“The Parade of Firsts” has officially begun: first sleep in the new house. First swim in the pool. First Sabbath at our new church, first play-date with new friends, first time getting lost in a new town. First apology to the neighbor lady for my dog leaving a “gift” in her front yard.
My family and I are marching in this parade happily, hopefully, somewhat clumsily, and sometimes very out of step. It’s hard to focus during staff meeting when I couldn’t even find the toaster to make a piece of toast that morning. It’s exciting to meet new friends, and challenging to get settled in a new house. It’s daunting to observe the stack of approximately 145,583,246,307 boxes we have left to unpack. The Parade of Firsts is definitely not a smoothly-coordinated event. Read more →
“Daddy, why do you have a broken old brick on this shelf?” my son asked on a family garage cleaning day in early spring. “It’s got stuff in the middle of it, and this side is black. Is it from the olden days? Are you gonna build something with it?”
I looked up from the box of baby clothes I was sorting. My husband Greg put down the stack of boards he was piling. We looked at Toby, we looked at the brick, and then our eyes met. Yep. It was the one.
“That’s a very special brick, sweety,” I began, “that’s from the fire.”
“You mean when your house burned down?” Toby wondered. “At Auburn? That fire?”
“It wasn’t just our house,” Greg explained, “It was the entire dorm – the whole building. Mommy was one of the girls deans, so we were living inside the dorm when it caught on fire.”
“Do you remember the story, Toby?” I asked him hopefully. “Do you remember what happened?” Read more →
“My mommy is the best because she always cuddles me when I’m sad!” the brown bobbed-haired little girl in the pink skirt read. “She’s as pretty as a butterfly, as sweet as a bunny and as smart as a fox.” Laugher gave way to thunderous applause, as the little girl left the microphone and a boy in yellow approached.
I had been looking forward to this day for weeks. It was the annual Mother’s Day school picnic at the beach, and each child had prepared a special poem for his or her mother, complete with colorful borders and self-drawn portraits of their Moms. The comments were funny, insightful, and inspiring:
“I love my mom because she makes the best pancakes.”
“My mommy makes me clean my room even when I don’t want to, because it’s good for me.”
“My favorite thing is when my Mom takes me on bike rides, even when she’s busy.”
My three-year-old son honestly believes with all his heart that when he puts on his Batman costume, he himself suddenly morphs into the real true Batman. I haven’t ever questioned him about the facts of how this incarnation takes place because honestly, I don’t want him to think about it too hard. I love it that he believes this, and I don’t want to challenge him out of it.
It’s hard to explain why, but I have somehow come to depend on Batman. So many dreary mornings I have taken courage in the sight of a little mini super hero suddenly appearing around the corner of the hallway. Read more →
The outfits had been picked and purchased for this purpose alone. Eight pairs of matching shoes were chosen with care (and much searching). Hair had been washed, combed, tamed, and twisted into tiny pigtails with ribbons. My own outfit had undergone a runway model-type decision process among my closest friends: “Does this scarf match better, or that one? Okay which sweater makes me look the thinnest? Boots or heels, hair up or down?” Even my husband prepared with a fresh haircut for this once a year family event, and I do mean event: the annual Christmas card photo.