Monthly Archives: December 2013

love…limits

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The kitchen stool sits conveniently between the stove and the island.  I usually sit at it and wait when the food is in the microwave or on the stove top for a short amount of time.  I check email of read part of the paper as I wait.  It has now become a launching pad for Sammie to all the amazing kitchen implements and toys that we have stowed there, out of her reach.  When I was making cookies with her a while back we had a very close call, she took a step to the right and I caught her mid-air by one arm.  I could have dislocated it in my attempt to save her tumble.  Yesterday, right in front of both Emily and I  she stretched out in an airplane motion diving for goodies.  I rescued her as Emily said, “I know it’s not right, but I almost wish that she would fall, maybe she would remember.”  I thought, “yeah, but broken bones could also happen and I’ve had them… definitely not fun.”

I listen to them now, out in the snow, Sam’s first snow.  She is gleefully singing.  I hear the scrape of the shovel against our drive, the first snow is always amazing to me.  I’m glad for this early gift to our family before Sammie goes back to the Ecuador.   Suddenly, the happy sounds are replaced by shrieks that enter our quiet house.  Something has happened, I rush down.  Emily laments, “She loved it, too much…her face was red and her mittens we so wet, she would have stayed until she was frozen solid.”

She is a two-year old who needs limits.

Her mother Emily is a 30-year-old that needs limits.

I’m a 58-year-old that still needs limits.

God gives us a road map, he loves us so much.  The limits are there for a reason.

In all of our classrooms we have codes of behavior, without these limits, chaos would reign.  Yesterday, of course, as we were waiting for the day-care busses and one of my friends just couldn’t follow the limits that I had put in place.  I called him over and just sat him in my lap.  He was comforted, order was restored.  He needed proximity.

Every day I intend to sit near Jesus in this season of decadence, this season of too much.  I need proximity also.  His limits restore me daily.

“I dood it !”

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“I dood it, I dood”  I’m dreaming those words.  I’ve heard those words about a million times from my rosy haired hummingbird back for Thanksgiving at Mo Mo and Papa’s house..  So many, many things are coming back to me…it has been about 28 years ago that my own little helper sang her way through every single day.  Oh, some days she was not exactly an angelic helper…whirling dervish on steroids would be better terminology.

How did I get through it?

How do many of you get through these young years?    Most of you are working full-time, some of you with more than one sweet smile grabbing your knee caps demanding your attention, as you stand by the stove and stir yet another Kraft Mac and Cheese gourmet dinner.

You come home from school with bags in you arms.  You know it will have to wait until their little bodies are wrinkled from an extra long bath time and night-night book and love session. You love the bath the most, especially if daddy helps.   You might even squeeze in a look at the headlines on your smart phone or get a chance to check or write one last email or tweet.

Right now I gaze at Samantha.  She just flung herself into the giant Lego box exhausted after helping her mommy build a perfect house on the table.  Sam got to help with the patio placing the plants where she wanted.  Emily created a green, yellow and red house and affirmed that she was a tad OCD about the colors and organization.  I start to laugh and Em looks at me as I type….“What…I like it the way I like it.”  She always has and always will.  Sam comes walking over with a creation of her own. A Lego person with a hat of flowers.

“I dood it, I dood it.”

Exhausted Em sits besides me and says, “Now she is going to destroy my house, she always does.”  Sam begins her destruction.

Em grunts,”I just want to watch Christmas movies and look at Etsy on my phone.

Sam falls in the Lego bin…one last time.

I say, “You did it!”

Sam cries, “Help, help.”

Emily sternly replies, “Say it nicely.  

(I think… deja vu, I have been here before…many, many times.)

“Please,” Sam pleads.

Yes, goal accomplished!

Now it is time to clean all the Legos laying on the floor after the destruction.  How do you think that went?

PS I think about all of you with little ones, my heart goes out to you.  This is a magical season, may you enjoy it with your loved ones, creating those spaces for simple cuddling memories.  I feel so thankful that I get to experience a front row seat for a few more weeks.