Saturday, September 30, 2006

My Little Boy and I

Parallel personalities
A shared sense of humor
And love for excitement and such

The moodiness, too
And the need for acceptance
And to feel other's loving touch

He may have been born
Half way cross the world
But there's certainly no way to deny

That we couldn't be more similar
And God sure knew what he was doing
When he matched my little boy and I....

Thursday, September 28, 2006

A Different Day, A Different Bed

Well, this is my 5th different place to sleep in the last bed, my inlaws, the Dallas Marriott due to a cancelled flight, the Emily Morgan in San Antonio for 3 nights, my friend Cindy's sofa sleeper and now my Dad's house...tomorrow I head home. Never have I been so ready for the comforts of home.

More tomorrow.................

Friday, September 22, 2006

A Sweet Ritual

I know I've chronicled the ups and downs of parenthood. Sure, there have been times I've been at a loss as to which path to take... but the rewards of parenthood appear often and sweeten those times that are not quite as pleasant. Tonight was one of the sweet times.

I've shared with you previous bedtime prayers by Daniel. But, each time we pray, his words seem more mature and heartfelt. Here's the scene:

(I go in to kiss him goodnight/tuck him in)

"Mommy, will you say your prayers with me?"

"Sure," I answer.

"Ladies first," he replies.

( I pray and thank God for Daniel being on the "green light" at school, etc.)

"OK, my turn...God, I just want to thank you God for being so wonderful and for sending your Son to die for me. God, please give Mommy...wait, where are you going again, Mommy?"

"San Antonio, " I answered.

"Please give Mommy a safe trip to San Antonio and bring her back safely to me and Daddy...and please remember to forgive us where we've failed you, God. We love you and hope you give us a good night's sleep. Amen."

After telling him that was one of the best prayers I had heard, he asked me to sing him a song that my grandmother would sing me. I obliged.

"Delta Dawn, what's that flower you have on...could it be a faded rose from days gone by?"

"Now, what about a song Grammy would sing to you when you were little like me?"

(I begin) "Take me home, country the place...I belong, West Virginia, mountain mama, take me home, country roads..."

"More Mommy...what else would she sing?"

"Amazing sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me..... I once was lost, but now I'm found, was blind, but now I see......." Each verse, I sang just a little slower and a little softer...

Just then, I noticed his hands that were so tightly woven through my arm had relaxed and my beautiful son had drifted off to sleep to the sound of my voice.

A sweet ritual indeed.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

An Old Friend

The first days of fall are, without question, my favorite time of the year.

This afternoon consisted of a crisp 75 degrees, sunshine peeking through tree branches and a light breeze. With only 38% humidity in the air, I couldn't help but go outside and play with my husband and child as the daylight hours dwindled down. Daniel and I took to the creekbed once again and, along with our golden retriever, went exploring as Keith cut the front yard. The temperature was perfect and it was as if the air itself was breathing a sigh of relief at this seasonal transition.

I'm ready for autumn and all the comforts of my childhood that it brings. In fact, each time this season rolls around, it's like being reacquainted with a dear old friend.

I can't wait for pumkin patches to pop up and for the smell of burning leaves in the air...caramel apples rolled in crushed peanuts and rows of purple and gold mums adorning the entrances of landscape nurseries around town. Hay bales and falling leaves and brisk mornings to awaken the senses... high school and college football games with the pulsating sounds of drum lines... Halloween preparations and discussions of holiday plans...

Fall is a time of renewal for me--the time of year when I feel most alive...when swirling leaves dance around as if inviting me to join in...

With another steamy Georgia summer behind me, I am grateful to bid farewell to sweltering hot, sticky days and wrap my arms around the greatest season of all.

Welcome back, my friend...

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Recipe for a Good Husband

1 cup each:

sense of humor

Blend together in equal parts and add
your own amount of love. (Don't go light on
the love...)

Friday, September 15, 2006

The Rest of the Story...

...Daniel (my son) attends pre-school at a local church and is subject to the "red light, yellow light, green light" system in order to get into the ever-coveted "Treasure Box" at the end of each week.

If I have heard the words "Treasure Box" once since school began, I must have heard it a million. My child is so utterly focused on gaining access to this pint-sized "promised land" that he nearly went overboard trying to stay on the green light so he could get a sticker each day. You see, one sticker for each day of the week and you are Treasure-Box Bound!

