Friday, January 25, 2008

My Handsome Son

When I found out I was pregnant with my second child I thought that my pregnancy would be much like my pregnancy with my daughter. I couldn't have been more wrong. I never had morning sickness with my daughter and this baby didn't understand that morning was supposed to end at 12 noon. In fact, this pregnancy would be nothing like my first pregnancy. Beginning in week 8 we had one problem after another which resulted in my being on bed rest starting at week 24. My son was born the day before Christmas in 1983 at just 31 1/2 weeks. He entered the world weighing in at a HUGE 4lbs. 2 oz. and was 17 inches long. They had told us to expect a baby weighing somewhere between 2 and 3 pounds. To say his birth, and days to follow, was scary would be an understatement. Initially unable to breath on his own and later unable to grasp sucking, swallowing and breathing at the same time, he spent 30 days in the hospital and came home weighing 4lbs.10 oz. The first few months of his life we alternated between falling on our knees thanking God for allowing this baby to even be in our lives to hovering over him and collectively rejoicing as he met each new milestone.

He was the easiest baby in the world. He was content to sit and watch his sister, rarely cried and he was down right adorable. While our daughter was fair with dark eyes, our son's skin was olive and he had huge blue eyes. He was quiet, cuddly and a little shy. He loved bananas and pancakes, books, his blanket-bunny and pacifier and most of all, his sister. He followed her around and lived for that rare moment when she would share her toys. Our son didn't do the terrible two's, instead opting for the Thunderous Three's. We began to get an idea of what raising him would be like. If we asked him to stand by us that meant run the other way. If we told him it was white, he clearly saw it as black. He was born hating to shop and always made me pay the price for dragging him along. There is no reasoning with a toddler and we had to rely on prayer as it was obvious that this child truly believed his way was the right way and saw no need for parental intervention.

By the time he started school, we knew that being premature hadn't affected our son's development. He was very bright. School came easy and he was always well behaved and quiet. His teachers couldn't say enough about what a model student he was. Of course, at home he wasn't always perfect. Like most little boys, he despised chores and homework. His arguing could turn a 30 minute project into a three hour fight. During this time, we kept him busy, trying to discover what it was that he would excel at and make his own. He played T-ball, soccer, basketball, was a cub scout and went to AWANA. He found a passion for basketball. He loved to both play and watch. At the time his dad was working nights, so he and I would watch Michael Jordan and the Bulls, learning the game together. He loved scouts and memorized books and books of scripture at AWANA.

In 7th grade he made the school basketball team and our lives haven't been the same since. For some reason, the boys on that basketball team were instantly popular. Overnight, girls began to call. Our quiet, shy child became outgoing, funny, sarcastic and a little arrogant all rolled into one. High school found him running Cross Country and Track. He was an honor student and an athlete. He had great friends with parents who were all on the same page. We thank God for that because, just like when he was a little boy, he wanted to do things his way and honestly believed that he was ready to be making all of his own choices. This resulted in the occasional mishap that caused us to say, "What about THAT seemed like a good idea?" or "Of course we found out, this IS a small town." Most of the time we were, in reality, stifling a giggle or two. This stubbornness, while annoying at the time, is actually what has made him the awesome man he is today.

It was during High School that the Holy Spirit began to show our son what his plans were for him. His first job was as a basketball referee for the Boys and Girls Club. Then it was as a summer day camp counselor at the local recreation center and he also volunteered to help coach the Middle School Boys Basketball team. After graduation our son attended UCSD where he majored in Psychology with a minor in Human Development. In college he worked as an elementary school tutor and then got hired by Sea World in the (you guessed it) Educational department. He does day camps, sleepovers, VIP tours and can often be found on a microphone at the tide pools or polar bear exhibit. He still works part time for Sea World while attending grad school. He is majoring in Counseling Psychology and Religious Studies with the intent of becoming a Christian Marriage and Family Counselor. It is not hard to imagine that his emphasis will be on family, as every job he has ever had involves children. Educated and mature, he will be awesome at explaining to teenagers that there truly is a reason for rules and that sometimes parents actually know what they are talking about. :-)

Through Sea World, God brought a beautiful young woman into our son's life. While nothing is official, it appears that she could be our future daughter-in-law. Our son has turned into a wonderful man. To God we give the glory! He is still smart, funny and sarcastic, though not nearly as arrogant. He is honest and has integrity. He tries to always do the right thing. He stands firm in his beliefs. Fiercely independent, he will now, occasionally, ask his parents for advise and actually consider taking it. He is thoughtful and incredibly handsome! I am proud to say, that when he enters a room, I find myself thinking, "That MAN is MY son!!"

