Reflections

 

 

 

 

 

 

As I was inserting a pacifier into my newborn grandson’s mouth, I caught my mother’s hand doing the same in the reflection of the mirror opposite him.

Myriads of thoughts happened in that instant.

But the first one, as I glanced down at my hands, was, Are these my mother’s hands?

Then, Yes they are, in more ways than one.

Hands that were once smooth and unfurrowed, now show creases and blue-veined rumples. Delicate fragility hides the strength they represent, and the hard things they have encountered. From the feather-light stroke on a newborn’s cheek, to the unyielding grip on a defiant teenage girl’s wrist, to the lively bustle of caring for the grown girl’s children.

By the time I leave my daughter’s home in this quaint Manitoba lake-town, I will have been here five weeks. Five weeks of cradling, changing, pacifying, and getting to know newborn twins. Five weeks of cuddling and entertaining their beyond-energetic three-year-old brother. Five weeks of filling in the gaps – those things newborn moms & dads need help with or don’t have time for. Doubly so when the baby is twins. Things like emptying the dishwasher, filling the dishwasher, folding laundry, sterilizing bottles, wiping counters, dressing the preschooler, or running back to the living room to quickly tidy up as we’re all walking out the door for an outing.

Besides the busy-hands type of help, there’s the being alert kind of help. Like understanding the half spoken sentences that trail off into nothingness from a foggy, sleep deprived mom or reminding her that her coffee cup is still on top of the vehicle.

All these things my mother did for me when I was the sleep deprived mom of newborns.

Life has come full circle.

These are the thoughts that flitted across my mind as I caught my mother’s hand reflected in the mirror opposite my grandson.

 

I am my mother’s reflection

Reflecting back at me

My hand reflecting hers

In the reflection that I see,

Causing me to reflect

On reflections.

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All is Calm, All is Bright

 

It is early morning on the day of Christmas Eve and all is quiet in the house … for the moment.

 

Very soon the air will be alive with voices and activity:

Gwamps,Gwamps! Let’s play, Gwamps!              Gwumma, what we gonna do next?

A contented baby’s chatter will sprinkle through the rooms. The kind of chatter only other babies understand, but we grown ups joyfully listen and respond to because this is the beginning of good communication. And really, it’s just plain fun chatting with a tiny one who thinks they know what they are saying.

The piano will resound throughout the house as Gwumma and Little Man play and sing their unique rendition of Jingle Bells, which consists of Gwumma singing and playing the notes while Little Man tinkles the higher keys, singing the same phrase over and over at the top of his lungs.

Gingerbread houses may or may not get decorated today.

Christmas goodies may or may not get baked today.

Some outdoor activity will surely be included because it’s snowing, and the marshmallow world is begging for new footprints and happy voices.

 

There will be some kind of sports blasting from the tv for those who don’t understand that Christmas means lovely Christmas music, and Christmas movies, and fragrant candles burning. This is the result of adding sons to the family, much to the Cowboy’s delight.

There will be good conversation snatched here and there among the busyness of little people.

There will be naps to smuggle, goodies to munch, and a new boyfriend to meet.

There will be a seafood feast for dinner, followed by a Christmas Eve service. Then time spent around the tree, the traditional gift of new pjs opened just before bed.

 

But most of all there will be togetherness. There will be living, laughing, and loving. It will not be forced. It will be achieved through the knowledge that, being scattered across three provinces, we rarely get to be all together in one place at the same time. So these moments will be cherished. Treasured up in our hearts, as Mary treasured up all that occurred around her on that very first Christmas Eve. And we are grateful. So very grateful.

 

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If you would like to read a Christmas poem I wrote this year, you can find it here.

 

 

 

A Good Name, Sweet Thing

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Proverbs 22:1 – A good name is to be more desired than great riches.

 

A good name … hmmm.

Our newest addition to the family has a good name. She arrived 8 weeks ago and was distinctly named for her story – her backstory as well as her future story. (Yes, a newborn CAN have a backstory.)

Although her parents knew in advance that she would be a girl, and what her name was, everyone else was kept in the dark until her arrival, long awaited.

 

It’s such an odd sensation, driving to the hospital to meet a new family member for the first time.

Who are you, sweet thing, and who will you be?

 

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Her own DNA.

Her own name.

Her own voice.

Her own little bud of a personality.

 

Her own struggles.

 

Oh, it’s so hard to think of someone this little having to go through struggles; she’s such a sweet little thing.

But she will.

That’s the thing about living … it’s not struggle-free.

 

Yet, it is our reactions to our struggles that determine whether or not we will have a good name. The good name spoken of in Proverbs.

A good name is a good character. A good reputation.

Anybody responds well in the pleasant times.

But that kind of good name is built on one’s responses in the hard times.

 

 

So, while we would never wish strife and hard times on this new life, instead we pray that her responses to her struggles will form her character and build her good name.

 

 

 

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Incidentally, her name is Hanna Joy.

But to me she will always be Sweet Thing.

 

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Oh for the Love of Disney

I posted this article way back in 2014 on my other blog, now defunct. But as I was culling through old posts I realized this one was too good not to share again:

 

convertible

My husband loves my convertible. It is my car but … he picked it out & I okayed it. When we were looking for a car for me and he suggested I needed a convertible, I questioned what in the world I needed one of those for. But we got the convertible. He asks for my permission whenever he wants to drive it — which is frequently.

However, apparently I’m not the coolest convertible owner. Yes I drive around with the top down. But the music pealing from my CD player is not ACDC, The Rolling Stones, Queens of the Stone Age or even Beyonce. It is Mendelssohn, Chopin, Mozart. My music is not conducive to revving engines.

Occasionally I throw in other fun music, like singer/songwriter type stuff or soundtracks from movies. I recently purchased 2 complete albums of music from the 1920’s.

Picture this: Hubby borrows my car and drives around town with the top down, enjoying the weather and the great car. While stopped at a red light he notices pedestrians looking at him oddly. He is used to people nodding in appreciation of a cool car. He knows those looks. These are different.

Suddenly he takes note of the music blaring from the CD player (because when you drive a convertible you must blare music — it is an unwritten rule). My husband is a big guy, a skilled businessman, and a cowboy at heart – not a wimp in the least. But what he realizes he is proclaiming to the world in this humiliating moment is … the theme from Disney’s         A Bug’s Life.

Was a bug, little bug, hardly there
How he felt, what he dreamed, who could care?
Without any evidence
(His flaws were many)
He was full of confidence
(Some people haven’t any)
Didn’t have much common sense
(It’s highly over-rated)
He just knew that he’d come through
It’s the time of your life so live it well

Oh yes my dear, it IS the time of your life. And while you’re living it well, maybe take along some of your own CD’s.

 

 

Lyrics for “The Time of Your Life” written by Randy Newman