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Archive for February, 2011

Almost Generous

Webster gives such a tidy definition for generous: freely giving or sharing.  Sort of pocket-size. 

I like it.

And I’d like to think my kids understand what it means to be generous…the kind of generous that blesses the socks off of someone else…but I’m…

I’m not sure they’ve got it down just yet. 

The sourdough bread crusts my daughter said were too tough for her teeth were freely given back to me in the kitchen on an otherwise clean plate with the words, “you can have these, mom.”

That both our toothbrushes are blue was reason enough for my son to ask generously this morning if I wanted to trade with him.  As I declined, I graciously yanked mine out of his hands and rinsed it for two minutes under hot water.

When I opened the new sour cream, my son generously volunteered his finger to do the repeat sampling.  Quadruple dipping, if you will.

My daughter thought of 14 reasons why her brother should not sleep in her bed despite his being too scared to fall asleep in his own room.  However, she generously loaned him the floor by her bed, which he accepted and then zonked out tucked up like a beach ball in less than three minutes.

At the same time she didn’t share her bed with her brother, my daughter generously allowed the cat to stretch out beside her.  By which time she covered him with a blanket and he purred out of control.

A quarter of the way through sorting the clean silverware, my son decided that he would wrap the rest of the knives, forks and spoons in a towel and freely give them back to me to sort.

In the van, with threat of a time-out, my son generously allowed his sister to pass to her seat without ramming his boots on the passenger seat in front of him or causing a four minute ruckus.

My son, with unwashed potty hands, grabbed my cheeks and emptied his heart.  “I love you so much, mommy.  And I love daddy.  And I love sissy.”  And then as fast as he’d showed up, he zipped away to race a dump truck down the hallway.

Heh…do they ‘get’ it?  Not so much. 

But…dear Jesus…I pray that they will. 

I pray that they will understand that when they freely give or share, that they can’t help but be blessed as well.

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I don’t know the legal timeline for wearing the same hat without taking it off–maybe there is none.  But my daughter–for whom I bought a pink fleece hat on Tuesday–and whose bob-lengthed hair I last saw on Tuesday as well–inadvertently put herself in the running for hat-head longevity.  That is, until my husband and I looked at each other tonight, raised our eyebrows and then uttered in unison, “I don’t think she’s taken that hat off in three days.”

Which she hadn’t. 

Not even at night–uh…no lie.

By which time our daughter–whose hair color we’d near forgotten–reluctantly extracted the pink hat from her head. 

And the rest of us…

the rest of us marveled at the matted mess suctioned to her head. 

Seventy-two hours…heh!

In the same pink, fleece hat.

It be a new record around here.

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When Happiness is Most of a Snowman

Sometimes all I need is two-thirds of  a snowman…a bald one… plopped on the picnic table… with a dog hair for a left eyebrow…nothing for arms… and the rest of the carrot I was crunching pulled from my fingers for a nose…

And…

And sometimes I just need to be prodded from my seat on the couch by the persistence of a little boy in his soaked snow pants with most of yesterday’s snow still stuck to his boots, so I can behold the glory of the weensy snowman and the energy of the two who created what I’m so glad I didn’t miss…

because…

The smile cost me nothing. 

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That Tasty Yellow Snow

Were our children more discriminitive in their snow eating, I’d not hesitate to open the back door and watch as they tromp past me snow-panted and gloved.

“Have at it,” I’d say.

Only they would.  Because I’ve seen it. 

In winters past, before I could utter, “let’s-not-eat-every-piece-of-snow-we-see,” they’ve dashed by me, eyes aglaze at the four flakes in our back yard. 

Only today we’ve actually got snow.  Snow that’s still there when we grab the camera and walk back to the window.  Snow that threatens to bring with it more snow.  Snow in gusts; snow going sideways; snow as confused as we are.

And whether the stuff is still on the ground tomorrow isn’t the point.  It’s that my kids want to re-glove and re-boot, and skid outside for a big wad of snow to put their smackers on.  Which is fine…if we forget entirely that we have a dog the size of a medium motorcycle who has to change legs six or seven times as he pees and walks, pees and walks…

And pees and walks.

Now I’m not here to argue the taste quality of shallow snow licked from the picnic table where the dog lays on non-snowy days, or raise a beef about eating snow from the garden weeds, or the tire swing or the cover of the grill…

But the snow in the grass, heh…the easily accesible snow in the grass, the snow my son likes to pack in a cup and eat with a spoon…

Seems we’ll watch for a pucker…*ahem*…and advise accordingly.

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Tuesday’s Prayer

Sometimes we just need a do-over.

Like right now.

A chance to begin the day again–even at three p.m. when it’s completely windy–a miracle that will scratch the memory of the morning.  Because…

because how it started and how it snowballed isn’t who we are…or rather, it was who we were, but not who we want to be.  Not the rest of today.  Not tomorrow. 

Not ever.

So wherever kindness is hiding, say, under a limp pair of underwear–and wherever forgiveness skipped off to, I pray them back.  And may they be holding hands with laughter and joy when they come.  We could use some of those here today, too.

Thank you, Lord.

Amen.

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The Quantifier

I was not there this time to witness the poop–the Lord had mercy–but I was there to hear about it.  By which time my son showed me with arms spread from east to west just how much he’d pooped.  “Bigger than grandma’s house,” he added. 

And the visual was complete.

In the kitchen I’d asked my son if he’d wanted a little cereal.  Only he hadn’t.  He’d wanted, “this much.”  Which was when he spread the same arms their maximum width and nodded in case I wasn’t catching his drift.

But I was catching it.

When we’d caught a glimpse of that giant orb that’s shining anywhere but here right now, I’d rhetorically asked, “don’t you just love the sun?”  “No,” my son answered seriously.  “I like ice cream.” Then with a right arm that stretched across his sister’s face, he added, ” A lot of ice cream.”

That one of my son’s arms would wrap around his sister’s back as the two of them danced beside the ice cream maker–and that both of his arms would hug my waist as his bottom lip quivered over the verdict that he had to eat his sandwich first–that these arms–these ‘into everything’ arms–could express his heart’s desires was the reason I held my son close.  I couldn’t help it.

By which time from where I knelt my son shot an arm upward above my head and shouted, “I’m taller than you!”

And I suppose for that moment he was.  A tiny bit taller. 

And, well…that’s what mattered.

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Because somebody sometime invented the dishwasher, I didn’t have to spend my time piddling around at the sink muttering about dirty dishes I didn’t want to wash. 

Which I considered a good thing.  And which might’ve merited a ‘Hallelujah,’ had I actually spoken aloud.

Then because my son asked yesterday if the dishwasher was clean, and because it was, I said, “yes.”

By which time, he yelled, “YAYYYY,” and then asked if he could unload the thing–“himself.”

And because of my generous spirit…*grin*…and because I couldn’t believe my ear drums, I said, “yes” again.

Only because of my son’s enthusiasm as he yanked the dishwasher door down, and because he began singing praises about his good fortune, namely, “Jesus Loves Me,” his sister, who sensed she was being left out, tossed her book on the couch and asked if she could help, too. 

By which time her brother thought about it and then negotiated that she could sit on the counter and he could hand the glasses up to her. 

And because she agreed, the two of them–bless them–unloaded the dishwasher in twice the time it would take me with my eyes closed. 

Which isn’t the point.  Because there really isn’t one…

Except to say that my heart swelled.  And to mention that…

whatever the kid with the plates in his arms wanted, he had only to ask his mother.

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