Thursday, January 24, 2008

My Beautiful Daughter

I think that everyone thinks their children are the most beautiful people they have ever seen. It's the nature of the beast. After all, if we are going to go through labor, the end result had better be spectacular! I believe that my daughter is truly beautiful....inside and out.

She was born in 1981. Her dad and I were 22 and 23 years old. My goodness, how we could have screwed her up! She came into this world making her presence known. Two weeks before my due date the doctor told me that she was ready, it would be any day and that my labor would go very quickly because she was so low in the birth canal. I hide my babies well and the doctors told us that the baby would be fairly small. Well, she was 3 weeks late, I was in labor for 22 hours and she weighed 8 lbs. 9 oz. I knew then and there that the medical profession was clueless when it came to determining anything about babies. Turns out she was well worth the wait.

From the moment she was born she demanded attention. Not the negative kind where she acted out or was disruptive, but the kind where if she was in the room she HAD to be the focal point. At 4 months old she would cough if you left the room, knowing that you would return to check on the cough. She learned to talk.....I'm not sure when, because I can't honestly remember her not talking. She was talking in sentences well before her second birthday. When she was 27 months old she used to tell people that she was going to be "a neonatal nurse." She was not lacking in personality. She had huge brown eyes, a smile that lit up a room, blond hair (that turned to strawberry and then to auburn), and, as she grew older, adorable little freckles across her nose. Not the Howdy Dowdy, I have red hair and look like Alfalfa kind of freckles, but the kind that suggested she played outside and an angel had kissed her little face. Her little feet turned out when she learned to walk causing her to do a dead-on imitation of Charlie Chaplan. (Of course the feet were fixed with a bar when she slept, but those flexible little feet helped her be one awesome breaststroker.)

The terrible two's were trying because my daughter felt the need to rewrite the "Strong Willed Child." Strong Willed may actually be too gentle an explanation of life with her during those times. Our pediatrician told us that strong willed children grow up to be great adults because they hold firm to their beliefs and are usually driven and focused. It was around this time that we knew we needed help that could only come from one place....Jesus Christ. We were determined to raise a strong and faithful woman for Him. That is pretty much where our grasp and knowledge of parenting stopped and His began. Lucky for us, the Holy Spirit got a hold of our daughter when she was a little girl and began to prepare her for a life of serving him.

Of course, this road wasn't without speed bumps. As a little girl, our daughter was ultra-competitive and, sometimes, down-right bossy, especially where her brother was concerned. Her nickname was "cruise director." A label lovingly bestowed upon her in honor of a character from the Love Boat. She was over-dramatic, a nickname that she still uses today. These early qualities led to a child that became a classic over-achiever, an honor student, a successful competitive swimmer, a loyal friend, fabulous writer and a talented actress and performer. Her love for the Lord kept her from making many of the mistakes that mainstream teens make. She was active in her youth group and made wise choices. She graduated from high school and went on to study at Point Loma Nazarene University where she majored in Drama. She has used her writing and drama skills to teach high school drama and to write, direct and act in church productions. As an adult, she is fun-loving, compassionate, passionate about things important to her and down-right funny.

After college, she married her Prince. They began a life of serving the Lord together. He is a Pastor and she has settled into her role as a Pastor's wife. She makes seeking Him and following His Will look easy. She is mommy, to our first grandson, an adorable 18 month old chubby cherub who also appears destined to rewrite 'The Strong-Willed Child.' She has taken to mommyhood in much the same way she has approached everything else in her life. She is patient, loving and deeply in love with the little boy God has entrusted to her care.

