/> Raising Angels: April 2006

Sunday, April 30, 2006

The Writing on the Driveway - A Note From God

I was just rolling the trash can out to the street. When I reached the porch steps to the entrance of the house, I found the following starting at the steps and stretching to the garage.

"Do not kinform yorself to the standard uv this world but let God tranzform you inwrdly bi a kumplete chang of yor hart."

God has spoken once again through the brilliance of Mackenzie who was playing alone outside this afternoon and did this whole thing "kumpletely" on her own.

Saturday, April 29, 2006

I Love Being a Mama

I spent last night and most of today on a Women's Retreat. Those of you who follow along know that God's theme for me lately has been motherhood, how to embrace it and how to find Him in it. I tend to be a bit hard-headed at times but the message is finally beginning to break through.

Today during the one hour personal prayer time this is what He told me. I wrote it in my prayer journal and transposed it here.

Dearest Jesus,

When we were tasked with what the focus of this hour of prayer should be, I knew Your answer before she finished speaking. She wanted us to ask You for Your vision for our lives. You have been shouting this at me over the last two years. I've known it, but I haven't let myself feel it, accept it. Now, You're telling me it's time to relish in it. MOTHERHOOD.

I went walking in search of a place to really be alone with You but everywhere I turned there were bodies. I began to walk and thought briefly that I should just walk out my prayer time, but everyone looked so intent, so peaceful, I didn't want to be a distraction.

I kept searching. The farther I walked the fewer people I came across. If I just keep walking, I thought, I can be alone. I turned the last corner to find the peaceful solitude I longed for. When I looked up, I laughed. The solitude You led me to, the place You wanted me, was right beside the playground.

It is not the most beautiful place on the grounds. It's right next to the A/C units so it's a little noisy. It's back behind all the other buildings where no one else can see it. It's sandy, disheveled, and a bit worn out. It's where I sat to be with You.

This is where I belong. I won't always be here, but right now, in this moment, there is nowhere else on earth I'd rather be. I looked at the playground and thought about the noisy joy that is lifted up from this place. I thought about the purity and innocence that lives here. I thought about the moldable and teachable hearts. It's time to relish.

After all, I live in a castle with the most beautiful princess on the planet. I also live in a secret cave with two busy caped crusaders. I get the chance to be a true hero every day. I am always beautiful in their eyes. My kisses are magic, my dancing is cool and my pizza is delicious. I get to share Jesus with these souls. I get to kiss His face and hold Him in my arms.

And one day, when they are older, we will go out in front and change the world together.

Thank You Jesus. I love being a mama!

Friday, April 28, 2006

I Want To Kiss Jesus

I've been struggling with my change in spirituality since Dawson was born. I was single for 26 years before marriage and spent 10 of those years relishing contemplative prayer through my work with the Missionaries of Charity, daily mass and weekly Adoration.

When number 3 came along, everything changed and I just had a hard time realizing that I couldn't handle my spiritual life the same way. I guess it was that good old Catholic guilt kicking in.

Time after time, the Lord tried to encourage me to meet Him where I am. He has spent many months trying to show me that He is present at all times in all places. He shows me that I can experience spirituality in a whole new way. Not a bad way, just a different way. Today He showed me once again.

Mackenzie: "Mama is Heaven above us?"

Me: "Yes it is."

Mackenzie: "Is it higher than the sky?"

Me: "Yes."

Mackenzie: "Is it higher than the clouds?"

Me: "Yep."

Mackenzie: "How high is it?"

Me: "It's higher than the sun, the moon and the stars."

Mackenzie: "Is it higher than space?"

Me: "There is nothing in this world that is higher than Heaven."

Mackenzie: "Then how do you get there when you die?"

Me: "Well, when you die, your body stays here and Jesus takes your soul to Heaven. Then one day, when Jesus comes back to earth He will take your body back to Heaven with Him."

Mackenzie: "I wish Jesus would come right now so I could give Him a kiss."

Me: "You can."

Mackenzie: "How? By kissing my heart?"

