Serrated Words

Tonight, as I lay in bed struggling to fall asleep, I read a blog post written by a mama who just lost her 5 year old boy to brain cancer. And it grieved me. It made me have that deep down, unquenchable ache.

Only one thing would help it.

I quietly pulled back the covers, grabbed a tissue and headed for my little one’s room. I climbed into his bed with him and engulfed him in my arms, relishing the feeling of every breath as he took it, stroking his soft, brown hair & kissing him- his ears, his cheeks. Whispering “I love you” into his little ear…over and over again.

And as most moments like this in life tend to do, it got me thinking.

Why do I wait?

Why does it take a post like that to remind me just how quickly life can change?

Who don’t I relish and agonize, in the best way possible, over making every moment count?

We recently moved, and in the move, somehow our knives got packed in several different places. For the first week or so of unpacking, I could only find 2 decent knives. One was a straight edge, incredibly sharp knife. The other was a serrated, not as “heavy duty” knife.

For the first several mornings, I stubbornly chose the “sharp” knife to cut and section my breakfast grapefruit. After all, it’s the sharpest. And I would, with much frustration, butcher my grapefruit. Always getting the job done, but rarely with much of the grapefruit in tact at the end. The knife simply cut down everything in its’ path.

Then one morning, I noticed my second, serrated knife lying there. It wasn’t as sharp, and I immediately bemoaned the fact that my sharp knife was in the dishwasher (isn’t that just like us “humans” to miss the thing that didn’t work in the first place?) I picked up the serrated knife and began to work on sectioning my grapefruit.

It worked.

Perfectly.

Sure, it took a little more time, but when I was finished, nice, in tact sections of grapefruit stared back at me.

But the knife wasn’t even sharp?!

No. But it was made for that job. It was made to cut through breads, fruits, whatever else, making a pathway through, without destroying the entire thing.

So often my words are sharp. They get the job done…but they leave a butchered mess in their wake. It would seem that those words, that action, that response would be the most effective. The fastest. But it hurts. It leaves behind slices of pain, regret and moments that can never be undone.

As I lay there holding my boy tonight I thought about my words, my actions, my responses. If he was gone tomorrow and I looked back at his almost 4 years of life, would the moments be sharp or serrated? Would I have correctly him sharply, leaving little bits of his heart and dignity exposed? Or would I have chosen to take the more difficult path…the path that takes more work, more carving, more of my time and energy, patience, forgiveness & love. The path that leaves behind a child who is whole, brave and sensitive to guidance?

Lord, let my words, moments and actions be serrated. Let them be fit for the task at hand. Let me look at every opportunity as if it were my last, my most precious opportunity to mold and pour into that precious little life you’ve entrusted to me.

First things first…

Well, I’m alive.
I realize that all blog evidence (or lack thereof) points to the contrary…but really, I am here.

I have a few posts coming in the next day or so.

I just wanted to stop in first and say, hey! I’ve missed writing. I have missed this little outlet of mine. Since my last post, we have both quit our previous jobs, my hubby accepted a new position, we moved cities, are living in a completely new (to us) and larger home (that I get to update as I choose- yay!) and we are just loving life!

So if you’ll indulge me, I plan to start sharing lots about our new life with you here.

Missed ya!

Until next time, I thought you might enjoy this… 🙂
mermaid

Late Night With Roy

We had a mighty fun night last night!
Since we first started dating, Nathan & I have tried every October to go to Late Night With Roy (fun opening of the UNC basketball season.) Here we were back in 2006!

image

Well last night was especially fun (and stressful 🙂 ) because we took Elijah for his first Late Night experience. Here he is outside the Smith Center!

image

He LOVED it. The sights, the sounds, the souvenirs! It was an action packed evening for my little Tar Heel.

image

image

image

image

But the BEST part for little man? Meeting “Yamsees” of course! He got to meet Rameses the Ram and he’s pretty enamored!

image

The night was so much fun! We’re so in love with experiencing life through his little eyes!

But now we have a problem. Elijah has a big question.
“Where was Teddy, Mama?”

You see, Elijah has three UNC toys he especially loves.
1)A singing Rameses head that was his Daddy’s when he was a kid.
2) A teddy bear wearing a UNC sweatshirt that he got from his Aunt
3) And Rameses that he got on his first visit to Chapel Hill when he was 6 weeks old.

image

Well he’s very perplexed now. He met “Big Yamsees.”
And he said that he understands why little Rameses wasn’t there last night. ” Because he doesn’t have feet.”
But Teddy. WHERE WAS TEDDY??
Elijah officially thinks Teddy is a UNC mascot too.
He eventually decided that Teddy was probably “In da back someyare. Ye’ll see him next time.”

I sure hope so, Buddy! 🙂

image

9/11 on the 12th

I’m a day late.
But then again, I usually am.

September 11th still overtakes me with emotion. (As I am sure it does most Americans.) I struggle to get on Facebook and see the pictures, I struggle to watch the reminders on the news channels, and I struggle to write.

