Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Happy Birthday, Calder!

Today my youngest baby turns 13. Not even possible.

In May of 1996, Dale and I were in Orlando for his work conference.  I was flipping through TV channels when a program caught my attention.  Being interviewed was a woman who had suffered several miscarriages but was later able to carry a baby to full term.  I paid attention to the details of her story with tears streaming down my face.  Just a few months prior, I had experienced my third miscarriage.

We came back from Orlando, and I found out I was pregnant.  I bee-lined straight to my doctor who had also been doing research on the same medication I learned about in Florida.  I began the medication immediately by way of a needle in my abdomen attached to an infusion pump I wore 24 hours a day.  Thirty seven weeks and forty thousand dollars later, we were blessed to welcome our 3rd child.

I cannot even begin to describe the joy this child has brought to our lives.  He is witty and charming.  He is kind and caring.  He is talented and bright.  He has been adored by school secretaries, grocery clerks, dear friends, and, of course, his family. 

And now, he is a teenager.  I am cherishing each day.  I know he will be in high school tomorrow and off to college next week.  I know this to be true because it was just yesterday that my friends would take turns holding him  because he refused to exist apart from a lap.   It was just yesterday when a doctor at the clinic peeked into the baby carrier and proclaimed that Calder was the most beautiful baby he had ever seen (and the doctor had two children of his own).  It was just yesterday, when he was 10, that he wrote "You are the bomb" on the plaque for my dad's memorial service.  It was just yesterday he handed me a note that said, "It's quite possible that you are the best mom in the whole, wide world.  May we please eat Mexican food for lunch?"

Throughout his young life, this kid has been a peer model in school, a stroke recovery incentive for my mom, and a chick magnet used by guys in the youth group (and his very own brothers).  He is an enthusiastic participant in Daddy Date Night.  He is a budding artist.  He is a collector.  He is a joy.  I don't know what he will choose to do when he grows up, but I know what he will be when he grows up: Amazing.

Calder, you are a wonderful young man.  You're worth every needle stick, every penny, every prayer.  If I tried to use just one word to describe you, it would have to be the word you made up when you were about 3: Mooduhbuhshay.

Happy Birthday, my precious baby.  I love you so.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

New Year's Revolution

I'm not making any New Year's resolutions this year. Not even one.

Don't get me wrong.  I'm far from perfect.  There are about 43 billion things about me that need to change.  Or that I would like to change.  Or, perhaps, that others would like to change  about me.  Sigh.  And it's not that I lack resolve.  One of my favorite writers says that every morning she "wakes up one determined woman."  I know that woman, too.  She lives in me.

Nope, I 'm not making any resolutions by choice.  Instead, I'm focusing on a REVOLUTION.  You know, like the Beatles' song.  According to Webster's, revolution can mean many things.  But the definition I have hijacked and adopted for the year is this: a change of paradigm.

I am shifting my thought pattern.  I am throwing out old and inaccurate perceptions of myself.  I am rocking my own world, down to the fundamentals of who I am, who I REALLY am.  Not who I think I am.  Not who I wish I was.  Sounds pretty elementary, doesn't it?  Not for me.

I have been in survival mode for some time.  Just getting through each day with every person in our household mostly intact and functioning has been the goal.  And, truthfully, it's no small accomplishment for that to take place.  But I have a little more margin in my life now, some of it self-created and some of it created for me, and I'm going to purposefully change the pattern.

Don't get nervous or worried.  I'm not going to jettison my husband, shave my head, or sell all my possessions.  In fact, you may not even notice any change at all.  That's okay.  I'm going to notice.  It's my new paradigm. I'll give a paradigm update every now and then.  Not because I think your whole world hinges on what I say or think, but because I'm trying to be transparent in meaningful ways (part of the new paradigm). 

This will be an eventful year.  Friends will grieve.  Babies will arrive.  My kids will grow.  The economy will brighten (a girl can hope).  And while the specifics of each of those will consistently cycle through my thoughts, I am going to live more on purpose, and less on accident.  I'm going to take steps to make Survive my fall back mode and Thrive Mode my new normal.

And every single day, I'm going to be thankful.  Every. Single. Day.  I'm not out to change the world.  I'm just out to change my world.

And in the words of the Beatles' song, "You know it's gonna be alright."