Monday, February 9, 2009

Naptime Talk with Nadia

It's the beginning of naptime at our house. As I leaned over Nadia (age 3) a few minutes ago, she started rubbing my eyebrow with her finger. We had the following brief conversation:

Nadia: Mommy, your eyes are blue.

Me: Yes, and yours are brown. You got your brown eyes from Daddy, and I got my blue eyes from Grandma and Grandpa Inman. Their's are blue, too.

Nadia: No Mommy, my eyes are not brown. They are like yours.

Me: No, yours are brown.

Nadia: No, they're like yours. Just like yours.

Me: You think so, huh? Okay.

Nadia: Mommy, your eyebrows feel like hair.

Me: That's because they *are* hair.

Nadia: (sighing happily) Ahhhh...they feel warm...and fuzzy.

Me: (laughing) Well, uh, thank you.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

My first trip to Pennsylvania

May 28, 2004
Pittsburgh, PA

Tall houses built into steep hills. A little town built all around creeping, winding streets. Shops in the "downtown" area, one in particular, reaching up out of the valley that is the street. The front window is cut glass, thick & mottled, but beautiful. There is a metal framing that twists through the glass pieces, holding the design together. A wrought iron cafe table and chairs, painted white, sits out front. Directly in front of the window, it distracts from the lines of the building.

(Side note from 2009--We were lost late at night in some teensy tiny town. Somehow Kim had managed to get sidetracked from her normal route. Perhaps there was a detour. Who knows. All I know is that I was crammed in the backseat with baby Chandler and Hunter, wishing we would just get on with it.)

May 29, 2004
Lovey-Dovey's House, PA

Lovey-Dovey is Hunter's grandmother. She's my husband's grandmother too, but "Lovey-Dovey" is Hunter's special name for her. In my head, Lovey-Dovey is who she is.

Her house is not at all how I imagined it would be. What is obviously familiar and dear to everyone around me struck me as cluttered, an entire lack of order of styles, and...confusing.

However, within the first few hours here, I noticed the butterflies. Butterflies are in prominent places, often-visited places, and the more I looked, the more I realized they were woven into the whole house. There are three white porcelain ones with blue flowers painted on them--they float above the mirror in the bathroom. Farther down the wall, there are three cream colored plastic "wicker" ones above the towel racks. The inner shower curtain has large, moth-like butterflies fluttering across it.

Butterflies on the sheets, on the tableclothes, on the coffeecups.

In the corner by the door there stands a group of thin bamboo sticks. Frothy nets in pastel colos mingle at the tops, waiting for the grandchildren: butterfly nets. Outside the tiny white darlings dance their stilting jig across the vast lawn, teasing their pursuers.

As evening falls, the house fills with aunts and uncles and cousins, and a warm glow settles in for the night. All at once, Lovey-Dovey's house is transformed. all at once, in an understated way, it shifts...the butterflies that are Lovey-Dovey's delicate beauty, the nets that are her gentle love, the vast array of nostalgic treasures she cannot part with...the stark corners of the house soften into a home.

May 31, 2004
We're on the way home from Pennsylvania.

At five o'clock this morning, all the hills and valleys were covered with a thick misting fog. The lights that usually twinkled on the hillsides gave out only a gentle glow and everything looked like raw silk, soft and luxurious.

The trees that zipped past soon lulled me to sleep.

My mind returns to a train of thought I had earlier this weekend.

The Myers girls are in almost constant contact. The few states between them do not truly separate them. There are phone calls everyday, sometimes several a day. (Thank goodness for cell phones.) Interestingly, while we're in Pennsylvania, the phone calls *increase*. Now if they're apart for more than a few minutes, one thinks of something another *must* hear right away. The cell phone rings: Is anyone feeling carsick? Because up here in our car, Anna is getting queasy. Just checking. We'll be there in about ten minutes. See you then. Love you.

The closer the sisters get, the more they cannot stand to be apart.

(Side note from 2009-- So much has changed since that first visit to Pittsburgh. Relationships, I am even more grateful that I thought to record the freshness of my first time "home" as Matt and Kim call it. I don't think I'd want to live there, but it is true that when we go, there is a sort of magic to our time there. I can't explain it, but there it is. )

Ohio:1 Chris:0

Yup, I'm losing to Ohio. My good friend Melissa told me that she and her family will probably be moving back to Ohio (where she and her husband are from). Andy will probably take a job somewhere over there so that if things continue doing badly at Delphi, they won't have to go down with the ship. I always wondered if this day would come. I mean, both of their parents are still in Ohio, along with everyone they grew up with, went to college with, etc. I guess I just didn't really believe it until now.

Melissa is very different from me in some ways. Most notably, she is much more inclined to listen than to talk. It took me being friends with her for at least 2 or 3 years before I started feeling like I knew her at all. I know that even now, there's so much I don't know of her. But I thought I would have years and years to work on that. And I guess I know that our friendship won't end just because she's moving. But it will be very different and I wasn't prepared for that.

I hate it when things like this happen, because I'm usually confronted by how much I take things (relationships, health, security) for granted. I've really been working on improving in this area, but after she told me, I realized how far I still have to go.

I'm really sad.

And what's even worse than being sad is that I still feel incapable of expressing it to her. I told her I was sad, but I just don't know how to tell her how much she's meant to me all these years and how much I've learned from my friendship with her. I could maybe write and tell her, but I don't know that it would be enough, you know? I don't know if I could aptly express all the things I'll be mourning when she leaves.

She and I have gotten to a point where we can talk pretty easily about lots of personal, important things. But in all these years, I feel like we haven't gotten as close *emotionally*. I don't know why that is and I've never stopped to analyze it before. But now that she won't be here, all I can think is "I want more time." I can't even figure to explain it here, where there's no one to actually speak it to, just a computer screen and little type-letters. If there was anywhere I'd expect to be able to work it out, it would be here.

Maybe it's not that I can't, maybe I just don't want. Maybe I don't want to admit that I could've tried harder. I was taking the long and easier way to get to know her. This friendship with her is the first one I've ever had to work at. She is not as expressive as most people I'm friends with, and that was hard for me to get around, especially in the beginning when I was much less secure and confident. The first year we were friends, I couldn't even tell if she liked me. However, even when it hasn't felt natural, it has so been worth it. She is such a true and loyal friend, and I never have to wonder if she's bending the truth. She tells it like it is. I guess I'm mostly regretting that I haven't taken more initiative to deepen our friendship.

At least now I know that just because a person isn't as open as I am, doesn't mean that they don't like me. I've learned that getting to know a person isn't meant to take only weeks. I've learned that even when life gets so busy I can't see a friend for awhile, she will still be my friend when I see her again.

What a disjointed thought process I have. And one that is just reeking of denial. Oh goodie, something new to work on!

Monday, February 2, 2009

Hope for the best and pray like crazy.

Well, that's two of my friends now who have reported kids with croup-like symptoms. Normally this is the part where my hypochondria rears it's panicky head. So far I'm feeling better than normal. I've actually only been marginally worried bordering on the dismissive side. I've been able to actually feel sorry for their little kids instead of feeling obsessed over mentally listing every time one of my kids has touched them in the last couple of days.

Croup can be very scary, especially at night.

We're also supposed to go see Phil Keaggy on Wednesday.

So I can only assume that God is helping me bring this verse to fruition:

2 Timothy 1:7
For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.

Tonight I'm making biscuits and gravy...and I need to get started because it's also BIBLE STUDY NIGHT!!

Btw, I picked my verse for the first half of February:

Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.
Ephesians 4:29 (NIV)