Tuesday, July 27, 2010

A little cuteness...

Last week Owen and I had a little time to kill while my phone was being looked at (again). We wandered around the outdoor mall not too far from us. I love that place, but not in the winter. How or why anyone decided these would be great to build in MN I'm not sure but they don't seem to be doing too poorly.

While out and about we wandered into Anthropologie where I found this cute little 4x6 album on clearance.

I didn't NEED it but it was so cheap I couldn't pass it up. Almost thrift store priced! I am going to fill it with photos from our summer.

It was hotter than hades here today with tropical dew points and humidity. We spent the morning at the splash park with some friends. O had PT this afternoon and then a swimming lesson this evening. He has not been excited about swimming lessons at all this summer. NOT EXCITED. He's missed more of them then he's attended I think and he only had 4 left so we decided he had to attend these last 4. Last week he got so upset about having to go he threw up. Which pretty much cemented the deal in his favor. This week we prepared him well in advance. We started the preparations last week on Thursday! It probably didn't help that I wouldn't remember that he had a lesson until Morgan got home and asked if he was ready to go. To which I replied, "where?" That mostly has to do with me not knowing what day it is on a regular basis! A hazard of only working 2 days a week and it being summer. This week I took him to the lesson and we arrived early enough that he could play in the wading pool before his lesson and "warm up". He still got a little pouty but I kept encouraging him and reassuring him. When it was time for the lesson we took him to the instructor who seems very nice and left him sitting on the edge of the pool with him. The lesson went fine and he had a great time! We still don't know what all the apprehension was about but hopefully he's over it. I still find it baffling. He loves being in the water and does quite well with holding his breath and diving under and all that stuff that I dislike about swimming! Just three lessons left! Which I will have to set an alarm on the computer to remember!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Why I'm afraid to leave the house some days...

Last night I watched the news. I don't do it often, but occasionally I decide I should know what's going on. I usually only watch one station's news program because two of the other three are alarmist and the the third one is okay I just don' much care for it. Sometimes I flip around to see if there is anything special. But mostly I just like the one station.

Last night's lineup was like this:

  1. Car crash involving a family in a van hit by a woman who was most likely drunk and/or high who crossed the median (a wide grassy area). An 11 year old boy was killed and his father was seriously injured. His mother and sister were physically unharmed.
  2. A standoff between cops and a suicidal guy armed with knives in a Super 8 Motel results in the man being shot and killed.
  3. A follow-up (or retelling) of a crazy guy who shot and killed his sister, brother-in-law and niece, and wounded his other sister who only survived because she pretended to be dead. His explanation to cops, "I just snapped."
I do not pretend to understand mental illness. People deal with all sorts of things that I can't and don't understand. Serious scary things. I just don't think (in two of the cases) that senseless violence is the answer. But I guess when you have lost your senses that's the kind of violence that results.

The news is disheartening to me. It can put me in a funk for days. As can cop shows or other shows whose subject matter is the suffering or unhappiness of others. I suppose I should be thankful that at 36 I am still sensitive to these things rather than able to turn a blind eye or be callous about it. I know good things can come from suffering. But why does there have to be so much of it?

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Marthas and Marys...

The passage for the Gospel reading at church today was from Luke chapter 10 verses 38-42.

"As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord's feet listening to what he said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, "Lord, don't you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!" "Martha, Martha," the Lord answered, "you are worried and upset about many things, but only one this is needed. Mary has chosen what is better and it will not be taken away from her."

I am familiar with this story. It is one of the Bible's most popular stories and you don't need to attend a church regularly to have heard it. It was the focus of the sermons for today. And while the pastor was preaching two thoughts occurred to me with regard to this passage.

1. Eat dessert first. "...chosen what is better and it will not be taken away from her." Don't tell me this doesn't apply to dessert!
2. I am missing important things in Owen's childhood. "you are worried and upset about many things, but only one this is needed."

It a lot of ways a childhood is like sitting at the feet of Jesus and listening. It only lasts for so long. The innocence and and awe. The fascination and amazing observations a child makes. Those don't last a lifetime. The memory of them, the knowledge learned will last but the moments of childhood are fleeting. I think this hit me like a ton of bricks. Especially when the communion distribution started and there was a steady stream of people over 65 going up and down the aisles. Life itself is fleeting. We are here for only a brief amount of time and that time is all we have to enjoy this life and the moments we have in it.

During these "revelations" I realized that I tend to be too much of a Martha and not enough of a Mary. I am so enjoying Owen being 4. He is so clever and funny. He makes me laugh the laughs that feel so good. Just by being who he is. He makes brilliant observations and carries on interesting conversations. He really is a marvelous little boy. And already 4 years have gone by! I've been trying to pay attention. Record the moments and memories, documenting them in my journal to him and in his scrapbook and with countless photographs. I want him to see himself as a child when he is no longer one. In the midst of this, his childhood, I also work and try to run a household and try to run a tiny business and lead a life of my own too. It's a tough balance between Martha and Mary. Owen will not grow up and wonder if the house was always clean. He may have a vague recollection (or not so vague) of me putting things in the their place and trying to keep up our house but his childhood being happy or not does not depend on that. He will however, remember the time we spent together. Or the time not spent together.

Even before Owen was born I knew what I wanted his childhood to be like. Innocent, happy, sheltered, enjoyed, care-free. I've always wanted for him to be able to look back on his childhood and feel like it was good. And remember countless things about it that were good and enjoyable and fun and spent with us. I know I am not a perfect mama and I'm not going to be. I make mistakes and will continue to do so. I acknowledge that. But Owen's childhood happens once and I want him to feel that he was loved and cared for and enjoyed. I wish I could slow it down. That each day would take 48 hours rather than 24. But I won't get that. I want him to stay 4 forever. At least for now. I'm sure in a few years I will tire of wiping his butt! But my point is that the time we have together is moving so fast that if I don't take the time to spend with him, to really enjoy that time, it will be gone and I don't get it back. Ever. So this week I'm going to try harder to add a little more Maryness to my Marthaness. There is always something that needs to get done. Maybe this week those things will lose some of their importance.

Monday, July 05, 2010


While we were in Montana last week we took a short trip through Yellowstone National Park. The views there are amazing and I took a bunch of shots with the intent to create some panoramas because Yellowstone is a place where one image rarely captures the view, regardless of how wide a lens one uses. (If you click the images you should be able to see them larger.)