Saturday, February 1, 2014

I Owe Her Everything

When you are expecting to welcome a new baby into your family, people are inevitably full of helpful advice.  Just kidding, when you are expecting to welcome a new baby into your family, people are inevitably full of thoughtless comments that make you want to head butt them. 

"You know, my sister's husband's cousin's best friend said if you wiggle in front of the mirror every night for the last trimester then your baby will be a good sleeper."

"You know, you  just need to  let that baby scream and not pick it up.  That'll make it more independent and everyone happier.  Especially that screaming baby." 

"You know, your children will hate each other because me and my brother were 2 years apart and we hated each other." 

When the "you knows" would come I always tried to give people the benefit of the doubt assuming that they had good intentions.  If their advice contained a nugget of helpfulness I'd keep it.  The rest I just smiled, nodded, and promptly changed the subject. 

However, there was one comment when I was pregnant with Goose that was not only unhelpful, but in fact, downright left me near tears and would be something I thought on for years to come. 

To set the scene for you, imagine you are at your local Wal-Mart.

Hey, let's face it any story worth telling takes place at the Wal-Mart. 

Anyways, you are at your local Wal-Mart getting your weekly groceries.  You have your two-year-old little boy and are 74 weeks pregnant with a daughter. 

Now, I can only speak to those located in East Tennessee, however, there is this magical time that happens during any Wal-Marting experience around here.  This is known as check-out time.  Now I have never been able to figure out the rational to all this, however, there are approximately 4,389,521 registers at our Wal-Marts, however, of those 4,389,521 registers they can only have max 3 opened at once.  And of those 3 that are open, I have an uncanny ability to get behind every extreme couponer doing their yearly shop.  This magical check out time is painfully slow.  Painfully slow. 

So Bub, me, and my gigantic belly find us in the check-out line.  As most people do when they see one of beautiful children I drag around with me, the woman behind me strikes up a conversation.  This particular conversation goes a little something like this:

Lady:  (laughing) "You sure are going to have hands full, aren't you?"

Me:  Smile. Nod.  "This line sure is moving slow.  I like your ___________ (fill in the blank with hair, shirt, shoes, box of tampons... anything to change the subject)."

Lady:  "Thank you.  So, is this one going to be a boy or girl?" whle pointing to my belly. 

Me:  Smile bigger.  Nod head even more thinking maybe she will just think I'm crazy.  "Girl.  Where did you get________  (see above list of subject changers)?"

Lady: "Oh thank goodness!  I always tell mothers who have little boys they need to have them a girl because you know the saying don't you?  'Daughter for life, son until wife!'  I know that was the case with my children." 

I don't remember how I responded, but I do remember thinking afterwards that she had to be wrong.  That she probably was just a crazy woman and obviously her children hated because she said dumb, inappropriate things to strangers at the Wal-Mart.  Crazy Wal-Mart Lady did not know my sweet Bub.  He was mine and there was never going to be some huzzy come take him from me.  The nerve of her to even suggest it.  

That's right baby.  Just look away from the Crazy.  Cover those precious ears, too.  Don't need to hear that mess. 
I stewed on this for sometime.  In the years that followed, it would occasionally creep back into my mind.  Overtime the picture of "the huzzy that would take him from me" soften considerably to the point now that I regularly and strongly find myself praying for whoever this woman who he will entrust his heart may be.  I feel certain this "someone" (and Goose's and Baby Moe's "someones") will be worthy of him.  In fact, prayer nowadays has turned more into helping Bub be the kind of man who is worthy of her and their family.  I know now that she won't take him from me, however,  when the time comes I will be the one who gives him to her. 
As I have slowly gotten to this point, I have come to a realization.  Back when the Rooster and I first started dating we quickly fell in love.  In fact, I knew almost immediately that he was my "someone".  And year after year I find myself deeper in love with him. 
However, recently I have began thinking about how he came to be the who he is?  And the answer, without any doubt, is his own mother. 
His ability to make everyone laugh.
How he can make anyone, even in tough situations, feel at ease. 
His knowing the right words at the right time. 
The energy that draws people to him. 
The compassion he shows our babies when anger is the easy emotion to have. 
His dedication to me. 
None of that happened by chance.  He didn't just wake up at 27 years old ready to meet the woman he was going to spend his life with without a lot of unseen, unsung, and sometimes unpleasant work. 
No, day after day after day after day his mother poured into him that sense of humor, and that compassion, and that dedication to family.  Day after day after day she prepared him for me.  For us. All the goodness he shows us is because of the goodness she did for him. 
I don't know if there was a day when he was her little boy and she had a moment like mine where her thoughts were, "There will never be a woman worthy of my baby."  Where she pulled him close and tried to banish the thoughts.  I also don't know if she ever got the point of where she was able to pray for what his life would look like when he had a family of his own.  But, I do know this:  everything I treasure most is a result of the love she poured into him.  I owe her everything because she gave me him. 

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

A Zebra Knows Her Own

Did you know that no two zebras have stripes that are exactly alike?  However, it is still hard to tell one zebra from another, unless, of course, you happen to be a zebra? 

Each night the Rooster reads the kids a devotional and the ending has some sort of little factoid about animals.  That was tonight's, knowing a zebra by its stripes.  These facts loosely relate back to the actual devotional and tonight's was no exception.

