I’m fortunate that I get to have a three day weekend with my husband every weekend. It allows us to reconnect after a long and wonky week. He’s working nights right now which works out okay. But it does make for some long tiresome days at times. By Saturday I am eager to have him back – back into the DAILY schedule of our family.
This weekend we drove out to a beautiful lake and had a picnic, went and checked out a new church, played in the backyard, reorganized stuff and did some much needed shopping. Our weekends are a much needed breath – not a breath of fresh air, just a big gulping breath. You see, after we moved here, my usual outgoing gregarious self (shut up, I can pretend) became a wallflower that didn’t dare leave the house. The only trip I made outside of the house by myself was to drop my mother off at the airport. That’s at least a month of not going anywhere without my husband or children by my side. I still don’t know that I’m ready to venture out completely on my own but I am ready to brave the city with my kids in tow.
They have made instant friends with the neighborhood hooligans. We frequently have one or five extra bodies running around the yard. And while they have made friends with the neighbors I have not. Don’t get me wrong, I’d like to but since they’re from the Honduras and my college espanol isn’t the greatest….hola is as far as I get. Anyway, to the point. I want some friends gosh darn it. I miss chatting with other mothers while the kids run around. In the spirit of stepping outside of my comfort zone (see what starting a blog does to you?!) I am going to make it a goal to go with the kids somewhere where we are likely to be in the company of other kids and moms.
I might even get out of the car.
Humor me for a moment won’t you? Close your eyes… WAIT, not yet! Read this first. Close your eyes, take a slow breath and think back to yesterday. Keep your finger on the rewind button until you get to blank tape, then hit play. What is your earliest memory? Okay, you can open your eyes.
One of my girlfriends told me that our earliest memories tend to be like snapshots, just glimpses into our past. It’s not until we’re older that our memories become more like little movies. So what are those snapshots you have stored away? Birthday parties? Great Aunt Edna’s mothball scented sweater? Maybe memories of your Woobie or beloved Binky? Some of us I’m sure have snapshots that aren’t as pleasant. That’s where I’m going to start today. My earliest snapshots aren’t necesarily happy ones. Hang on, don’t leave just yet. I promise this isn’t going to be depressing. Rather, I think my snapshots speak of miracles.
These all come from the same year of my life but I don’t know exactly what order they go in. There’s a snapshot of a nurse’s station where I’m sitting behind the counter with the nurses and they’re letting me color with their magic 4-color pen. Another of a nurse checking on the babies in the NICU. Yet another of me sitting in a hospital bathtub playing with Rub-a-Dub-Dub Three Men in a Tub while a nurse uses a pitcher to rinse my hair. And finally a snapshot of the playroom in the children’s ward where I’m showing my parents which toys I like to play with.
I spent a great deal of time in the hospital between my first and second birthday. Those memories are firmly etched in brain and I recall them not with sadness or dread but with a thankfulness of God’s grace. That year I had pneumonia eleven times. The doctors performed many tests – some of them painful – which I am thankful I cannot recall. Their diagnosis was cystic fibrosis. As an adult, and now as a mother, I can only imagine how devistating that news was to my parents. My mom tells me how long and how hard she prayed. The final confirming test was done at the University. It came back negative. So my earliest memories are tied to God’s healing and to His grace.
Fast forward a few years. I think I was about four. My family had driven a couple hours across Minnesota to visit my paternal grandma. She lived alone in an older home in a small town. That night my family enjoyed a fire in the basement fireplace. My parents and my brother and sister slept in the two bedrooms downstairs while I slept upstairs with my Grandma. The snapshot I have is of waking up early in the morning and peeking out through the bedroom door and seeing my mom sobbing and seeing paramedics in the living room. The ambulance took my parents away and my brother, sister and I stayed behind. I had no idea what had happened. I don’t know when I finally found out that the flue on the fireplace was broken. During the night carbon monoxide filled the basement. My dad got my brother and sister out and barely got my mom upstairs. When the paramedics arrived they didn’t have the necesary equipment to test their blood levels but they did give them oxygen. At the hospital, hours later, they finally tested my mom’s blood. She had enough carbon monoxide still in her that she should have been dead. That day, the reason for the trip to my Grandma’s house…. it was Easter morning.
Sure I have the typical snapshot memories of all the kid stuff in my life. But it’s the ones like those that are woven throughout my life that remind me of who I am. And more importantly who He is.
I see that you decided to pop on over and see what this is all about. Well, welcome and thanks for coming.
It’s all shiny and new and squeaky clean. Let’s see what we can do about that! The best way to do this is just to jump right in and swim with the big sharks. I’m looking for some feedback from ya’ll. Leave a comment with a question or topic and I’ll answer it. Maybe.
Until then… you shall be subjected to a topic of my choosing.
For as long as I can remember I’ve wanted to be a writer. Sure there was the fleeting moments of “teacher” and “vet” and “princess” that every little girl dreams of but deep down I knew I wanted to write. And write I did. I have notebooks full of stories written in junior high. I won’t torture you or embarrass myself by sharing those here. I wrote bedtime stories for little girls that wouldn’t go to bed. I wrote umpteen thousands of notes to my friends, which I’m sure my teachers just loved. But the older I got the less I wrote. Now I feel rusty and unsure. (Aren’t you glad you stopped by to read this? Just say yes and tell me that I’m pretty.)
I’ve been pondering returning to college. The reason I left in the first place was because I hated paying for a degree that I wasn’t sure I wanted. Unfortunately that still holds true. My ponderings brought me back to that age old question “What do you want to be when you grow up?” Sure I still think about becoming a “teacher”, “biologist” or a “princess” but deep down… I still want to be a writer. And that, my dear readers, is why you’re here. I’m going to write. And you’re going to read. (pleasepleaseplease)
Enough begging. Let’s go!