Thursday, August 28, 2008

Baptism by Fire

(*Exhale*) I am barely keeping up with my life. My living room floor is covered with dry pinto beans that Henry will not let me clean up because, "Mom! The animals need that bean field!" Okay. Fine. But bean fields have been known to disappear when little people sleep. Life is just so...incredible (?) right now; I can't quite explain it. I think this little snap shot from our most recent grocery shop will provide sufficient illustration.

Visualize, if you will, the following scenario: Henry, Lily and I are at the very back of Tom Thumb, just there to pick up milk, when Henry announces that he has to go pee. Really bad. So we negotiate the snack food aisle as quickly as we can, the three of us and our awkward cart, en route to the restrooms, which are (conveniently) at the opposite end of the store. I hurry Henry into the bathroom, my hand on his wiggly back side, and direct him to the first stall, (which I cannot accompany him into because I have another child and a cart.) "Pull down your pants quick and go!" I urge from the hand-washing area. And then I wait.

And when I hear the words, "there's puddles of peeps in my flip-flops," rise up over the stall walls I know we were too slow in transit from the dairy section to the restrooms.

I blot him off with a wad of crumpled toilet paper, load him into the main basket of the cart, pay for my items, and leave. Aside the car, behind the privacy of the passenger door, I strip him to his birthday suit and buckle him into the booster seat. A gas station shares the parking lot with Tom Thumb, and I have earned the 10 cent fuel discount, so, feeling a little errand-ambition, I pull up to the pump and shake my head at the thought that 3.33 is a good deal for gas. I get the pump started and walk back to the car to find an empty back seat -- Henry-less anyway. And I realize that somewhere on the premises there is a clothes-less child. My clothes-less child. Uh...

I look around. Can't see him anywhere.

Start to panic.

Yell his name.

And finally, he emerges from behind a hedge of bushes which shielded him from my view, but revealed him to the passing traffic of the busy intersection. He comes running. Stark naked. And smiling. "I just needed to do some more peeps, mom. That's all."

Next thing you know I'll be walking to the market in my housecoat and slippers to purchase large quantities of fried pork skins and Tab.

So, yeah. Life is crazy. And hard. And most of the time it's not glossy-magazine-pretty. But by some mysterious means that I can't make logic of, the chaos of these days engenders beautiful things -- visceral loyalty to each other, a deep sense of belonging, framed finger paintings.

Henry pretty much summed it up tonight at dinner when he ended his prayer with a hearty declaration of gratitude, "And we're thankful for all, all, ALL, ALL of our blessings."

There are so many. I'm especially thankful for the ones I live with. Even the one who left an ever-widening "field" of dry beans on my living room floor for six hours.

*Post Script: I'm so disappointed that I don't have anything to put on the silent auction block for NieNie day tomorrow -- I just couldn't manage to create anything that I thought anyone would actually bid on. I keep having to remind myself that this isn't my season for elaborate crafts (my insides wilt a bit with the thought, but that time will come again before too long, I suppose.) In the mean time, I'd like to direct my little bit of blog traffic over to Design Mom to check out all the fabulous creations people are donating to the cause. It's lovely and inspiring. Also, be sure and check here and here (and Kate's blog if you can get to it :) I love that my cute, creative friends are on the long list of generous contributors. Happy bidding!

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