Me: "Well that might be a little hard to do. Do you remember that Jesus said whenever you do it to the least of my brothers you do it to Me? When you help someone when they need it, or give someone a hug when they are crying, or you give your brothers a kiss, you are doing that to Jesus. Jesus lives in everyone's heart whether or not they believe it so you can touch, hug and kiss Jesus every day in the people you meet."

Mackenzie: "Oh! That's cool!"

As the words were coming out of my mouth I knew that God was talking to me just as much as He was to Mackenzie.

Okay God. I think I'm beginning to get the point.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Good Goin' Mama

First some background. We're building our new house to fulfill our dreams and because we've really outgrown our current one...and oh yeah, our next door neighbor.

The two boys are squished into their room and do great at night but naptime has been a bit of a challenge. Too much playing and no sleeping caused me to shuffle them around. Dawson stays put because the crib is in their room and Aiden naps in Mackenzie's room. She was not overjoyed about that at first but has adjusted wonderfully as always.

Today I was getting ready to put Dawson down when I heard the outpouring of the contents of a piggy bank in Mackenzie's room. Odd, seeing as how she was not there.

"AIDEN!" I called out sternly. "What are you doing?"

"I not doin' anythin' Mama!" he countered back in a mischevious tone.

I heard the thuds of his little feet and I rushed to meet him in the hallway. "Aiden, you are not supposed to be playing in Mackenzie's room."

"I sorry Mama," he said contritely.

"Okay. Now go get in Mackenzie' bed. It's nap time."

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Guardian Angel at Work

The boys and I were on our way home from dropping Mackenzie off at her ballet class when we spotted our soon to be one house between neighbor jogging down the road.

"Who's that Mama?" Aiden asked, always the inquisitive one.

"That's Charlie's daddy, Uncle Paul," I informed him.

"What's he doin'?"

"He's jogging down the road, Aiden."

Then, at the top of his lungs from inside the car, Aiden screamed, "Look out Uncle Paul! Car coming! Watch out!"

I giggled.

"I tell him that so he can be safe," he told me rather matter of factly.

One day a super hero, the next a guardian angel.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006


Today we reaped in the benefits of having a daddy who is in ad sales with the local cable company. Because of him, we were able to go see one of our heroes - DORA THE EXPLORER.

Dora is one of only two shows that Aiden always begs to watch. All three will gather to vocally and physically help Dora on her adventures. Even Dawson shouts, "Map, Map!"

Nelson also got us in backstage for pictures. The kids were ecstatic. I was busily getting them dressed for the show when Dawson threw up everywhere.

Poor guy. He has such terrible timing. He also missed his first chance to see the circus because he was throwing up. Thank God I live so close to my parents who I called in desperation. HELP!

My mom raced over. Mackenzie, Aiden and I made it in time for the meet and greet before the show. Daddy and Dawson had to stay home.

More than the show, I loved watching my two sing and dance away with Dora. It was very, very fun. It was just sad that my baby was missing and that Daddy, who worked so hard to hook us up, had to stay behind.

Oh, well. Maybe next year she'll come back and we can all go. Thank you mom and dad. Thank you Nelson. I don't know what we'd do without you.

Monday, April 24, 2006


Lately I have been completely amazed by Mackenzie, my sweet, petite 5 1/2 year-old. I've been listening to her read not just her homework, but signs, labels, cards, and basically anything with letters. And, oh yeah, that spelling game we used to play to talk to each other without the kids knowing what we were saying...that's over!

Today she pulled out her weekly scripture verse to work on memorizing it. I put it in front of me to begin reading it to her like always and she pulled it away to read it herself. "Do not conform yourselves to the standards of this world, but let God transform you inwardly by a complete change of your mind," she carefully read.

Of course, it took some time, patience and a lot of sounding out, but she got it, by herself. I was busy congratulating her when she continued, "Romans 12:2. Hey, Romans!" she squealed ecstatically. "That's where Uncle Aaron lives."

Okay, reading she's got. Geography still needs a little work. Come to think of it, Uncle Aaron does live in Rome, Italy. So, technically, he does live with Romans.

Ciao Aaron. See, you continue to have an impact even over the ocean.