At some point, right under my nose, my daughter grew up into a beautiful woman. At some point, my parenting was no longer needed on a daily basis. At some point, we were no longer the center of her universe. She is now a woman that I admire and strive to be more like. While she will always be my little girl, I am now proud to call her my friend.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

My Best Friend

I thought I would introduce you to the people in my life, one by one. First would be my wonderful husband. I really don't remember not knowing him, or at least of him. He started going to my middle school in the 7th grade when his family moved here. I was in a Girl Scout troop that combined with his Boy Scout troop to go on camping trips and other outings. He was always the kind of guy that all the girls were interested in. In High School we worked together at McDonald's. We became good friends. In fact he was my best guy friend. I didn't have any interest in him other than just being friends. I had a boyfriend and he had a girlfriend. All of my friends wanted to date him. He was one of the lucky guys who could grow a moustache at 16. Believe me, back in the 70's, that was a big deal. Because I was a friend of his, my friends always tried to get me to get him to ask them out. My boyfriend, decided that he didn't want me to be friends with another guy and constantly accused me of having more than friendship in mind with him. Well, if you tell someone something enough....they begin to believe it. On Graduation night we had our first date and as they say "The rest is History."

We dated for 2.5 years and were married in November of 1978. We were both 20 years old. Nowdays, two 20 year olds would have the deck stacked against them, but somehow we've made it. We credit that to our love and faith in our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

My husband is the most honest person I've ever met. He has integrity even when no one else is looking. He loves Jesus and his family and puts those loves above all else. He is level headed when I am freaking out. He sees things in black and white when I know they are grey. He can be too serious and complains that I don't take things serious enough. He is a neat freak and I like things clean. The difference here would be that I don't care to eat off of the floor and he just wants to know that he can. He is frugal (in a good way) and I always say that you can't take it with you. He plans and researches EVERYTHING and then he plans and researches them some more. I am more spontaneous and impulsive. He is more romantic than I am and kinder than I am. If he says he is going to do something he means it. He has had the same career, in public service, for 28 years. He loves his job and is good at it. He has been the perfect provider for his family, which allowed me to stay home and raise the children. He was a wonderful, consistent parent. Both reasonable and fair. Our nest is empty now, but he will still drop everything if one of his children needs something. He is proud of both of his children. One is daddy's little girl and the our son is dad's pride and joy. His desk at work is filled with pictures of all of us. He likes to pretend that he isn't totally enamored with both of his children and now his grandson, but I don't think anyone is falling for it. The way he looks at our grandson, and our grandson at him, pretty much says it all. He is my best friend, my soul mate and I can't imagine my life without him.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

To lie or not to lie

My question of the day would be, "When is it ok to lie? and when is a lie a lie?"

So, today I'm in the fabric store looking at patterns. A woman, probably in her late 30's or early 40's approaches me and asks me for my opinion. She states that she has picked out two different fabrics to make a shirt for herself. She can't find a mirror in the store and she wants to know which one would look best on her since she can't see for herself. She proceeds to hold them up under her chin. This is where it gets tricky. I, personally, wouldn't have been caught dead in either one of them. One was a blue plaid. Very hard to imagine it made into anything that a woman would wear. The other was a very busy pink, yellow and white mess. Neither of them looked particularly good on her, but it was obvious that she liked them. I ended up saying that I thought I preferred the blue, but that they were both nice and either would work fine. She said that she only wanted she would choose the blue. Here's my question....should I have seriously said, "Oh my goodness, they are both horrid and no self -respecting person would choose either of them, unless of course they were trying to get onto "What not to wear?" I mean, what are our obligations to the total stranger?

Friday, January 18, 2008

What am I thinking?

What am I even thinking trying to post a blog? I read Livin' in a Fishbowl and several of the links on her page. Everyone is a talented writer. Something I surely am not. I doubt that you will ever come away from my blog feeling inspired or amused. Most assuredly, you will come away bored to tears. I will probably never even tell anyone that I have this page. It can be my own little secret. Yes, that is what it shall be. Besides that, I don't have the foggiest notion of how to even download a picture to this page. I have serious issues when it comes to the computer world. Maybe the next time my son comes over he could help me with this little endeavor, but for now.....a boring webpage for an undoubtedly boring blogger.