This is a simple story of a simple family trying to slow down this crazy life and enjoy the "moments"...

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Jumping the Hurdles....

So last week my baby boy turned 8.


Sometimes days seem to drag on and on and on and on and on....
But isn't it amazing how overall, time truly does fly by?

Saturday after Cougar Carnival I cooked and shredded a ton of chicken and baked Ethan's requested pound cake.

Then we had his friend party at Lazer Force and had the blessing (blessing because it was NOT at my house!) of watching 19 little boys run WILD for a few hours.

Total chaotic bliss.

Then we brought 4 of those boys home with us, picked up two little girls and partied hard 'till the ripe 'ol time of 11:15 when we all soundly and completely passed out.

Which was fine, until 6 little precious sets of feet came tip tip tapping down the stairs at 6:12.

But you can't beat your son's big beautiful dimpled smile when he sees you at the bottom of the stairs as he and his 3 buddies (all wearing only RH's shirts and underwear because they are sooooooo cool and big) sneak down and he yells:


What an amazing age.
What an amazing kid.

All 6 of the kids happily got dressed and ate healthy Boo Berry cereal for breakfast and we headed for church.

Serious picture perfect morning.

But for some reason I was antsy.

I couldn't figure out why....maybe just tiredness from the long weekend?

After church the other kids headed out and RH took our 3 to Duck Camp for a bit so I could finish getting ready for the family party (15 people) that night.

I made Crunchy Chicken Casserole.
I marinated the asparagus.
I toasted the toppings for an Oriental salad.
I cleaned areas of my house where the guests might go and shoved all the dirty stuff in random closets where no one would ever think of looking all of my house thoroughly.
I found candles and put them near the cake.

Then I started to set out a stack of plates for the dinner that night.
Then it hit me.

On May 22 I had been doing the same thing.

I had made Bennett some Crunchy Chicken Casserole.
I had marinated asparagus.
I had made Oriental salad.
I had cleaned the house.
I had strategically placed birthday candles.

And I remember the picture of the kitchen that night....

The wooden bowl of Oriental salad.
The full wine glass sitting undamaged and unspilled.
The missing ceiling.
And the stack of plates...mostly unbroken, with the top one strangely flipped upside-down on top of the others.

And the truth?
I consciously did NOT set out a stack of plates for the dinner that night.

I let people simply get them out of the cupboard when they needed them.

And that worked just fine.

Silly little things.
Silly little pointless memories.
Silly pointless things that make my stomach knot up and volcano-sized goosebumps break out all over my arms.

Did Ethan and his Aunt have a good family birthday dinner?

Yes.  I think so.

Was I really really glad to have it over with?

Yes.  I was.

I have the feeling that there may be many of these unforeseen silly mental hurdles in the future.

But I think it isn't just my's this city's future.

Just like after any life-altering event....we have to do things for the "first time".....again.

And these "firsts" are both triumphant.....
and heart-wrenching.

First Joplin Football game?

First Halloween without certain family members?

In the grand scheme of life....a birthday dinner isn't all that victorious (although I am quite proud of myself for having the mental fortitude to remember birthday candles!) or heart breaking.

But it was a small couldn't-have-known-that-was-going-to-happen "first".

And while I don't want to obsess about the tornado....I have to say this:

I am VERY thankful for my kids.
I thank God daily for them.
On their birthdays I like to take time to especially thank God for all the things that they have brought into my life.

And this year....with the not-so-distant-memory of how I'd felt when I thought perhaps I'd lost my youngest son .....
Coupled with the unsettling deja-vu of recreating the afternoon of May 22nd....

my thankfulness was truly...
truly beyond all words.

And that is both heart-wrenching.....AND triumphant.

Happy Birthday, Little E.
I love you.

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