Saturday, April 22, 2006


Today I am grateful. Grateful for healthy and happy children. Grateful for a healthy and happy husband. Grateful for a healthy and happy me.

In the last three days we've had a dear friend of the family find out he has a very aggressive form of prostate cancer, another friend who may have lymphoma and another with possible testicular cancer.

Last night as we were leaving a downtown bar after hearing a friend play, we witnessed a car accident in which we watched one of the vehicles flip onto its roof. The man who was hanging upside down in his car amazingly walked away from it. The girl driving the other car was taken away in handcuffs after failing a sobriety test.

It's strange how one day you think you're fine and the next you're wondering how long you have to live. One day you think you're invincible and the next you're watching your life flash before your eyes.

Thank you Jesus for placing Your loving and protective arm around us. May I never, ever take that for granted.

Friday, April 21, 2006


I've been tagged by Michelle at Rosetta Stone so here goes:

Four places I've worked
1. The Augusta National
2. Harlem High School
3. Alleluia Community School
4. Catholic Stewardship Consultants

Four movies I could watch over and over
1. Life is Beautiful
2. Sleepless in Seattle
3. Return to Me
4. Hoosiers (my dad is a b'ball coach what can I say?)

Four places I've lived
1. Tuscaloosa, AL
2. Culman, AL
3. Huntsville, AL
4. Augusta, GA

Four TV shows I love
1. Alias
2. Lost
3. 24
4. American Idol (alright, you can laugh but I really do love it)

Four places I've been on vacation
1. Rome, Italy
2. London, England
3. Caherdaniel, Ireland
4. Aruba

Four websites I visit daily
1. Testosterhome
2. Rosetta Stone
3. Happy Day Dead Fish
4. Comcast

Rachel and Holly, you're tagged.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Aiden Saves the Day

This morning Aiden got dressed and donned his Batman cape. He then busily flew around the house while I dressed Dawson.

When I was finished, I told Aiden to put the cape away so we could go to the Y. He begged me to let him wear his cape. I'm not usually one for letting the kids dictate what they wear out in public, but he was having too much fun saving the world for me to say no.

Of course, my caped crusader attracted a lot of attention running through the Y. One man asked him who he was and I told Aiden to say Batman. Aiden turned and said, "I SUPER Batman!"

From the Y we went to Sam's to pick up some things. As I was unloading the groceries, I left Aiden and Dawson on the porch with their corndogs to have a picnic. I figured this would keep the mess outside. Besides, how much trouble can they get into on the porch?

I was just bringing in the last load when Aiden ran into the house screaming, "Mama look what Dawson do. Come look what he do!"

I ran out in time to see Dawson drenched with bubbles. When I turned him around to survey the damage, he opened his mouth and a bubble floated out. I was worried and checking for the non-toxic label on the jar when it happened, but I'm laughing hysterically now. Really, it was like a scene from The Little Rascals except there were no special effects, jut bubbles... and lots of them.

I'm happy to report that after some sputtering and coughing Dawson appears to be okay.

It's so nice to live with a super hero.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

A Little Easier

Today I had one of those moments when I actually thought, "This is so much easier." I was bringing a stack of library books to Mackenzie's class. All year long I've done this with Dawson while Aiden is in school.

The library experience always starts great but usually ends with Dawson screaming because I've had to stop him from pulling every book off of the shelves. Today it was a quicker trip with no tears.

When I pulled up to the school, I didn't get the stroller out. Instead Dawson walked along with me carrying a book. We stopped in the courtyard to talk to a friend. Dawson played quietly and happily.

I often have to tell myself that this will get easier. Over and over and over again. Today it did.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

The Easter SEASON

Have you ever experienced a day when God gives you a glimpse of the big picture? Well, maybe not the BIG picture, but a big enough piece that you can sit back and go, "Oh, I think I understand this now." God did that for me today in regards to my Good Friday experience.

It begins at the beginning of Lent. This year, instead of watching The Passion at the end of Lent like I would normally do, I watched it at the beginning. The movie is a vivid picture of Jesus' suffering and death. It stayed with me. Those images were in the forefront of my mind throughout all of Lent. I really wanted to walk that walk with Jesus.