However, I am getting ahead of myself.  You see, perhaps, it would be more meaningful to get a better picture of what this time typically looks like.  To be a fly on the wall maybe.  Most nights after both the big kids have used the bathroom and brushed their teeth we all come into the living room to "listen" to the devotional.  Each of us define "listening" a little differently. 

For the Rooster, listening means reading and asking questions where applicable. 

For Bub, listening means sitting in Daddy's lap and asking several questions and usually finding some longwinded story related to the topic leaving the rest of us feeling inadequate in our lack of knowledge on any given topic. 

They are just precious. 

For Baby Moe, listening  means it is time to sing in his loud, one syllable voice or decide he is too tired to fool with all this quite business so he starts to cry. 

For me, listening means trying to hear key words here or there so I can try to contribute some small way while trying to keep the baby quite. 

And for Goose, my precious Goose, listening typically means trying to find out what happens when she pulls the dog's tail, or pokes the baby in the eye, or bites me, or sees how good of a split she can do, or silently mouth her cheers, or kiss the cat, or anything else that really doesn't resemble listening.


Yeah, I'm talking about you Sally Spirit. 

So tonight, the Rooster and Bub crawl into their chair.  Me and Baby Moe get into ours.  Goose plops down beside the dog (sorry Scooby, looks like you drew the short straw tonight). 

Everyone settles in.  The Rooster opens the book and reads the title to tonight's lesson.  "When to Stop Temper Tantrums." 

Both the Rooster and I look at Goose.  Goose looks at us.  Scooby sees his chance and slowly as not to draw attention to himself goes and hides. 

I tell Goose she needs to go sit with her Daddy and listen.  After a little heeing and hawing she gives me a little growl as she walks by.  I'm not even kidding.  Homegirl literally (like literally, literally not like the way most people say literally and really mean figuratively) growls at me!

Now you see, one of the lessons Goose has been working on for awhile now is how to control her temper.  Obviously from her (literal) growl, she has not mastered that lesson yet. 

So, after she gets settled again the Rooster begins reading.  The devotion starts out standard enough.  It begins with the following scripture:

"A hot-tempered person starts fights and gets into all kinds of sins."  Proverbs 29:22 (NLT)

I think to myself, "Hear that sister, fightn' and sin'.  Don't need to be fightn' and sinn'." 

He continues reading.  The first paragraph deals with self-control and how when we lose our temper we often feel worse after it is all over.  Again, to myself, "Yep, self-control.  How many times have we talked about self-control?  This thing was written for you, girlfriend."

Then he went to read the last paragraph: 

"When something robs you of your peace of mind, ask yourself if it is worth the energy you are expending on it.  If not, then put it out of your mind in an act of discipline.  Every time the thought of "it" returns, refuse it.

"Yep, peace of...." Oh, crap.  Double crap.  This can't be right.  How in the world?  How in the world did this devotional that was suppose to be about Goose suddenly become about me?

You see, there has been a few things that have happened in the last couple months.  Now, nothing life changing or even things most people would ever care about.  However, things that have at times been painful.  Things that have robbed me of my peace of mind.  Things which have drained my energy.  Things that I have, quite frankly, thrown a temper tantrum about. 

Now, mind you, my temper tantrums have not involved growling at anyone.  In fact, other than those who know me the most intimately, most people probably have no idea I have even had any temper tantrums because they all occur internally. 

However, there has been constant dialogue which has been stealing my peace of mind and energy.  The countless make believe conversations I have held in my head which result in no resolution and just more big feelings.  The pointless exhaustion. 

Then it dawns on me, a zebra knows her own.   Goose and I are so similar in most ways.  Makes little surprise we would share this as well. 

So, perhaps, tonight's devotional wasn't just for Goose's (and Scooby's) sake, but mine as well.  So my goal is to change my stripes by disciplining myself by putting this out of my mind and every time it returns, refuse it.  And just maybe, Goose's stripes will change as well. 

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

So, I had a baby

It is officially 4:38 AM and I have been unable to sleep for the past hour.   This is nothing short of miraculous.  You see for the past 8 months anytime there is an opportunity to sleep I have taken it.  Sometimes, in fact, I start to daydream about sleep only to find that I have actually fallen asleep in the middle of my daydream about sleep.  In addition, when I'm not sleeping I am typically doing 3 other things all at the same time.  The "things" that I'm doing vary, however, it is without exception that whenever I am doing what I'm doing it is while doing something else.  Redundant and repetitive?  Blame it on the lack of sleep. 

So, as you have likely have figured out why my head is stuck in a cloud that obviously does not contain a thesaurus.  Back in May, I met this guy:

Who seemingly overnight (note, apparently when I was sleeping) turned into this guy:

I realize that I am biased, however, you have to admit he is the most precious thing you have ever seen.  Isn't he?  If they made chocolate babies, they would make them look just like him because everyone would just want to eat him right up, every last bite.  Like until they had a stomach ache, but then they would still say, "Give me more of that delicious chocolate baby!  He's just so yummy!"   Then I would say, "Don't eat my chocolate baby!  He's all mine!"  Err, anyways... 
This is my precious Moses. Even just typing his name makes my heart swell and my breath catch.  I love this baby.  In addition to trying to sleep and get people not to eat him, I have spent the last 8 months wondering how I ever got to lucky to get to be his momma. 
What, you want just one more?  Okay: 
*Disclaimer, he does actually wear clothes occasionally.