Friday, November 15, 2013


Egypt is a scary place pronounced Dancer at lunch time today. I would not like to live there. 

Me, thinking she is referring to something she's seen on the news...Well, it is a little scary sometimes. Why....

It's because we don't know the language she interrupted.

And....there's THE MUMMIES. 

I stare at her, nonplussed. The mummies?

Yes, she declares, I will never be able to get that out of my head. From Hitstory Day, you know.

Diva, with her best snicker, took the opportunity to laugh at her sister. Ha, Ha, Dancer's afraid of Mummies!

You don't understand, says Dancer, MUMMIES ARE REAL. They are DEAD PEOPLE with OILS AND STUFF rubbed ALL OVER THEM. 

*dramatic shudder*

Diva looks down at her soup....

Well, she said (somewhat philosophically), I didn't know THAT.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Dancer Revealed

One morning, Dancer came in asking if she could play with Little Bit. She said, I'll even change his diaper. Of course I took her up on that offer! Are you kidding me?

A little while later, bringing him back to me, she told me she changed a dirty diaper. Not that I minded, but I did say - Baby, you didn't have to do that. You could have asked Mommy for help.

With a dainty shrug and a wrinkled nose, she told me...That's ok, Mommy. It needed to be done.

I think I actually teared up. Because of what she said. Because of how she said it. And because it's not the first time recently that I've seen glimpses of what an incredible person Dancer is going to be.

Her understanding and maturity are growing by leaps and bounds. Oh I know there are always tough stages. There are days when she's still very much a child (thank goodness!). I cherish those times she still needs comfort and guidance or a bedtime story and snuggle. I know there are many things left to teach her. And I can't say I'm looking forward to the teenage years. ( I don't dread them, I just have a some lingering leeriness when I contemplate them.)

But how amazing it's been to see her grow. She was such a tiny tiny person when they sent me home with her - and with no instruction manual! Her body was soft and her bellow was LOUD. Her eyes glowed and her giggle lightened my heart.

And now her pragmatism makes me laugh. Her compassion makes me cry. Her smarts and responsibility make my heart swell with pride. When she expresses remorse for wrong I litterally ache with the knowledge of all the times she will fall and have to pick herself back up again - all the times she will stray from the path and find herself lost.

Those little moments are the ones I store away in the corner of my heart, knowing that she and God are giving me a tiny peek into what she can become. And after I give a prayer of thanks, I pray for guidance.

God, please help me. She's yours, too, and I need your help.

Friday, November 1, 2013

The End of CaptureYourGrief

During the month of October, I participated in Carly Marie's Capture Your Grief project. So many of you were kind and supportive observers as I participated with the large baby loss community in a wonderful and honest opportunity to speak to what grief looks like in our lives.

But it ended yesterday on a somewhat sour note. Millions of people saw and felt the need to attack a picture of her baby that one mother posted. The vitriol got so out of hand that Facebook started deleting photos and ultimately deleted the Entire Event.

I'll be honest....when I woke up and found out this is how it all ended, I teared up. And I felt angry at these nameless faceless people that felt the need to attack a picture - a picture that is probably one of the few things that mother has to remember her precious child. A picture that it took courage to share. She thought she had a safe place and ultimately, it wasn't.

After the anger came a deep well of sadness. Because what is it within us that took something beautiful and created such hate?  Because those last minutes when I held my babies...they were holy. The pain was eclipsed very briefly by the utter peace their faces bore. I don't have a picture of that - but I wish I did. And I would share it - if I thought I had a safe place.

But something in our society rebels against the face of death and loss - and refuses to see the holy in a mother tracing her child's eyes and nose and lips for the last time. Some rot in our cultures refuses to see these children as people. And that rebellion is seen in the anger they displayed, the disgust they didn't keep to themselves when confronted with such beauty.

Now, while the sadness is still there, grief is twined through it. Grief for people whose hearts are so hard that they must hurt another for no purpose - lashing out against their own discomfort they tear down what they do not understand.

My children's memory verse this week: I Peter 4:8

Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.

I will love. And I will pray that my love helps someone else love - banishes some of their anger. And I will love because that is what I need to do. So that I do not take such bitterness in and let it swell. I will forgive - even though they don't want my forgiveness - because it is what I must do. I will speak my truth in love because I know no other way. 

Maybe someday my story and the stories of millions of families will not be so uncomfortable for everyone.