Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Like Hearts

Have you ever had someone totally unexpected plop into your life? I have recently had this happen again in life. I have had it happen more times then I can actually remember actually, I have come to learn it is God. He just knows what I need or someone else needs and PLOP here I am or they are in each others lives out of the blue knowing very little about each other but having the strongest bond of COMMONALITY.
Whether I have been through it before or they have or you only care about the same person this bond is there.

Today I opened my FaceBook page and read a comment and my heart reached of its own accord and I knew without a doubt I had been where this person is standing right now. I know exactly how she feels and even though I have never met this person face to face we have this common bond, and I knew her reaching out to me specifically against all normal relationship rules and etiquette was God reminding me we all live this life.
You see this person is known to me only through two young teenagers, my son has fallen for her daughter. They used to go to school together in third grade and then we moved away, we went back to play in this alumni band thing and they met again. My shy son whom doesn't talk much came out of his shell and asked her for her number. They have been texting and facebooking and calling ever since. I in turn accepted a friend request and here we are. What a small world. To feel another mothers pain and worry from hours away without ever really meeting made me think of this today. You see this young girl has to have a fairly serious surgery tomorrow and as a mother I understand the insecurity and worry and doubt. We all have that in common. We want to protect and shelter our kids, do whats best for them and keep the hurts physical and emotional from ever touching them. I understand this- on a gut level I understand. I know what she is going through and my heart reaches out wishing I could take the worry away.
I love when God reminds me. You know that feeling of feeling all alone standing in the dark wishing that someone anyone would step forward take your hand and let you know your not alone. We have all felt it, we have all gone through it, but what don't we see?
We don't see this connection with every other person who is standing just outside our sight holding us up in their thoughts and embracing us with hugs of understanding. I think that God is there all the time we just don't always see him in and of ourselves. It is sometimes so hard to see beyond worry or grief or hurt but today - today I am reminded how alike we all are. Billions a very different people- different ethnicity- different beliefs- different jobs- different lives but we are all ONE. We are all people- with worries, concerns, hurts, joys, loves, and heart breaks. We have all been there.
I wish I could drive 6 hours and stand beside this woman I have never actually met face to face and just hold her hand. Just stand there and be there so she knows she is not alone. I think well- society would label me a weirdo and borderline stalker etc- I don't actually know this person.... But you know I have wanted someone to do that for me. I can't tell you how many time I wish someone would just show up and take my hand reminding me - I am not alone. So maybe if we all followed and did for someone else what we wish someone would do for us..... There wouldn't be so many people who felt so alone in this world.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Life After Kids? Is it possible

I recently went skiing it was amazing! I had such a great time and I taught my husband, who swore he would get on a pair of skis about the time he ever got on a horse by himself. He is adventurous as long as it has an engine and he can putter with it. My loves when we got married were vast and varied- I didn't make much sense, probably still don't, but I loved skiing and horseback riding. I kind of gave these things up and no not for Paul but it just kind of happened. I knew Paul didn't like those things along with my theater interests and musical interests. I kept some of my interests and others just got compromised because spending time with each other was more important and besides if you have ever started having a family and you have 4 children under 8 and  in-laws and family obligations you know what I mean, friends tend to slip away and get their feelings hurt because instead of going out you would rather SLEEP! As a young couple you have single friends and married career friends and then others that are in the same boat as you. I will tell you now the only ones you will keep and have actual relationships with are the ones the understand that life or life as you would like or know it is put on hold for the next 20 years until they are all off to college. Paul and I are discovering that lately. Only 2 out of the four are off and we still have more responsibilities then either of us enjoy but we are starting to discover that if we want any life left when the kids leave for lives of their own we have to try and cultivate some interests - activities- and hopefully old friends or new ones along the way.
