Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Dear Nigel

Dear Nigel,

You were born 4 days ago, and already I feel myself forgetting you, or parts of you. If I feel that way, I wonder how your mom and dad are feeling.

Your little face looked so much like your big sister's, but your hair didn't. It was wavy and brown. Did Chloe look like that when she was born? Your mom and dad would know.

I couldn't help but marvel at how perfect you looked. It was so good to see your mom holding you.

She wanted to make you alphabet letters to glue up onto the wall, to show you your first winter snow, to tell your 16-year-old self that 'yes, there will be another girl'.

She wanted to watch you ride the train at Powerplay, to settle spats between you and your sister when all she really wanted to be doing was sleeping or cooking an uncomplicated dinner or listening to the sound of you sleeping softly.

She wanted to dedicate you at church, to argue with you about which shows on television were appropriate to watch. She wanted to watch you marry the love of your life.

She wanted to see you emulate your father, as boys are wont to do when their fathers are good and kind and brave.

Oh, your father. The day you were born I watched him, compelled. He was courageous and strong. I knew he was breaking inside, but he did not show it. He seemed to know what your mama needed before she did, and just watching the love in his eyes for the both of you made my breath catch in my throat. Your father is a man worth copying.

You are a lucky boy, to have parents as these.

I stopped, on the way out the door, to look at the selections of baby things that could be bought for a hefty fee, inside a little glass case right inside the hospital door. There were booties and hats and garishly decorated onesies with sayings on them like, "Little Brother" and "Late Night Partier", and the insult of it pricked my nose and brought tears to my eyes.

I stepped outside into a mild fall day full of promise and the gloaming of a chill afternoon sun. I wondered if you would have been the type of boy to like a day like today. Would you have rushed inside with crushed leaves clinging to your jacket, sticky fingers reaching for cocoa? Would you have spent that kind of day reading, instead?

I guess I don't know where I'm going with this, only to say that you are so sorely missed, already. Being a boy, you'd probably be proud that you left a crater-sized hole when you left. In case you didn't know: boys are impressed with the size of things, and the loud sounds that they make when they are being popped or poked or smashed.

I came across a quote in a book I was reading yesterday, and it fit you perfectly:

"It seems to be now that the plain state of being human is dramatic enough for anyone; you don't need to be a heroin addict or a performance poet to experience extremity. You just have to love someone."

You are so loved, baby boy. I know you left this world knowing so.

I know something else...we will see you again. And until that blessed day, your mom and dad will learn to smile again. The earth will keep spinning, rotating stubbornly around the sun. God will still love every human He ever made, and life will go on. It will never be the same, of course, but it will go on.

You fulfilled your purpose, and the heartbeat that was your life was stirring to so many souls. We won't know the full impact of your life until the ends of our own, but we rest in the fact that it was great.

And until then, we'll be here.

Just breathing.


Thursday, November 12, 2009

hello, cranky

Last night at 5:30 I called Scott at work and he was still there. FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, HUSBAND! COME HOME AT 5, LIKE NORMAL 1950s HOUSEHUSBANDS DO!

Little did he know I had slaved away over the stove making pork tenderloin and lightly glazed carrots. OK, actually, I just dumped a jar of grape jelly and a cup of French dressing over a 6 pound pork tenderloin and stuffed it in the crock pot. No matter.

Before that, I'd watched Oprah interview the lady who had her face torn off by the chimp. HOLY OBVIOUSNESS, OPRAH! Seriously. Could she have recoiled in horror any more than she did? Her voice was cracking like the ice on Lake Eerie when she was singing 'Happy Birthday'. It just seemed insincere and really tacky. Oprah was excited to get the opportunity to be THE ONE this lady showed her face to. UGH! (Why do I watch Oprah?)

Do you notice how she never hugs people who aren't celebrities? She just holds her arms out so she can clasp hands with them. Honey, you can't CATCH "chimp bite."

Anyway, I was sitting there thinking how horrible a mother I am because I put the kids in the basement and turned Nick Jr. on, full blast. I told them there were lots of toys to play with, and, oh, by the way, "HAVE FUN!"

They don't believe the basement is the prime place to have fun, because they are scared of ghosts. One day, when they were fighting and NOT coming down for lunch, I told them a ghost would get them if they didn't come down RIGHT NOW. You should have seen the moves Asher pulled, clamoring down the stairs. Ever since then, they say, "No monsters, Mama? No ghosts?"


Every time I clean up the kitchen floor it is dirty again in 20 minutes. Every time I do some laundry, someone craps their pants. Every time I wash a window, it is covered with some sort of undeterminable grime by the time I put the Windex away. Every time I think, "Hey, they're playing nicely! Look at that!", I hear a blood-curdling scream and Lucy is sticking a Dora spoon down Asher's throat.

I go to preschool to pick up my kid, and I can't seem to get the pick up spot right. "Hmmm...do I pick her up at the front door or the side door today?" I drive through the parking lot THREE times, getting some strange looks, trying to figure out if the construction guys will let her pass through the pearly gates or not. Why does everyone else seem to just "know" these things? Meanwhile, I've got the front seat of my dirty Oldsmobile 99 covered in Dollar Tree and Wal-Mart Bags.

Stay classy, pipsersmom.

Always, every time, I pretend I am doing something important so no one will walk up, peek in my car, and determine I am no longer friend-worthy.

Anyway, what was my point?

Ah, I was cranky last night, and my husband was wondering who he married. He politely suggested (at 6:30) that I should retire to my bed chambers. Before biting his head off, I told him I wanted to watch "Mercy", a dumb new show that is just like all of the other dumb new shows.

An hour of my life I won't get back.

The other day I was explaining the plot line of Greys' Anatomy to someone who doesn't watch the show.

And then, and then...the realization. Holy crap I'm one of THOSE people - who lives my life vicariously through Izzie Stevens!

Anyway, if you feel like a crap mom and wonder how everyone else is doing it, because they seem to be doing fine, and OH MY GOSH THAT DUGGAR WOMAN HAS 19 CHILDREN AND I ONLY HAVE TWO is a thought you have often, remember this:

She probably had some superpower in her hair, before the makeover.

There are indeed some possibilities here.

Time to go - someonecrapped their pants.