How is my experience really worth sharing? I don’t know. But somehow, writing helps me work through my own thoughts enough to be okay with them. To somehow lay them aside for another year and feel that due diligence has been given them.

I was a ninth grader. At an International School in West Africa. We had just woken up from “rest time” and I was headed for my next class. As I walked past the teacher’s lounge, I noticed there were a lot of them in there, huddled around a TV. I noticed it, but I didn’t question it. They were teachers anyway, known to do much stranger things than excitedly watch the news together.

Shortly thereafter, a friend told me that a plane had flown into one of the World Trade Center towers. Ok?  A plane crashed. That happens all the time. Then a little while later, we were told about the 2nd tower. I still didn’t “get it.”

But my dad picked me up early from school that day. He hugged me. And to this day, I remember asking him what the big deal was. “Shug, it was a terrorist attack. Those planes that flew into the towers were an attack on America.”

Attack? America? But why?

Up went the red “lock-down” status flag. The embassy told all American citizens, and anyone who could be mistaken as an American, to stay inside. We were to “lay low.” In town, we heard of street vendors selling shirts with pictures of the blazing towers. The shirts read, “Attack America.” Just the latest news, hot off the press, selling t-shirts.

It would be a while before I would truly understand. But I remember feeling afraid. In my lifetime, I had felt sadness over moving, losing loved ones, etc. I had felt immense happiness. I had felt fear- fear of spiders or fear of diving into the pool.

But I had never felt afraid. Rocked to the core afraid. My America. My love for her was so deep, having spent my entire life as an expatriate. And when my America was attacked, I was attacked.

Others may never understand it, but we always will.

Americans.

Citizens of the US of A.

A brotherhood, a fraternity, a forever bond. No matter what part of the globe we may be filling, we are Americans.

My prayers still go out to the families who lost loved ones on that tragic day. Know to the very depths of your being that your loss is not forgotten.

Sopher-Topher

One year ago today, our family had its most recent addition- this girl:
SANYO DIGITAL CAMERA

A rather lovely addition, I say!

She’s such an easy-going girl, eats all sorts of yummy healthy food, and always has a giggle or a “toofy” grin to share. Such a pretty girl too!

We love you Sophie!

Happy 1st Birthday!

Choices

Ever have one of those moments where you just want to smack yourself in the face? No? Well, I do…often.
Yesterday morning the sun was shining & the air was just crisp enough to make me think Spring hadn’t forgotten us after all.

I was happily getting my clean on inside the house. Scrubbing showers, vacuuming, folding clothes, sweeping the kitchen floor, humming away.  Content as could be.

My husband was outside mowing our lawn- before 10 AM. What a stud I have. The man works all week long, then is willing to get up on Saturday morning & make sure our lawn is looking good. I was living it up on Cloud 9- just as happy as a lark with my life and marriage.

I quickly ran to the back of the house to grab something and came back into the kitchen.

When what to my wondering eyes did appear….but a husband with damp grass clumps all over my freshly cleaned kitchen floor.

Cloud 9 evaporated.

Immediately the talons came out. “I JUST cleaned this floor. Urgh.” etc., etc., etc.

My sweet husband backtracked out the door and finished the lawn. While I re-cleaned the kitchen floor….and my heart.

How quickly I forgot the sacrifices my husband made for me.

I am a woman & my emotions can jump from here to there before I can blink. But I have to choose not to make my decisions, or respond in a certain way based on my emotions.

Choose…

Choose to recognize the good in my loved ones.

Choose to respond in love, patiently.

Choose to acknowledge that our relationship is far more important than my kitchen floor.

 

 

Man of a Few More Words

Straight from the horse’s er, toddler’s mouth:

While on the church playground with his Daddy, he looked up at the sky and said, unprompted, “Daddy, it yooks yike it’s gonna yain today.” He was right. It rained. Meterologist, maybe?

—–

We are on the verge of potty-training. He is interested, loves his pull-ups, and is very aware of how big boys “go.” He loves to talk about “peepin'” in the potty. Yep, peepin’…

—–

We have been talking a lot about summer recently. On his own, E has been recalling things we did last summer while on vacation. Today we dressed him in a souvenir-T from Myrtle Beach, where we usually vacation. It has the signature SC Palmetto tree & sliver moon…similar to this one:

SC Palmetto Tree

As we dressed him, we talked about how the shirt was from the beach. A few hours later, he randomly said to me, “Mommy, my shirt says (pronounced “say-s,” not “sez.”) beach, summer and moon on it.” If you say so, little one.

—–

Little man loves to count things these days. Counting is all the rage, you know! Lately, it’s been going a little something like this, “Yun, two, three, foo, fi, six, seden, eight, nine, ten, yeven, fourteen, eighteen, eighteen, eighteen.” And that’s usually the end of the list of items, because really, who needs to count higher than eighteen, anyway?

—–

We love this little man. He is a tiny clone of his father, from his peanut-butter lovin’ to his spring allergies, and I couldn’t be more thrilled.

SANYO DIGITAL CAMERA