If you know Paul and I you know we are not the go out party till dawn at the bar and dance all night kind of people. We are more the build a fire, roast marshmallows and watch the stars kind of people. We have become very inactive actually, I suppose that is from the idea that when everyone was finally in bed at night and there were no more requests for glasses or water or hugs and kisses goodnight the best possible feeling was to SIT down and DO nothing! I am telling you in the younger years - ask either Paul or I and we will tell you it was a better feeling then sex and just as orgasmic! Chasing boys all day long, your on a permanent jog just to avoid major injuries and catastrophic apocalyptic end of the world confrontations! I am not joking and only  mothers and fathers of all male children can understand. You can not throw a girl in the midst because honestly it changes the whole dynamic and mellows everyone out. Or if you have less then three that also changes the way they relate to one another and you can keep it mostly under control. You see I was there I had three BEFORE I had four and all those people that tell you "aww whats one more? Once you get to three one more is nothing" Ummm I am here to tell you that is baloney! You add that fourth and you do not have enough hands or feet anymore to deal with them all even when it is BOTH of you trying to wrangle them into obedience.
Boys have 'IDEAS'! ufda do they ever. Have you ever in your life wondered how a cat would look launched from a catapult on the deck and if they would catch the tree on branch on the way by in midair or if they would land 200 ft away on their feet? It just isn't something I concern myself with because WHY would you even do that to a living animal? Answer is making sure its safe before they launch their baby brother. Yep such has been my life for years and I actually have good boys with brilliant brains. I have run into other mothers over the years and our bond is strong because when you answer you have only sons they instantly feel for you because they too deal with the 'creativity' of the male mind daily. It is obvious where these ideas come from when in the midst of trying to discipline your husband is trying not to laugh his head off and as soon as the door is shut he turns to you and says "wow that was creative. Do you think it would work on the possums?" WHAT?!?! I know my whole face blanched white and my mouth dropped open on that one, all I could do is shake my head. Words escape me.
Anyway so when you have done this for 20 years until your sending 2 off to college and you have a fifteen year old that has more brains then to actually follow through any more you sit back and breathe. At least that's what I have been doing. I have been sitting back and congratulating myself that they are all in one piece and relatively smart together young men. I have realized how much I do not even closely resemble who I was when I started this journey of Motherhood and without having to constantly be there for one clean up or another I also realize my marriage is nothing like I used to know. I know we all whether we have sons or daughters when we have children most parents begin knowing each other and likes and dislikes- carrying on conversations that never involve the kids and end going out for a night and having nothing to talk about BUT the kids.
For example the other night my husband turns to me and says this, " I really miss dating you." I agree I miss dating him too. Now we have gone out over the years the boys have had babysitters but for the most part we didn't go without the boys too much. By the time you come home three to four times and there has been a fire or a flood of the bathroom and the very harried sitter looks at you like you have bred satans spawn you tend not to want to deal with the fall out of going out. Now we have had great sitters too don't get me wrong and sitters the boys adored. We have gone away four times in our marriage for a long weekend. They were all wonderful and we enjoyed them so much but twice I came home pregnant and the other two times one of us ended up on crutches. We are kind of disastrous when it comes to getting away. Paul and I do great until the day we are supposed to come home. So anyway we decided we were going to go out that Friday night. We checked with everyone of the guys to make sure Isaiah wouldn't be home alone. Now it comes to Friday night and we are both ready to go out. We get down to the car - which is a mini van, and my husband says it is the biggest man deflater, he is a car guy he loves cars he had nice cars and trucks until we had kids but practically with four kids a mini van just makes sense- He comes around and opens my door and we get in. Paul starts the van and then turns to me, "What are we doing?" I look at him with a deer in the headlights look, he asked me out so I assumed he would take it from there. Nope. Yes we got out all ready for a date and neither of us had any clue what to do. We ended up eating supper and talking about the boys, graduation, college deadlines, and Isaiah's test dates. See we are BORING!
If that would have happened before the kids we would have snagged a hot dog - which upsets stomachs now- and walked and talked for hours or gone and sat on park bench or log and watched the stars. Fiances wouldn't have entered the conversation - hearts would have, Worry would have been the farthest thing from our minds- instead concern for our struggling child consumed most of the conversation.
So after the worst date in history, when our sons wanted us to go skiing I was so ready! It was active and I remember I enjoyed it so much. I have not been on a pair of downhill skis in 22 years. I went once after we were married but never went again because Paul didn't want to try. This time I asked him and he decided to try. At fifty years old he decides to try skiing, not because I asked but because his sons wanted him to go. He liked it. He never fell once and he was a natural. I did fall, I tore muscle and ended up on crutches but I haven't had a better date in a very long time, even with my niece and son with us the whole time.