The first week...a hard-fought sticker every day. Treasure Box. Much happiness for a blonde-haired little guy.

Second week...a sticker Monday. A sticker Tuesday. A sticker Wednesday. Then, the important day rolls around. My son and I do the usual mini-pep rally on the way to school. "You can do it!" "You've done so well!" In fact, the last words he said as I walked out the door after dropping him off..."I'm gonna get that sticker, Mommy!" Woo-hooooooooo Go, Daniel, Go!

Not so much.

I enter the building and turn the corner to make the longgggg walk down the hallway. Miss Jennifer, his teacher, meets me at the door. (not a good sign) "Well, we were on the red light today and made a trip to the principal's office."

"Why?!," I asked, knowing that his Treasure Box hopes had been dashed. "He and another little boy got to pushing and ended up in a fight."

Suddenly, Daniel came around the corner...Superman backpack huggin his shoulders and a face so downtrodden you couldn't help but feel sorry for him. As we walked down the hall, I held his hand as he softly said, "Mommy, I was on the red light today. I'm sorry...."

We stopped for a potty break before leaving and, in one of the stalls, I asked him gently what had happened. As he was explaining, he asked if I was mad at him. I told him that I was not mad, but it made me sad to think how hard he had worked to get into the Treasure Box and now he wouldn't be able to. Just then, he start sobbing and fell into my arms. It was not a whiny was full-on tears of grief. I scooped him up and we sat there in the bathroom stall as he let his emotions go. He then looked up with giant crocodile tears and said "I am so sad that I can't get in the Treasure Box." We then talked about consequences and how he could start over "fresh" next week and that seemed to lift his spirits a little.

The reason this was a poignant moment for me is simple: I was able to be a source of comfort for him. I know I kiss boo-boo's and feed him and clothe him and read to him...all normal Mommy-type things. But this was the first time I ever truly felt like he was depending on me to help him through a rough time. It was pretty special.

When he spoke with his Dad on the phone later, Keith asked Daniel if he had cried when the other kids were able to get their prizes. He softly replied, "no, I didn't cry until I was with Mommy."

I think my son and I both learned a lesson that day. He learned that, no matter how hard you work for something, you can throw it all away by making a bad choice...and I learned not to be so quick to get mad at his wrong decisions and, instead, to use them as a time for comfort and trust-building.

It sure does feel good knowing he considers me a safe place....

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Mr. Sandman......

has paid me a visit. As I sat down to blog tonight (of course, it is 11:42pm), I realized I could not even keep my eyes open long enough to finish a sentence. I do want to share with you a special something that happened between Daniel and I today...

I promise to share in the a.m.....................goodnight...............

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

A Day Like Today--09.13.2006

started the day
bowl of cereal in my hand
dining room window open
as a steady rain pours
its much-needed moisture
on the grass and flowers
in our yard
sweet, sweet cleansing rain

take Daniel to school
rows of cars file in
under the careful gaze
of orange-vest clad ladies
one wrong move
and they sweep in to correct
I gingerly traverse the lot
carefully following the arrows

Lunch with a new friend
The "getting to know you" stuff
stories from the past
hopes for the future
issues of the present
Laughter abounds as a
feeling of comfort sets in

Work, work, work
Get ready for that meeting
San Antonio is
Just a couple weeks away
Attendee rosters and menus
Litter my desk
As final preparations are made

Dinner with friends
at our favorite Mexican joint
Mmmm, guacamole
Yummy tacos
And laughter for days
Laid back and relaxing
Good company, good food

Visit with my sister-in-law
Staying with us tonight
As her home stands empty, boxed up
Making the big move
An exciting opportunity
Oh how we'll miss
Having them here

The clock reads 10:40pm
My eyelids are droopy
Computer keys start to blur
Time to turn in...
Tomorrow is coming
A new day
Is just a few hours away

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Our (Other) King in Heaven

My son sure has been talking about Heaven a lot lately.

This morning, on the way to school, we were chatting and he popped out with the following comment:

"Mommy, Elvis was the King of Rock 'n Roll and he died because he was tired of singing and he went up to Heaven to be with Grammy. Right Mommy, right?"

My feeble attempt at a response: "Well, um, yes I guess he did go up there if he had asked Jesus to live in his heart."

