Thursday, October 28, 2010

A Serious Journal

Journal for Christa—

This is a serious journal because I’ve been thinking for some time now—thinking about marriage and what happens there long term. Why some people make it and others don’t. I suppose this mulling over was prompted by people who just walked away—just walked away after years—30 years, maybe 40.

I heard one person say, “There’s someone else; there always is.” But somehow I don’t think so. I’m more inclined to think that at that point it was more of a desperation—a thought of, “I’m not spending the last 15-20 years of my life like this.” I don’t really know. I didn’t know them well.

But that prompted another question. Why would people in that much trouble for all those years not realize their train was headed for a cliff? And if they knew, why would they ever keep barreling onward toward certain destruction, unless they just didn’t think it was certain?

Then that led to a decision—the decision that before I could write such a journal, I needed to make certain where my train was headed. Maybe I shouldn’t make assumptions. So, waiting for the timely moment, I just said to Jay, “Now is there anything about me that bugs you? Because I don’t want you thinking in ten years you can’t deal with it anymore and walking out. Just tell me, because if there is— I will fix it!”

My drama gets little response from Jay, so he looked up from the couch where he was lying and simply stated, “Not a thing.” But, our conversation continued as so: (While reading, remember that I’m rather passionate about marriage and am very expressive; Jay is also passionate about marriage and is as calm as a placid lake on a windless day.)

“How could people not know? Really! How could they not know there were issues?”
“They knew.”
“But why? Why would they ignore that for all those years? That doesn’t happen over night.”
“It was dead long ago. They quit having fun together… a long time ago.”
And that ended the conversation.

So, these days I’m thinking about fun. And you can believe that afternoon, about an hour later, I took up my dancing shoes and headed off to lessons—for two solid reasons: Kathy’s lessons are cheap. And Kathy’s lessons are fun!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Scout's Glow Worm

Journal for Christa—

When we stay at either Melody’s or Stef’s, it’s hard—nearly impossible—to tell what time it is in the mornings. The bedroom windows are heavily draped to trick the baby and toddler brains into thinking it’s still quite dark outside and way too early to get up. I don’t know how well it works with the kids, but it’s pretty effective with us.
New baby, Timber

During our recent visit to Kansas City to see the new baby, Timber, and to visit with everyone, we shared a room with not-quite-two Scout, who’s been sequestered to the pack n play, as he can now crawl out of his crib.

When Scout settles in for the night, he goes…prepared. One puzzle, a book, a menagerie of cars, the pile of little peoples we’d brought him—and most importantly…his glow worm. (Actually, the glow worm just stays in the pack n play.)

You can imagine our surprise and delight when he awoke in the darkness our first morning there and continually pushed the glow worm in order to see to put his puzzle together. Totally unaware of our presence in the guest bed, he continued to “light” his world by the glow of his toy—looking at his book, playing with his toys and talking to himself. Such is how Scout occupies himself until people begin to move about.

As I watched Scout’s routine each morning, it occurred to me that sometimes in reality it might not really be as dark as it seems. It was also interesting to watch his confident routine of waking in the dark. He simply reaches for his glow worm to light his world.

Sometimes, I need a “glow worm” in the darkness—
Oh yeah, I have Him…right here inside me.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Autumn Sunsets

Journal for Christa—

After rising early this morning and driving back from Kansas City, I’m looking at the most beautiful Colorado sunset—stripes of bold pink splashed across the tops of the front range, with trees filling in the foreground like shadows. Scenes like these make me wish I were an artist.

Colorado greeted us with a bite of coldness that awakened the realization that winter is not far behind. So, with my ten dollar off coupon, I bought a pair of pants at Kohls today. I like winter just through Christmas, but you know a Colorado winter is just gathering arctic winds at that point. That thought alone can send my spirits downward, but the long winter is not here yet. And the faint orange glow over the peaks beacons me to focus on the things I love:

Newborn baby yawns
Big toddler eyes that say, “I love being with you!”
Baby babblings with the words “Granny and Gampa” tossed in
The last research paper graded
Facebook news from Germany
Skypes from the girls in Texas
Seeing you on Sundays
Crawling under my mom’s handmade quilt with Jay at night
Seeing splashes of pink and orange across the evening sky—

Even though winter will come, tonight I’ve turned on the heat, the Ipod, and chose to think instead of the things that bring warmth to my life. 

Thursday, October 7, 2010

The Party

Journal for Christa—

I went to a baby shower this afternoon. I’d invited myself. (You know you’re postmenopausal when you invite yourself to someone else’s party.) It’s a friend of Joy’s, and I kind of expected the party would be given by her friends. It wasn’t. It was mostly family. (So—not only did I invite myself to someone else’s party, I invited myself to someone else’s family party.) And, I’m glad I did.

It was a shower for a twice wanted baby—an adopted baby. Through Joy, I’d traveled the journey of medical procedures and disappointments, the adoption process, the waiting, and the call for a baby, born six weeks early—a baby in distress—the fears, the long out-of-town hospital stay—the homecoming.

As kind of an outsider, I relished in the story from the neighbor who shared they (the neighbors) all thought she’d left her husband because she was suddenly just—gone—and her mom would come by for stuff during the day when her husband was at work—

The story of when she sent announcements to the neighbors and the one who said, “I told my co-workers I was such a bad neighbor because I didn’t even know you were pregnant.” “Oh, I wasn’t!” quipped Joy’s friend.

Watching the grandmas hold him and stroke his baby face. The piles of clothes the great aunt had bought him (mostly saying how much he loves his aunt). The high school friend from out-of-state, and of course the close friends that included Joy. And then—there was me—because I’d invited myself to the party—the party that had seen the pain, joined in prayer, laughed in joy.

I don’t always invite myself to parties, but maybe I should more often.