June 26, 2008

Lost Lost Tooth

Today my oldest lost his 6th tooth. Like a warrior, he just held it up for the tribe to see without even pushing pause on TIVO. Later he ceremoniously shined it with toothpaste and warm water, covering the drain hole with a washcloth to protect his investment. He wrapped it in a kleenex and moved on -- so far on that he lost his tooth for a second time. He realized its absence at bedtime and the tears that followed reflected a true sadness that nothing other than the found tooth could assuage. I tried to assure him that our ways were not the Tooth Fairy’s ways, and we shouldn’t limit her to mere technicalities like the actual presence of a tooth (all the while praying he would some day trust God enough to give Him the same latitude).

 His sister immediately went into solutions mode and took a shot at affecting destiny. With Lucas sobbing in the background, I watched her pen a heartfelt note to the tooth fairy on her brother’s behalf and place it under his pillow where the tooth should have been. It read (spelling is hers), “Dear tooth fairy. My brother Lucas lost his tooth. He LOST it and can’t find it. He was so exited! So pleas give him mony any way. Love, Sydney.”

Something tells me her faithful plea is going to work. Lord, help me to remember her boldness the next time I find myself on my knees in prayer.

March 10, 2008

Soon to Be Seven

How can I possibly describe this child on her seventh birthday so that you can get the tiniest sense of her? She is too huge to contain with lists of interests and accomplishments. She has this flame that is so strong and so beautiful you almost feel like you could lose your salvation if you ever caused it to flicker. She makes you sing louder and run faster and climb higher and cry longer just so you can see what it would be like to be her. Instead of walking, she dances. Instead of whispering, she sings. Instead of whimpering, she weeps. She never stops talking and sometimes you find yourself silencing her just to find some peace, but then you run back to her as fast as you can because you discover your world is changed, darker, emptier without her voice. Oh, Father in Heaven, thank you for this child who is turning seven.

January 1, 2008

Grandma Had a Secret

I learned something unbelievable today. At Grandma’s funeral, one of the people who chose to honor her life and my family’s loss by attending was a hospice nurse who had cared for her. Grandma’s battle was a long one, so the hospice staff had the privilege of spending many hours, days, weeks, and months with her. I was never privy to their conversations, but my Grandma was a private woman and a lover of people so I was certain she asked most of the questions. At the funeral, this godly Hospice volunteer pulled me aside and said she learned something important about Grandma that she just had to share. I have to admit, guilt and shame was my first reaction in learning that a stranger should hold a truth that I had not learned in all my years of loving Grandma.

She asked me if I had ever thought Grandma’s relationship with my youngest son was special. I had always known it to be, but had never voiced it out of concern for the feelings of my other children. Grandma was different with Seth. She held on to him as if he were her own. She was a part of his life from my pregnancy to her final days and he responded to her in a way I can’t explain. Even when he was just two and full of mommy attachment issues, he would climb down the stairs to her bedroom in my mother’s house and close the door. Sometimes more than an hour later I would retrieve him, astonished that a bedridden 90-year-old could keep his attention for that long. (Later my grandma revealed that he would shoot her and she would play dead.)  Seth loved her and spent time with her and played with her and cuddled with her and talked to her and listened to her...and shot her.

I learned at her funeral that there was a reason for all this. Grandma had had three daughters. But there was one child that came before her girls. When she was pregnant and ready to deliver him, a healthy full-term boy, the hospital made a fatal error and left my grandmother unattended while she was sedated. Her son died in childbirth while staff was down the hall. I knew the story but Grandma never talked about it. The Hospice nurse noticed Grandma’s relationship with my son and urged her to try to explain it. I learned today that there was something about Seth, something about the timing, something about Grandma’s need for closure, something about God that let her finally hold, sing to, and play with her baby boy. Can you even wrap your mind around something so extraordinary?

 Drew and I had always planned to have two children, God willing. Lucas and Sydney came (fourteen months apart) and we felt blessed beyond measure. In spite of all our plans, I just couldn’t shake the feeling we were meant to have another boy. I could almost see him. My dear husband didn’t question it and God gave us Seth. Now I know why.

I cannot wait to tell Seth of this special purpose he held. I can’t even put into words how grateful I am and how safe I feel that such a loving God holds us all.