Daniel's quick reply: "Yeah, well, he lives up there and I'll get to go live with Elvis in Heaven some day, too. Right, Mommy?"

Me: "Yes, someday, I hope we will all be there, baby."

Daniel: "Yep, we'll all be there together. Me, and Grammy and Elvis and Jesus."

If only for 3 seconds I could get into that little head and figure out how his brain works.


The Red Lobster Tree

I noticed it standing there
ever so quietly
the tree in the parking lot of the Red Lobster

I commented on its presence
its perfect form

a simple sign of nature’s existence
in a sea of asphalt
no tire swing hangs
in its embrace
the occasional toothpick
tossed at its feet

my companions think it funny
that I make note of this tree
in the parking lot of Red Lobster
they wager I will write a poem about it

they win

Saturday, September 09, 2006

My Shadow

My shadow follows me everywhere
A constant companion is he
I'm never alone
And the funny thing is
He looks a lot like me!

One day the sun hid behind a cloud
And I searched everywhere
But every time
I turned around
My shadow was not there

Then suddenly the cloud did move
And the sun shone as bright as can be
It was magic, I tell ya
Cause when I turned around
My shadow had returned to me!

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Glimpse of Heaven

Light beams escape
emerging from tips
of billowy clouds

a brilliant display
reserved only for my eyes
on this solitary road

a momentary answer
to the question I pose
about what heaven must look like

"Here you go," replied God
my eyes are drawn upward and
I am stunned by the majesty
* * *
(this photo was taken between Montgomery
and Selma, AL along Highway 80)

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

First Day

(click on picture for a larger, clearer image...)

Daniel had a good first day and seemed to have a lot of fun
at his new preschool. He was even on the
"green light" and
got a sticker on his chart. 3 more this week and he gets to
go into the coveted "Treaure Box!" Oooohhhhhhh! :-)

Monday, September 04, 2006


During our recent visit to the cemetery, my four year old son Daniel gazed at me ernestly with his big brown eyes and inquired, "if I die and go to Heaven will there be lots of toys for me to play with, Mommy?"

Yep. This is one of those times I knew that I, the one who usually has a quick comeback, would be speechless.

"When you get to Heaven, you won't even need any ol' toys. It will be so wonderful and beautiful..." I said as my voice trailed off to a whisper.

"But Heaven is where I get to play with all my favorite toys and be with my Grammy, right Mommy? Right?"

"Yes, sweet boy," I replied as a tear slowly rolled down my cheek. "That sure sounds like Heaven to me."

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Just a Glance

for so much glory as the world offers
one must ponder why so many
settle for just a glance
when there is so much more
than a glance can afford...

Friday, September 01, 2006

The Styrofoam Cross

Tonight I discovered that I have thoroughly underestimated the power of comedic relief.

A few entries ago, I described the situation with my mother's grave and how she always said she would be in a better place so the actual grave site was not THAT significant. Well, for whatever reason, I feel a surge of emotion each time I visit that cemetery. Maybe it's the way she loved those big, draping oaks dripping in moss...maybe it's the silence, the peace and the light tinkling of the wind chime dangling from a branch above her grave. I just feel closer to her there.

This evening, we stopped by there and Keith took Daniel to look around the cemetery as I sat down and "talked" to Mom. As weird as it sounds (but those of you that know me know that I'm no surprise) I even sang her favorite song. Tears began to well up in my eyes until I could contain them no more. Suddenly, I was sobbing. That is until I spotted my four year old son.

There he was. Strutting behind my husband as he walked toward me across the lawn. Just then, I noticed what he was carrying. He was toting a styrofoam cross studded with white silk flowers. Keith looked around, did a double take and said "Daniel! Where did you get that?!" To which Daniel replied, "Over there. They had a bunch so I got it to put it on somebody's grave that didn't have any flowers."

I was speechless. Then, a burst of laughter spewed forth at the sight of my son with this cross half his size. I told him to come over (after returning the cross to its rightful owner) and I gave him a long hug. I thanked him for being so thoughtful but explained how we can't take things that aren't ours...even if it's for a good reason. The innocent action of a young boy brought a smile to my face and, although it made me wish even more that his "Grammy" was there to see it, the mood was lightened substantially.

So, as I get ready to turn in tonight, I thank heaven for little boys, styrofoam crosses and good intentions. Without them, my life just wouldn't be the same.