On this day, I am keenly aware of my blessings of health and beautifully whole children. As I keep my daily cyber-vigil with a new blogger friend Darlene, I am reminded that The Boy's TS is a cake walk compared to what some people are dealing with. As I shared with a couple at church today (one of many people at church that have been enchanted with The Boy), I told them about The Boy's TS. They both remarked that it was sad that he will have to wrestle with this but how great it is that it is so mild right now. I still thank God for that, too. And as I get ready to pray for our 37 yr old music director as he prepares for brain surgery on Tuesday, again, I am reminded that my burden is light - and not even a burden at all.
Tonight is New Year's eve. The Boy (6) and Lil Bro (3) both tried to stay up until midnite. Lil Bro made it to about 10:45 (amazing) and The Boy made it to about 11:30 (also amazing). They are both asleep in their tents (thank you Big Sis & Her Ridiculously Tall Husband) in the front room. I made little beds in each tent and crammed the tents around the Christmas tree. [The picture above shows THe Boy peaking out from his hippo tent. The hippo mouth opens and closes to let kids in and out. It's big enough to actually fit me in there. You can't quite tell but Lil Bro's tent is an elephant. The pink ear flaps are rolled up to expose mesh windows.]
Anyway, we all stayed up playing games and just enjoying each other's company. At one point, I just sat there watching Hubby & The Boy play Uno Spin and Lil Bro just play with the Candy Land pieces. And I felt the need to soak this up. To soak up the pure carefree closeness that I know one day I'll crave. I felt that, if I didn't fully appreciate the beauty of this evening, Darlene would tell me I would regret it. Because I know memories like this - memories of precious moments with her Mark - are probably helping her through her hell. But I also know that times like this are gifts from God. And on a larger scale, the fact that I'm sitting in a well heated home in a safe neighborhood where no war is being waged and nothing is taking my attention away from those two beautiful little faces...that is a huge gift from God.
I have to tell you two quick stories and then I'll leave you all to go pray in the new year:
1) Last week at church (Christmas Eve day), our pastor's wife, Saundra, gathered the children at the front of the sanctuary to light candles on a birthday cake and tell them the story of Jesus' birth. As she started setting up the story, talking about why we celebrate his birthday, Hubby and I hear The Boy pipe up, "How do we know how old he is?" Fortunately, this was appreciated with some laughter and Saundra answered his question saying he'd be about 2000 years old. I think that impressed The Boy. It just cracked me up but also made me happy that he felt comfortable enough in our church to ask an honest question.
2) This week at church, I was teaching the toddler class. The rest of the younger kids stayed in the service so The Boy sat with Saundra. At one point, I'm told pastor Barry was talking about different ages - he must have been saying something like "little kids and older kids" because The Boy piped up and said, "I'm middle aged!" - I assume he was meaning he's not a little kid and note quite an older kid. Again, his honest comment got light laughter. Barry didn't miss a beat and said something to the effect of, "Well, if you're middle aged, I'm in big trouble!" I was told this after church by someone who had obviously gotten a big kick out of The Boy's freedom of speech.
Love that kid.
God bless you all this year.