like Sylvester from Loony Tunes if I tried to speak so texted him my symptoms instead. He called immediately and told me to get my little red hot self to the Urgent Care or ER ASAP and yes, my suspicions were confirmed, my voice was as slurred as a drunk kitty. His colleague who is a friend of mine was near to the phone and told me to lock the door, leave the girls there, and he'd be home in 15 to meet them. Admittedly this instruction both comforted and freaked me out all in one exhale. I liked knowing another mom was in on the gig and was giving me calm instruction - but anyone who's going to suggest you leave your nippers to fly solo so you can seek medical attention must know something you don't about how grave your situation is.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Hey, it's been a while.

We’ve just returned from an almost three week adventure across the Midwest to visit friends and family. Our first stop was in Illinois to see my brother’s firstborn be married. It’s okay since child weddings are legal in this state. Actually he’s 23. The one to whom my mom and I brought his first footie jammies grew up without anyone’s express permission.

It hit me while sitting in the pew that Loompa was about to become someone’s husband. Impossible. My brother Andy’s son. He started as Lump of Sugar which evolved to Lumpa which lent itself quite readily to Loompa, which stuck. The child’s given name is Adam, but when choosing between a moniker that means “Son of Man” or “Tiny Green-faced munchkin” the contest is over. Loompa it was. I know it’s not wildly flattering and I don’t call him this anymore (at least outside of my head).

But there are just so many memories fresh as rain in my mind of his Loompa-ness, his baby-ness. He was my first nephew, the first grandchild to my parents, and an easy happy baby with squishy cheeks and cheery giggles.

But at the front of the church he wasn’t Loompa anymore. His shoulders never so broad and strong. His skin was never so smooth, his hair more shiny. Boy, love does look good on a person, doesn’t it? And so my tears started to flow. I heard my sister behind me ask her daughter for a Kleenex and then later ask for the whole box. Well dang it then I was crying even harder. But it really wasn’t until the wedding was over that I became completely unglued. He and Brianna led the recessional to dismiss their guests. My mom was seated in the front row of the church where Adam bent down to kiss her. She reached for his face with her hand which was remarkably tremor-free. In that moment she was strong and vital, present and joy filled. It was as though a movie reel was set to motion. Every diaper she changed, t-ball game she attended, encouragement she uttered, guitar lesson she paid for, letter jacket she splurged on, sleepover she hosted... all of them were right there in that moment. Her first grandchild was married and she was there to witness it, to celebrate it.