Last Tuesday, as Nelson and I were cleaning up at the "house site", some friends walked by and commented on how they would be sad to see our dirt hill go. Nelson jokingly said that we might put up three crosses on Good Friday to really use the hill one last time before the builder started on Saturday. I added that I was sure that the Lord would resurrect a house in its place.

On Holy Thursday the steel beams were delivered and everything was in place for work to begin Saturday. That is, until we discovered that our builder had to back out. It was a huge blow.

I tried to get worked up about it, but I had just come out of Holy Thursday mass and Adoration. I was focused on Christ's suffering. Try as I may, I just couldn't pity myself. Instead, I focused on the darkness of Good Friday and the Passion and death of Jesus. In light of that our situation seemed pretty insignificant.

What I know is that Jesus died. And on that day, it was very dark. However, I also know that on the third day He rose from the dead. I know that even if I was the only person on earth, He still would have done that just for me. When you know that someone loves you that much, it's hard to lose faith. It doesn't make sense to doubt that He has a better plan than we do.

In the Catholic Church, Easter is not just one day, it's a season. It's a Resurrection. It's hope. It's a new beginning. It's all we really need. If tomorrow we found out that there would never be a new house, I would be disappointed, but I would not lose faith. How could I?

This reaction is not me. It's grace. It's a lifetime of faith and answered prayers to fall back on. It's a God who loves me enough to do what's best for me even if it hurts. What happens with the house doesn't matter. What happens with my soul does. And, because of Jesus, I have hope that one day I will spend eternity with Him in Heaven.

Alleluia! He is Risen!

Monday, April 17, 2006


He is risen! Hope springs eternal.

Lest you think we're perfect. It's amazing that we started with these and managed to end with the one above. An Easter miracle. Notice that in the not so happy photo I'm still smiling. Last year at this time that would not have been the case. I've come a long way. It's a new season. A season of hope. A season of joy. Isn't God amazing!

Friday, April 14, 2006

A Good Friday

It's been a heavy week. So heavy that I feel at times, Jesus is allowing situations in order that I may in some very, very small way feel His pain.

It's a good week for things to go wrong. When the focus in on Jesus' supreme sacrifice, nothing else compares. No matter what happens, how hopeless, how frustrating, how painful something is, I find myself thinking about Jesus' Passion. Suddenly, my world doesn't seem so important.

Someone said to me last night, "Man, I just wish I could catch a break." My immediate thought was that Jesus probably thought that too. He was in the garden sweating blood. He knew what He was about to endure. He asked God to take this cup from Him. He accepted it anyway.

This week, no matter how hard I try, I can't be hopeless. It's always darkest before the dawn. Look at Good Friday. In discussions with Mackenzie this week, she asked me why they call it Good Friday when something so bad happened. I explained to her that what happened that day wasn't good in the way we think about it. It was good because of what resulted from it.

Easter is the ultimate season for hope. It is the springtime of the soul. It is God making all things new. From that dark day at Calvary rose the glorious Son on Easter morning.

Today was a good, reflective, sacrificial day. The kids, although small, rose valiantly to a day with no TV, music, or snacks. They relished the time we spent talking about the Easter story by going to the Stations and Veneration of the Cross, and doing our Resurrection Eggs.

They are excited that Easter will be here soon. I am too. Without faith, the events of today would be too much to bear. But I know that Jesus is not dead. I believe that He rose from the dead. I love that He did it for me.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

The Gift of Forgiveness

As a part of my Lenten journey I have been working through a huge "to do" list over the past few weeks. Even though the boys had their Spring Break last week and Mackenzie has hers this week, I've been able to make great headway.

A lot of the list has to do with spring cleaning - not just my house, but my heart. At the top of the list today was Confession. Somehow, I managed to miss every Penance service this Lent and I really wanted to go before Easter. Both of the boys were in school today so it was my perfect and only real opportunity between now and Sunday.