So it got me thinking... how do you put together or pick up a life you left when the raising and rearing is over? I do not know but I am going to figure it out. We are still in these bodies labeled Mom and Dad. We still enjoy each others company and like most of the same things we always have. It is a matter of finding those people again and letting responsibilities slide for awhile. After all learning to not be responsible has to be easier then learning to know when a room is too quiet and you had better find them quick before something alive gets flushed down the toilet!

Thursday, March 8, 2012


Out of all my sons Isaiah's birth is relatively uneventful. It was a the easiest and the funniest at the same time. This is a story of a boy named Isaiah and how he came to be.

We were living in South Dakota at the time and I had a friend Amy, her daughter and Caleb were really close friends and we spent a lot of time together because Amy needed someone in her life. She was new at this stay at home Mom thing and I was an old hat at it. The boring and long hours and the never ending work, it all wears on a person after awhile and Amy was there. Her and her husband were trying to have another child, their daughter was 6 years old and they wanted to have another child. I had three sons and was done having children. I had been told by the doctors that I would not have another child or it would kill me and the baby would never make it to term after the birth of Aaron our third. Now I had been told this before, I was told at our check up and blood work for marriage that what my husband to be had told me was the case, we would never have children. Paul had a bad case of mumps as a little boy and he would never father a child and the odds of me having a child were slim because I was very tiny and my periods were severe and very abnormal. What do Doctors know? honestly I believe in Doctors most of the time but I believe in God more, if your supposed to have a child against all odds God is bigger then any Doctor. Paul and I were fine with never having children. Those of you that know us will laugh hysterically here but we really were. We had dreams and none of those dreams included children except in the case of my job. We were told this again and again and finally again after each child by 3 different Doctors- you will never carry another child blah blah blah... the medical speak and lectures carry on and on. Now just so you all know this also- Jonathan our oldest was a what in the world kind of thing. He was not planned or expected and when they told us we were pregnant they told us we would most likely miscarry within the first 3 months. We didn't. Caleb was actually planned for- we tried to have Caleb because we took the risks and wanted a sibling for Jonathan. Caleb wasn't difficult to conceive actually but to hang on to him wasn't easy either. After Caleb we were done, someday I will write down Aaron and the girls story but as for now suffice to say Aaron was born and then we were really done.
I had a ton of baby paraphernalia and decided to have a garage sale because I wouldn't need it any longer. So Amy and I took on the project, she was helping me out and would put some of her stuff on the sale along with she got first dibs at anything she thought she might like. During the getting ready for the sale it took two months as we did it slow and went through boxes of clothes and toys, Amy found out she was pregnant. So we went through with new excitement, we often joked I was having phantom pregnancy symptoms because I was just as tired as here some-days but that was also easily explained away because I have three boys under nine years of age and they were busy!  The day of the sale was great, sunny and lots of people. I sold almost everything and anything that hadn't sold I immediately put in the back of Paul's pickup and he drove it down to the Salvation Army that evening. It was a success and Amy and I were celebrating with cold juice and putting our feet up. We were talking and made plans to get together and go shopping in Sioux Falls the next week when the kids had off school. That next week I got really sick and wasn't able to go. Amy came over even though I told her I probably had a bug and she should stay away. We sat around and let the kids play and she asked me a question. She asked me if it was possible that I was pregnant. I said no isn't possible and I told her about the boys and the doctors. She answered me with a smile and said well I think you are. I laughed out loud, I hadn't had a period/cycle since before Aaron's birth and he was 2 years old. Amy then did something that would change my course of life yet again, she pulled out a pregnancy test stick out of her purse explaining that hers had come in a package of two and she would like me to humor her and take the test. We both agreed it wasn't going to ever be used anyway and she was going to throw it away so... I took that pregnancy test to prove a point. She told me she thought my hips had widened and my breasts had gotten bigger along with a list of other 'symptoms' I said nope I am just getting fatter in my old age and haven't been able to lose the weight from Aaron yet. So to end the argument I took the test. Set it on a paper towel right in the middle of the table when I was done and got the kids a snack so they could watch a Barney show before Amy went home. After the Barney show the kids were squirmy and I was trying to potty train Aaron at the time, I was in the bathroom with Aaron and I heard Amy laughing her head off then calling to Allie to get her shoes because they had to go. I came out and asked what was up, I thought she had gotten a phone call from her husband or something. Instead she was holding that lovely little stick with two blue lines. She then said I would say I told you so but I don't want to be here when you have to tell Paul, as she is laughing hysterically. I had just sold every baby item I owned, the crib was gone, the changing table was gone, the high chair too because Aaron liked to sit on a booster seat at the table. I was in shock, I looked at that stupid stick every which way and it still read positive. I left it on the table and proceeded to get supper ready.
