It was never supposed to be about Improvement

Todd and I were talking on the way home from church tonight. Actually, everyone was talking on the way home from church tonight. When this occurs simultaneously, it sounds like a bad crowd noise scene in a low budget Japanese film. Often Todd and I cannot hear each other. But tonight we could.

“I started laughing in class tonight, inappropriately, when I thought of a new food contest,” I said.

“What is it?” he asked.

“Hold a raw egg in your mouth for 60 seconds and then spit the yolk as far as you can. Distance will determine the winner,” I replied.

“So basically,” he responded, “Your blog is now a stunt show.”

“No,” I said, firmly. “We just have Food Fridays.”

“But you said that Fridays were going to be you doing something you’d never done before. For growth. That’s what the tomato was,” he stated, quite reasonably. I ever-so-vaguely recalled some portion of this conversation.

“Well, the tomato went bad. There was no growth there. It was never supposed to be about improvement,” I said.

“Ok, then,” he said. “You’ve just become a morning DJ show in written form.”

Hmm. That’s not good. We’ll have to do some thinking on that one.

Today ran away with me. I felt like I could not keep up, which probably was somehow related to going to bed at 3:15 a.m. and getting back up at 6:40 a.m. That’s not good math and it definitely isn’t the better part of wisdom.  I will say that what IS the better part of wisdom is that the only thing I took to school for Mama’s Boy’s birthday was some well-thought-out goody bags. Anyone who has read the Cake Wrecks entry from awhile back will know that I should not transport live food. Ever. Or bake. Or serve. Dropping off goody bags is right up my alley. I don’t think I’ve ever heard of a gruesome goody bag incident. I’ve certainly never caused one. That feels good.

So the tomato didn’t work out so well. And I can’t play the trumpet. I don’t discipline myself very well in going to bed on time. But ultimately it actually IS about improvement.  For an ancient lady going on 3.5 hours of sleep, this day was a slam dunk. But I’m not chancing two sleepless nights in a row.  So I bid you a fond farewell for now.

I need your doll stories. Or pictures. Or videos. Or poems. Or genealogies.  Next week is going to be fun. Fire away.

Dear Boy,

It is 2:13 a.m. on March 16, 2011. It is my Mama’s Boy’s birthday. Every part of my back and eyelids are telling me to climb in bed next to Jingle Joints (my 9-yr-old. Why he is here on MY side of the bed is a lengthy, rather dull story, so I’ll skip that one for a slow day in Blogville.), but my heart is telling me to take a few moments and honor one of the most extraordinary boys ever born.

He truly is. Extraordinary. Almost extra-terrestrial really.

He was born on a Tuesday afternoon and placed immediately up against me for a first hold in this world. After about a minute of a strained cry, the doctor determined he wasn’t quite all right, so they ushered him away from me and he was gone for the next 8 hours. That was an exhausting 8 hours, swollen with anxiety about what was actually happening in the NICU. As it turned out, it was fairly standard stuff. But it isn’t standard to not have your arms around the baby you’ve loved for 9 months and who has only been in the world for a few hours. There is nothing that feels standard about that. When they finally let me see him, it was about 8 p.m. I was shot. But I was so happy to be headed down that corridor in a wheelchair. He was hungry. And screaming. Really. Really. Screaming. He can still scream, 7 years later. I scrubbed my hands, rolled around by his bassinet, and the nurse handed me my pink, wrinkly disgruntled baby. I laid him up against my chest and said,

“Hey, boy. It’s mama.”

And in that exact instant, he stopped crying. Not a peep. And then I started up. Because I couldn’t believe that he was here. That he was mine. That the sound of my words could be a salve to anyone’s soul. It was a moment I will remember until I don’t remember how to string two words together anymore.

That was the day he became my mama’s boy.

I ruined that beautiful scene 10 minutes later by almost passing out, actually throwing up into a cup, and handing that sweet swaddled nugget back to a stranger. Who knew having a baby could be so hard? Oh, yes. Everyone. But it got better from there. And it has ever since.

Since it is 2:27 now, I will not try to recap the 7 years following. They have been amazing. How can he be that cute? That smart? That weird? How can he not know that someone is about to club him for being so annoying at the worst possible moment? How does he not sense when the joke has gone too far? How can his jokes make me laugh so hard right before they go bad? How could God have been so good to me?

I need to find him a good wife. He’s amazing…but he’s going to need a good, good wife. I have begun praying on that one and will continue. But as with everything, I believe I should try to do my part. And so I will post a video that I hope will serve as a Meet the Arranged Husband audition tape. Have your daughters watch it. Send me one in return. And we’ll talk.

Happy Birthday, boy. You are amazing.