Mackenzie and I arrived at the church at 11:30 on the dot, right when Confession begins. I've been to this weekly Confession time before and have never seen more than four people in line. When we walked in, there were already 20 people waiting.

My heart sank. They were preparing for a funeral mass at 12:15 so I knew that father would not go over the time. I got in line anyway with desperation and a little hope. Maybe people would go fast.

Five minutes later the same person that was in when I arrived had not emerged from the confessional. I stood in line praying for a miracle.

Almost immediately an usher tapped me on the shoulder and said that another priest was here for the funeral and would hear confessions until mass began. I was the second in his line.

When it was my turn, I tried to make it quick in order to allow the people behind me the same opportunity I had been given. Father was quick as well. For a brief second I felt a twinge of disappointement. It was not the profound moment I was hoping for.

However, as knelt down to begin my penance, I realized the most profound thing of all. I had been given absolution for my sins. No matter how I felt, the truth was that the sacrament was there just the same. What's more is that even though I am a worthless sinner, God allowed me the opportunity to make confession when it didn't seem possible.

For me that was the greatest gift of all. Once again God proved to me that He can not be outgiven. My measly and last minute effort became beautiful because of His grace. That's just how much He loves me. It's what Lent is really all about.

Thank you Jesus for the gift of today. For the sacrament of Penance. For Your limitless forgiveness. For the ultimate sacrifice of Your death on the Cross that made all of this possible.

I love being Catholic!

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

A Note of Thanks

I just got back from working on our "house" with Nelson. We sealed the cold joint. For all of you non-construction types, we were slathering the point where the block wall meets the concrete slab of the basement with really gooey black stuff that is supposed to waterproof it.

I enjoyed working with Nelson. It felt good to be doing something physical to further the progress of the house. It was even better to be doing it with the man I love.

Thank you Nelson for all that you do for us. You have given me my heart's desire by making me a wife and mother. Building a house together is just one more way you've made my dreams come true.

I love you!

Monday, April 10, 2006

Lenten Tag

I've been tagged by Michelle at rotetta stone. I don't have the mom experience she does but I'm on my way. So, here goes:

1. What do you do with your blessed palm from Palm Sunday? We make it into a cross and stick it in our mail and key holder that's right by the door. This makes it the last thing we see as we walk out the door.

2. What do you do with your old palm? This is a question I always ask myself. We try to dispose of it in a meaningful manner - like burning it and blowing away the ashes.

3. What do you do Holy Week in preparation of Easter? I try to focus on Jesus' last days and walk through His suffering with him. "Thank you Jesus," escapes my lips all day every day. I read stories to the kids that talk about this time and try to simplify my life as much as I can. I also do everything I can to participate in the Triduum.

4. How do you commemorate Christ's Passion on Good Friday? That is usually a day with no TV or radio. We do house cleaning and yard work until Stations of the Cross at noon. We then do the Resurrection Eggs and go back for the Veneration of the Cross at 3 p.m. We try to make it as prayerful and reflective as possible.

5. When do you color Easter eggs? Usually Good Friday or Holy Saturday.

6. When do you buy Easter candy? When I'm at the store with the least amount of kids. Actually, I bought mine a couple of weeks ago.

7. What is the first thing you do Easter morning? The past few Easters, I've gotten up early to put the Easter rolls or coffee cake in the oven. We then get everyone dressed and ready to go to church. We don't do the Easter egg hunt or baskets until we get home so we don't have to worry about chocolate on the new Easter outfits.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Princess Mama

Last night we were at a Master's Bash at my in-laws. It was a wild and fun party, but a late one, especially for the kids.

At the end, when we were settling down, the kids found Nelson's folks' album of our wedding. We started thumbing through the pictures together. Besides my portrait that hangs on our wall, I don't think they've ever seen any pictures from our wedding.

I was thumbing through them with Mackenzie and Aiden in a trivia sort of manner. "Who's that?" I'd ask. "That's Uncle Kevin when he was a little boy." And so on.

We turned the page to find a picture of me by myself and Aiden exclaimed, "Oh look Mama! That's you! You're a princess!"