Now you all know Paul is a level headed man. He is patient to a fault most days and over the years I can honestly say the only thing that upsets him is his sons lack of obedience and his concern if his wife is in mortal danger. Now so that you all understand, I died on the operating table- flat lined during Jonathan's birth and they brought me back. Caleb almost died during his birth and I had major complications from checking myself out of the hospital to be with him in the NICU. And I had been on total bed rest with a home health nurse checking on me everyday and hooked up to monitors and IV's for 7 months of Aaron's birth and we lost the girls and almost lost Aaron. You see me and pregnancy really have never been on good terms or even speaking terms most of the time. So it is understandable what happened next. Paul came home that night and played with the boys when he walked in the door like every night. Then he came to help set the table for supper and he saw the test. He picked it up and came into the kitchen carrying it, asking me what it was. I said what does it look like. His comment was to laugh and say that it looked like Amy and I were trying to make him sweat... remember Amy is pregnant and Paul thought we were pulling a joke on him. I said no its mine, and told him exactly how things had gone down that afternoon. He looked at me like a deer caught in the headlights of an oncoming vehicle.  He set the test down and walked out the door. I fed the boys and put them to bed alone that night. Paul has never told me where he went and knowing Paul I am pretty sure he just drove and had a argument with God. He came home in the wee hours of the morning, crawled into bed and held me while we cried. I know in that moment we were both surrendering to God yet one more time because his plan for our lives was not our plan.
I went to the Doctor the next day to confirm and he did confirm. He did some tests and then put me in for an ultrasound. There were two heartbeats that day and two little blobs of developing fingers and toes. In the next months I would feel better then any other pregnancy I had been through, until that day I was leading VBS singing and I felt a cramp and a pinch. I miscarried one of those little heartbeats that day. I was put on bed rest at home but I could get up to the bathroom and even go up and down the stairs in the morning and evening. In the end when it came time to deliver we chose to deliver with my Doctor in MN. He had been through it more time and we felt safer with him. More confident that he could handle whatever arose on the operating table. We were right in our decision. Isaiah Mark Lee was born at 10:10 am on 3-6-2000. He was born without incident. Both Mom and Baby were healthy and were able to leave the hospital within three days. I was up and walking within two hours of the surgery and holding Isaiah in the recovery room. Our youngest, also a little red head was born perfectly and easily for a C-Section birth but like the Doc said I had had enough complications over the years to last a lifetime already. He also tied my tubes that day... again... but this too would not end the complications five years later I would have two 13 pound tumors removed along with a total hysterectomy. Do I miss and wish I could have more children? Yes some days I suppose- because I would be lost without the ones I have. God knew exactly what he was doing with every one of them and they are true blessings.
Isaiah is now 12. He is funny, sarcastic, and is built like a line backer. He has a sweet heart and a kind shy smile. He is a very shy child and loves hanging out with Mom and Dad. His hero is his brother Jonathan, his nemesis is his brother Aaron, and he looks to Caleb if he needs answers. He is dependent on his family structure and is rarely afraid to try anything if we are near. He does not like public school, he does not do well with his peer set he thinks spit wads and teasing of girls is dumb. He thinks most boys his age are silly and why would they say or do some of those things when it hurts other peoples feelings. Isaiah can always make his Mom laugh, frustrate his Dad, infuriate his brothers, and cause everyone to argue just but sitting still in a  room. He is special- and I am so thankful for those silly blue lines that my friend made me face.