Monday, November 22, 2010

Hello, Tooth Fairy

A new role has been assigned in our family play. "Tooth Fairy" made a scene entrance over the weekend; and the suddenness of this addition made both Dan and I scramble to the call of duty.

We knew that Ashlyn had a loose tooth. Although, "loose" is probably a generous word for the ever so slight movement that we saw with it. Looking forward to that first gap, I took the girls shopping for material from which to make their Tooth Fair pillows. I then promptly put the material and ribbon away. It wasn't that loose, after all.

Days turned to weeks and the tooth didn't seem to be any looser. Then on Saturday night, as we were eating dinner (Chinese) with Dan's mom and dad, Ashlyn came up to me and said, "Mama, there's something in my tooth". I turned to her, expecting to see something caught in her teeth that she wanted some help with, but instead I saw a gap where her tooth had been. I gasped, and she jumped backwards, a little afraid. I tempered my response and told her that she'd lost her tooth. She smiled and started feeling the new vacancy in her mouth.

Now to find it. She didn't think she'd swallowed it, and she seemed to be unsure of what she was eating when she felt the weird feeling. First she thought it was the egg roll, (which we tore apart to no avail), later she guessed the chicken, (but dissection of that yielded no white gem). That left the scattered piles of rice on her plate. Dan's mom and I searched the floor, sifting through the normal stuff they like to toss there during a dinner that includes rice; and picked through each grain on her plate. WHY rice? Why did we have to have rice this night? I refused to give up, lost already at the thought of that first precious tooth might be lost to me forever. As the mom, I wanted to hold it, cherish it, KEEP IT. Good grief, where was the dang thing?

After some very tense minutes of searching I found it. I uttered a call of total triumph and felt victorious all over. (Incidentally, it was buried amidst that piles of rice).

Kathleen and I quickly devised the pillows and sewed them together, to the joy of both girls. That night Ashlyn went to sleep with a lump under her pillow, and a million questions in her head. "Will I see the Tooth Fairy? Will she wake me up? What does she DO with my tooth? Will she give it back later? Will she leave me money?"

Several hours later, the "Tooth Fairy", in a joint portrayal by both Dan and I, snuck in and made the switch. In the morning we had one mystified and happy little girl. And I had a precious piece of history tucked in my jewelry box.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Thinking Thankfully...

I'm Thankful for what I have; the many blessings that fill my life, both visible and invisible. The tangible things that I can see everyday and hug, kiss, and love. My husband. My Children. My precious family. I'm thankful for the freedoms I have, that I take for granted every day. For the blessings that I may so often overlook, or worse, mistake for mundane minutiae. I'm thankful for the very fact that I can sit in this chair and just think about all the many things I do have to be thankful for. What a privilege indeed to have that luxury of taking the time to be grateful!

But I'm also thankful for the things that I DON'T have. I'm thankful that I live in a country that's not torn by war on its own soil. I'm thankful that I live in a community & neighborhood where we don't have to see violence everyday. I'm thankful to live in a family where there is no domestic violence. No hunger. No poverty. Our struggles are real, but they are inconsequential when compared to the plight of so many others who are fighting against really insurmountable odds.

The most important thing to me is that I have these things to be thankful for everyday. Not one day a year. Or one week. Or a month. These things stay with me in November, and are still there come July. This life is filled with blessings ready to be seen by anyone who has the eyes to see them.

And I'm thankful for that too.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Best. Job. Ever.

I have a secret. It's something that I don't know if I've ever told anyone. Sound interesting? Want me to share it? Of course you do. As soon as someone says, "I have a secret", followed by, "I've never told anyone this.." you automatically want to know what it could be. Human nature.

After that glorious lead-in, I hope it's not anticlimactic to say that my secret is this: I love being a Stay At Home Mom. I mean that. I love it. I am not a fair weather mom here. I love the whole kit and caboodle. The good days, when love and pride swells my heart; and the bad days when I'm not sure I want to claim either child as my offspring. Each and every day is an amazing gift, and I'm grateful and in love with each.

Perhaps you're wondering why, oh why, would this declaration be any sort of secret? Truth be told, I had no inkling that I would even like it. I was that woman who would have the kids and be back at work without missing a beat. I needed my job. It was a part of who I was. It grounded me and gave me a sense of purpose. I had no desire to give up the rigors and stresses of my job to stay at home and stare at babies all day. What fun would that be? What do babies even DO??

God made other plans for me, though. Better ones, as it turned out. There are still days when I miss my teaching job. I miss the thrill of being in a room where learning (no matter how small) is going on. I miss the charged air of a classroom. But, in the end, I wouldn't give this up for anything. And you know what? Being in love with the 'Now' of my life, doesn't make me any less of a modern woman. It's not that 'My Place' is in the home; it's that my JOB just happens to be here right now. Conveniently located in our house. Such a short commute! And of course there will be a day when my job here will probably cut its hours, allowing me some time to get out there and take up a "second" job...just for kicks and giggles. And I'll do that. Then. Later. In the future.

Right now, I'm here. My 'Present' is defined by being allowed the privilege to watch my girls blossom into young ladies right before my eyes. It's an awesome job. I don't know how I lucked out enough to get picked for it, but the Boss must have known what He was doing when He chose me for it.

I'm loving it. Daily.