"Thanks Aiden," I laughed thinking, that's a lot better than a big pig!

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Glory Run

Well, we did it. All of us.

Not even a tenth of the way through the mile, Mackenzie looked at me with a flushed face and tears in her eyes, "I can't do it mama," she gasped.

"It's alright Mackenzie, we can walk. You can do it. This is supposed to be fun remember?" I told her. I could see it in her eyes though. She was not having fun.

There were people every step of the way cheering her on by name. She persevered. She ran. She walked. She wanted to give up. She didn't.

As we came over the last hill and could see the crowds and balloons at the finish line, I said, "This is it girl! You're almost there. Let's see if we can run the whole rest of the way."

Off we went. Holding hands. No fantastic form. No runner's high. No quitting!

Aiden ran in his first race ever. No practice at all. He ran the Tot Trot and he ran the whole way. I have never seen him run so hard. He was the youngest one out there. He had the littlest legs. He came in dead last. He had the time of his life.

After all that. The holding hands. The boys in the strollers. The walking. Mackenzie managed a third place in her category. Nelson, well, he won a first place medal. And me, I placed third in my age group. I think everyone else in my age group did the 5K. But for my first race ever, I'll take it.

I am still not a runner. I don't see any marathons in my future. But, I can now run over a mile on a treadmill without stopping, which is more than I could do a month ago. And if we raised money for the school and we did it together as a family, it was a morning well spent.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Toilet Trouble

As I was blogging earlier today, I was amazed at the peace in my house.

Aiden sat next to me drawing and Dawson was playing nearby. In fact it was peaceful for so long that I thought to myself, "this is too good to be true".

In the silence I got up to search for Dawson.

Why is it that I can't get Aiden to use the toilet and I can't keep Dawson out of it?

Note to self: No more blogging in the middle of the morning!

Big-Ol Head

Aiden's size has come as bit of a surprise after our tiny, petite little Mackenzie, who has always been at the very bottom of the charts size wise.

Aiden, since about three months old, has been at the top end of the size charts...except for the head chart on which he goes above and beyond. No kidding here. Everytime we go to the pediatrician, the nurse measures twice in disbelief and when the doctor comes in he measures for himself because he can't believe it. Being the loving and P/C doctor he is, he always says something like, "I see you have a really smart one here."

I love every part of Aiden. And, now that his body is bigger, his head doesn't appear disproportionate at all. The only time I think about it is when we have to tug and pull to get a t-shirt on.

This morning, as I was tugging really hard to get one over, he said, "Aiden has a big-ol head!" laughingly.

"I know buddy," I giggled back. "I love your big-ol head," I said as it finally popped through.

He threw his arms around me and said, "I love you mama!"

What a way to start the day.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Interesting Fact #2

Individual packs of M&Ms when washed in the washing machine do NOT come out unscathed. The false advertisement of "they melt in your mouth, not it your hands" proves untrue with this experiment.

In an effort to keep up with the warming weather, I just washed all the winter coats to put them away clean. I really did check the pockets. No idea where the M&Ms came from. But, when I pulled the clothes out of the washer it was raining chocolate.

So, just in case you were wondering. The coating melted off. The chocolate did not. Because it is Lent I did not try check for edibility as I did in the last experiment.

Oh the joys of little boys!

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Normal Day

Our computer has been on the blink. Life has been busy...normal. I'm exhausted. Some days are like this. Thankfully, not all of them are. Hopefully, tomorrow I'll fit in some time to blog better.

Just keeping with my agreement to blog in order to remember life as it is right now. Some days, however, I think are better forgotten. But, I'm thankful for every day, every gift, every child.

Even the hard days are nothing comparatively speaking. After all, it is Lent. And, the greatest suffering of all makes my days seem like a breeze. For that I'm grateful.

Thanks for all the input. I turned down the puppy today. It was the best decision I made all day.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Pride Goeth Before the Fall

Today the company Nelson works for hosted their annual Spring Fling. The memo advertised an Easter egg hunt, air trampolines, face painting, free food and lots more fun.

Nelson couldn't make it. I decided that the kids would love it so I took them.

