Tuesday, July 21, 2009

On buying myself flowers

My 5 year old son noticed a new flower in the bouquet sitting in my favorite square vase, “you’ve never had that flower before,” he said of the huge sunflower poking conspicuously out of the rather conservative arrangement. He’s very observant and pays careful attention to the things I like and dislike. Last year he asked his father to buy me flowers when they were at the grocery store together. What a prince!

I have to remember to buy myself flowers because seeing their beauty on my dining room table makes me smile. I enjoy their presence every day. I used to think "oh, don't spend the money on something that will die so quickly or wait until you receive them on a special occasion." But in growing up, in needing the pleasantry in my life, I now know that I need to buy them for myself often. It's a small way of taking care of myself.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

On Watching My Children Grow

I looked at my newborn and knew he would grow up way too fast. He's five months now and scooting backwards and laughing with his brother. We started cereal yesterday and he loved it; he grunted for more. He tilts his head to the side and smiles--we have no idea where this little quirk came from. He is sitting up in a tripod position and has been bouncing on our legs for weeks now. He doesn't want to sit still and is so precious when he sleeps. But when he is awake he is so adorable and so much fun.

I can't believe my five year old is reading everything he sets his sights on. He sounds out words and sometimes sounds out the beginning and uses context clues to figure it all out. A year ago we were struggling to get him interested, struggling to listen to his staccato reading of sentences as if he was plucking the strings of a violin. Watching him read with more fluidity and even having him ask if we were going to New York as we drive into Baltimore and he reads the signs is a different kind of fun. And a relief that he's gotten it and the struggle with reading is over. He isn't as adorable anymore and the constant craving for answers get to be annoying. Even still watching him grow and think is a wonder all its own.

I try to breathe in the good moments with them and hold them close because the joy of watching them grow is the beautiful part of them growing too fast for my heart to stand.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

On the preparing for the untimeliness...

As the flight attendant placed the yellow life jacket over his head and onto his shoulder to demonstrate how to save yourself should the aircraft end up in a large body of water, I held my infant son and thought how do I get the life jacket from under the seat cushion, put it on, blow it up and keep both of our heads above water. I couldn’t believe I was really nervous, for the first time in my life, that it was possible this huge machine could literally fall from the sky and endanger our lives.

I put my hand on my child’s head and prayed that God would keep us safe and it wasn’t the stock prayer for traveling mercies or the habitual say grace before eating, it was a sincere plea.

With the several transportation fatalities that have crossed the television screens within the last few weeks, I’ve never felt more vulnerable, more fearful.
But it doesn’t stop with airplanes and trains; it extends to the loss of life on an individual level. My aunt died last week within 24 hours of Michael Jackson at that same time of month as my father four years before. As we also lost three other celebrities this past week, my family also lost a cousin and an uncle (father/son) within the last few months. The losses keep piling up and I’m becoming more frightened.

I fear the funerals that I’ll have to attend, the grief I’ll have to witness and share and the tears I’ll feel on my cheeks. It doesn’t feel like the spirit of fear we are not supposed to have because we know who holds our hand, but more like a certain je ne sais quoi... It’s not fear, but a deep sadness that is overtaking my sensibilities.

I feel like I need to make a list and send letters, apologies, thank you-s and love notes to those who’ve impacted my life. I need to write my thoughts to my children, to myself. I need to pursue my dream. I need to love a little harder and live a little more. I'm not sure what I need...