Ahhh…. hear that? That’s the sound of me, completely relaxed and rested. Wes and I had a dentist appointment (which is NOT relaxing, mind you) a few days ago, so we called my parents to see if they could come up and watch the girls rather than us taking the girls with us to a very boring, non-kid friendly waiting room. They said they’d rather come and pick the girls up for the weekend. Well, twist my arm! I thought I could handle sleeping in for a few days. (And handle it I did.)
This ended up working better than we could have imagined, as Ana’s school recessed for a couple of days at the end of last week because of parent-teacher conferences. Wes and I got to meet with Ana’s teacher and hear about how “precious” she is and how she’s a “blessing,” which is always great to hear, as opposed to “your child flips out when I ask her to draw a circle.” Ana is good on numbers, letters, drawing, storytime listening, and playing with others. She still struggles with scissors (likely because she has the tiniest little hands ever!) and would rather smile politely than jump right in the big middle of group participation. She comes by that honestly, though, as Wes and I are both that way as well. It was good to hear about how she’s doing.
It was also good to hear that I have NO cavities! And even better to hear that Wes has NO cavities! We were betting on two each when we went in to the dentist’s office because we’re dental pessimists and because having children has ruined my teeth. I had never even had a cavity until late in my twenties, but as soon as there was a baby onboard, it was like I rolled out the mat for all manner of oral atrocities. (You think I’m kidding, but I had a dental hygienist tell me that she can tell a woman is pregnant based on the way her gums look. I’m not sure what the medical explanation is for this, but she assured me that pregnant women have more dental trouble than they do when they’re not pregnant. For real! Does the pregnant body just ignore and neglect every other body system for nine months?)
Oh, well. All that said, no more babies in utero means no more cavities! And that rings true for Wes as well… by association, of course.
All the relaxation prompted from no kids and no cavities really must have gotten me off my game because I struggled through Sunday night’s service after we were reunited with the girls. Was Emma especially vocal because it was a reflective, meaningful Lord’s Supper and because her exclamations would be that much louder in the relative calm? Decidedly so. The best part (on her part) was when she began saying, “You HURT me, Mommy!” after she scraped her own leg with her shoe when I was picking her up from the place where she was wallowing on the floor. Thinking that I didn’t hear her, she continued to proclaim, “YOU HURT ME, MOMMY!,” increasing her volume with every assertion. Ana, for her part, remained attentive and thoughtful. (Apart from the hundred kisses she managed to place on my cheek after reaching out and pulling my head next to her lips, where she whispered, “I love you SO much!” Which I was glad to hear since Emma kept shouting, “YOU HURT ME, MOMMY!”) Ana actually seemed to hear what Wes was explaining about the significance of the Lord’s Supper, but in her very four year old way, she got it a little mixed up. When I was handed the cup, she said, “JESUS made that JUICE!” Symbolic of His blood, which I guess He technically made… as He indeed made everything since He’s God. And hilarious to me since no one actually told her it was juice, even though Wes kept quoting “wine.” She’s Baptist through and through, even down to her assumptions on our extra-biblical rules and regulations. (Later, I asked her, just to confirm her Baptisticness, “Did Jesus drink wine or grape juice?” She gave me her best “duh” look and said, “Grape juice!” Hmm. Methinks we will have to clear up some things with her.) She told me, after we concluded the service, “My favorite part was when I got to smell the juice!” Emma’s favorite part must have been when she kicked half of the juice out of the cup as she continued to tell me (you got it!), “YOU HURT ME, MOMMY!”
(As crazy as that was, it still doesn’t compare to that one Lord’s Supper in Namibia when I looked down to find a fly, struggling to not drown in my tiny cup of — again, even Baptists in Africa! — grape juice. I wish I could tell you that I just chug-a-lugged it down, but as I was praying fervently over whether or not doing so would compromise my health, I missed the moment and had to hand the cup back to one of our Afrikaner deacons, who became so tickled at my predicament that he nearly had to excuse himself from the rest of the service.)
I’m still relaxed, even after all of that. And I’m reminded to be thankful for the girls and to really treasure the days that I’m given with them, especially after a very difficult day at the hospital this past week with a dear couple from our church. Their teenage grandson suffered a heat stroke during football practice last Tuesday and passed away on Friday morning. While we sat with them in the pediatric ICU, I had to keep reminding myself that children aren’t promised to us forever and that God is to be praised for blessing me with even one day as Ana and Emma’s mother, regardless of what happens. Easy words to say, hard words to live.
And speaking of the girls and being relaxed, this is what happened while I was writing this blog…
Good night, everyone!