The kids loved the egg hunt. We followed that with some time jumping and sliding on the giant air trampolines. The kids were laughing and grinning from ear to ear. My pride was growing in them and the fact that I had reached a point when I could do all this by myself.

The day was a hot and the trampolines were located out in the middle of a black parking lot which was on fire. At the end of one slide, I realized that we were all stuck barefooted with our shoes on the other side of the slide.

I ran with Dawson to slip on my sandals and buckle him in the stroller. On my way back to taking Mackenzie's sandals to her, I ran into the anchor wire for the trampoline and burned my ankle. I gave Mackenzie her shoes and carried Aiden back to the stroller to strap on his sandals so we could go in and get the drink he had been begging for.

That's when it happened. Mackenzie was running back to us and tripped over the same wire I did. She, however, landed flat on her face in the parking lot. She was bleeding in several places and crying loudly. My pride flew away and worry crept in.

I tried desperately to calm her enough to get her inside while buckling Aiden's shoes. Pushing the stroller and holding Aiden's hand alternating with Mackenzie's, I ushered them in to an overcrowded room searching for some first aid supplies. Aiden was overheated and begging for a drink. Mackenzie was sobbing and in pain. I was losing control.

When we finally pushed our way through the crowded room to the first aid station, I sat Mackenzie down for the first time to survey the damage. It wasn't until I was cleaning and bandaging the knee and elbow, that I realized she had a huge strawberry across her forehead.

Mackenzie was whimpering from the sting of the cleaning solution. Aiden backed her up, having been as patient as possible but still dying for a drink (which just happened to be outside back through the throngs of people we had just weeded through). And now Dawson joined the choir reaching for the candy laying everywhere around him.

By this time I was holding back the tears. How did I lose it so fast? How could one moment be so happy and the next so sad? Why did I think I could do this by myself? Why was I unable to hold it together in front of all these people?

A kind soul brought us all a drink and we sat at a table to take a break and have a snack. Bandaged, hydrated and fed, all were perfectly happy again and I was embarrassed that I had let the situation get the better of me.

I often expect my kids to be perfect in every situation. In most cases they really come close, but they are not perfect. Most often these imperfections pop up when I'm with all of them, by myself, in a very public place.

Mind you, I'm rarely embarrassed by my children. What embarrasses me is my inability to control every situation. I like people to be under the false assumption that I have it all together. Today I learned my lesson.

Pride goeth before the fall.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Pondering Poodles

A good friend of ours has offered us a tremendous gift. We're very honored, but I think we'll probably turn it down.

These friends have a full-blooded standard poodle that they bred. Part of the stud fee was two of the puppies, which on average sell for $500. She wants to give one to our kids.

Nelson and I both had dogs and cats our whole lives. And our kids, well, they LOVE animals of any kind. We have several cats and dogs that wander into our yard on a regular basis and they squeal with delight as they race to see who can be the first to pet them.

I know they would be absolutely ecstactic about owning a dog of their own. They would love it deeply. Why then would I turn this wonderful gift down?

When Nelson presented this to me, I was amazed that I even considered it because I have been adamantly against a pet since we've been married. When we were newlyweds, we really enjoyed the ability to be spontaneous. To leave town at the drop of a hat. Go to a movie spur of the moment after working out. A pet would have changed all that and I figured why add the responsibility before we had to. Once we started having the kids, I felt I had so much responsibility that I would be out of my mind to voluntarily take on any more.

Anyway, here's what I've come up with so far.
1. If I'm going to put myself through having a pet, I want to love it. Poodles have never been my favorite, even though I've been told that they are very intelligent and great with kids.
2. I'm currently in potty-training hell. Why on earth would I want to clean up dog crap, when I am already doing that for two of my own kids?
3. We don't have a fenced in yard, so when the dog needs to go out, it would have to be walked. Guess who would have to do that.
4. These dogs get to be pretty big and we're already busting at the seams in this house.

I feel guilty. I feel a bad about turning down such a generous gift. I just don't think I can handle it right now.

If anyone out there wants to convice me otherwise, I'm more than open to hearing you out.