Monday, February 21, 2011

On Receiving and Giving

There is something so delightfully surprising and wonderful in receiving when you least expect it even when it's from people who you know think of you and love you and are in your lives quite frequently. But sometimes the best gift is from someone whom you love and loves you in return but she is far away and you never would have imagined a beautiful surprise from this person. It's not really the gift, though my tulips on a really difficult Valentines day from my dear cousin were so beautiful, it's that she thought of me and took time to share her thoughts and love with me across the miles. It's the unexpectedness and the love...

And my other surprises were so lovely, but they all added up to this amazing sum of's wonderful to feel loved.

I had this opportunity to share my love with neighbors who lost their father & husband. There is something in giving that touches the giver. I think Elijah was so touched when our neighbor teared up when he hugged her, that he knew to give her another hug. There is something in being able to touch someone for a moment and make a mark in their memory that lasts a lifetime.

The beauty in giving and receiving is living, breathing poetry for the soul.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

On watching Ezra turn two...

I've been watching him more intently these last few months. His tantrums grew more intense, his ability and desire to sit through a book grew longer, his eyelashes seemed longer, his giddiness at getting a cup of milk or a "nack" more fun to behold, he has been turning two for a while now.

But today is the anniversary of his birth.

Early this morning, he got out of his bed and came to my room, "mom, mama," he said as he peered through the crack in my door. I said, come in, and he ran over and reached for me to pull him into bed with me. He climbed in and began to count to ten for me, upon reaching 10, he said "ten, ten, ten, ten," opening and closing his fingers. Then he let me know he is fully aware of his body parts, moving from head, to eyes, mouth, teeth, nose, ears, fingers, legs and feet, labeling them all for me.

He nuzzled his sweet face under my neck, making sure our faces were able to love each other for a little while. And I just breathed him in and remembered staring at him in my hospital bed two years ago.

As I watched him as a newborn, trying to figure out all of the colors in his eyes, I asked that time slow down. And over the course of the two years, I came to realize that I was responsible for slowing down time by taking in my child as slowly and often as I could.

I heard him make the "g" sound for the first time last week. He moved from saying, "all done" to "all gone." As family and friends say happy birthday to him, he responds, "happy birday" back. I guess it sounds like a greeting, similar to good morning, maybe. He wasn't sure about the candle in his waffle this morning and after his brother and I sang and said blow, he finally pushed enough air through his sweet little lips to extinguish the flame.

He will take my hand off the keyboard when I'm typing and reach to be picked up or he'll take my hand and place his cup in my hand entreating me to get him more milk. The cutenesses of this kid are too numerous to name, but oh, wait until I tell him to do something, he'll stonewall me, by staring at something facing the other direction, deliberately and stubbornly ignoring my requests or demands.

I watched him sleep the other day, and couldn't believe how long he had grown as he stretched out in his bed. And just last night, I let him fall asleep in my arms, so I could see if his face still held traces of the newborn I fell in love with two years ago. His eyelids resting on his big beautiful eyes and his eyelashes kissing his cherub cheeks nodded to the brand new baby who graced my life two years ago. But his chubby cheeks and wrinkled brow said, hello 2! Goodbye baby!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

On writing and narrating stories

We all write ourselves into something... our destiny, our relationships, our image of ourselves.

Sometimes our image of ourselves relies heavily on tearing other people down to build ourselves up, to reinforce how we want to be seen or how we believe we are seen. Some people write fictional narratives to justify their choices, to make themselves look better in the eyes of others, in their own eyes. These people refuse to see anything else other than what they've written about themselves and others, forsaking logic and honesty.

Other times, we nourish others, listen, try to reason, be honest and try to be peaceful in order to reinforce how we want our story to go.

Of course there are many in-betweens...

Some people choose a career and a path at an early age. One of my good friends decided to be an ob/gyn as a teenager and chose to have a big family. She's now practicing in the field she chose for herself and just added her fourth child to her family. She's been with her husband for twenty years and they are only in their early thirties. I've found beauty and inspiration in her strength to move through her tragedy to continue towards the destiny she chose for herself.

After recalling her story and experiencing my own tragic experience, I'm revising what I've allowed to be written for me. I've had many people give both solicited and unsolicited input on what my story should look like. Many people had good intentions and spoke with love. Only a small few, wrote a narrative so false, so ugly, to tear me down to build themselves up. For a while I bought into the narrative and believed portions of the story, questioning myself, my choices.

I'm remembering these people who write untruths do so to bolster their own narratives which bolsters their egos. These narcissists who write whatever they choose whenever they choose do so for themselves only. These people from whom I'd like to escape, but they've written themselves in such a way, that they will always be present. All I can do is remember the truth about these people.

As I remember the truth, I revise their place in my own narrative.