Angel Without Wings

Angel Without Wings

I watched you as you slept last night. You were so peaceful, so serene – like an angel. My memory raced back to the day you were born. The image of that fragile little infant is still fresh in my mind. It seems like only yesterday. I remember that tiny baby I cuddled and held all night, that first night. You were so fragile, yet so peaceful. I gazed into those big blue eyes and saw the future, a future as bright and promising as an early spring sunrise.
Honestly, I was scared. I had no idea what to do with a baby. I had no clue how to raise a child. I knew we both had a lot of learning and growing to do – together, and that we would learn from our mistakes along the way. That first year was so amazing. You learned so much. You brought so much joy to my life. There were so many “firsts”: so many things I learned all over again. You taught me things about myself I never knew, and reminded me of the simple things I take for granted every day.
I remember so vividly, the first day I took you to preschool. Between you and me, I think I cried more than you did. I felt so guilty leaving you with strangers. You were so young that you didn’t understand why I had to leave, why you had to stay. All day that day I thought about you and I worried about that experience being so traumatic that it would scar you permanently. We survived, though. You cried even harder when I picked you up that evening. Your teachers assured me you had a good time that day. None the less, you cried almost every time I dropped you off, for the next two years. I hated leaving you, but when I saw all the things you were learning, and how much you loved being in “school,” I knew I had made the right decision.
I still feel guilty when I remember that you took your first steps at school, but I have fond memories of all the times we have run around in the park, and gone for walks looking for spiders and other creepy crawlies.
I don’t remember what your first word was, but you used to say “dada” quite a bit. I remember how special I felt the first time you said, “I love you” to me all on your own. My heart melted.
I will not forget when you were teething. You chewed on anything and everything you could put in your mouth. I knew you were a special child when you insisted on sharing everything you ate – after you had chewed it.
The first time I took you to the beach you looked at me like we had just landed on another planet. That puzzled look is still clear now. You weren’t too sure about all that water, at first, but you showed me your bravery and ran right in.
We had so many happy times and so many times I just wanted to pull my hair out, but we learned – together. The first years of your life have been pure joy, all in all. As I watched you sleep, I realized you are my angel.
We had so many happy times and so many times I just wanted to pull my hair out, but we learned – together. The first years of your life have been pure joy, all in all. As I watched you sleep, I realized you are my angel.
So many of your accomplishments made me sigh with relief. You finally stopped sucking on your pacifier. You were “a big kid now.” You didn’t need it. All on your own, you decided you didn’t need a bottle anymore, either. You wanted a cup so you could drink “like a big kid.” You wanted to eat “big people food” now too. Somewhere along the way, you learned to dress yourself, and choose your own outfits. I didn’t know whether to cheer or cry when you finally stopped using diapers. At that milestone, I thought my baby had grown up and there would be nothing left to celebrate until you lose your first tooth. You once again proved me wrong.
So many times after that, you brought tears of joy to my eyes. You continue to make me proud – everyday. There are things I never realized were such a challenge for you. You simple glowed with pride when you could hang upside down from the monkey bars on the playground of never ending challenges. You learned to play soccer, baseball, and basketball on that very same playground. That baby I had to hold all the time can walk and run and jump, and play, and show me every afternoon, the new feat you have mastered. You can even tie your own shoes all by yourself.
There are no words to explain what I feel when you share your new knowledge and insights with me. No matter how bad my day has been, I know that when I pick you up from preschool, you will have something wonderful to share with me. I’ve looked forward to these new found revelations ever since you learned to talk.
I think my favorite time is when you explain the stories behind your artwork. To the untrained eye, those pictures are merely colorful swirls and shapes, but to me, they are masterpieces created by my very own Picasso. The tales you tell and the stories you create to go along with your illustrations always brighten my afternoons. After the worst day I could possibly have, I always have your adventures to look forward to.
Having you sit in my lap to read books, tell stories, or just having that quiet time alone together is heart warming. I especially like when you read me stories. You are no longer a baby for me to comfort. Somehow almost over night, you grew into my little friend. Now we sit and have discussions about all of the wonderful things in your world, all of your questions, all of the answers you expect me to have. You amaze me with what you know, and what you want to know. Sometimes I wonder if you are smarter than I am. Most of the time, though, I realize that you are merely more aware of this wonderful world that is here for you to conquer.
That day is coming sooner than I choose to admit. These past five years have flown by in the blink of an eye. Though I still see that fragile little infant as I watch you sleep, I also see a child – a child full of love and kindness, full of knowledge, and adventures. A child with so much knowledge left to gain. The time has come for you to move on to bigger and better things. Soon you will be leaving preschool and moving on to kindergarten. My little angel will be spreading his wings and flying.
One night as I sat with you in my lap, I called you my angel. You told me you aren’t an angel because angels have wings. We talked for a long time about angels and what they represent, and in the end, you told me you are my angel – my angel without wings.
Even though sometimes I want time to stand still and I want you to be my baby forever, I know you have to grow up, and be your own person. I thank God for letting me be a part of your life; for letting me learn from you, the importance of the little things I take for granted everyday. I thank him for giving me an angel – an angel without wings.


Memories, reconnecting with the past

Sorry for the absence. I took a rather last minute “vacation,” and took three of my kiddos and went to Miami for a week. My mom’s best friend passed away in July, and the memorial service was this past week. I knew this amazing woman pretty much all my life, so it was like a family member passed. I had to be there. She was my Sunday school teacher when I was a child, I taught Sunday school along side her when I was older. She taught my oldest kids. I babysat her grandkids. I had my first taste of frozen yogurt as a result of her encouragement, in 1986, when we were on our way to a women’s retreat. She was a very influential figure in my life.

It was a bittersweet trip. We said good bye to a wonderful human being who lived life to the fullest, and got to visit with friends I hadn’t seen in over 10 years. I met the children of my high school friends, and saw the boy I used to babysit when he was about a year old. He’s all grown up now, in his twenties. It doesn’t seem possible.

I took the opportunity to revisit places that were special to my oldest son, and me when we lived there. I spent some time at my father’s grave. I wanted to share that special place with my babies, but they were both napping in the car. I needed to go there. It had been 8 years since the last time I went to his grave. When I lived in Miami, I was there about once a month. It was my happy place. I would go there, sit at his grave and reflect on what ever problem or situation I was dealing with. I would talk it out “with him” and often times, just cry about it all. I really hate being so far away.

We went to the Everglades. Not to worry; I took pictures (posted at the end of this post). It was getting late, so we didn’t get to spend a lot of time out there, and I will not wander out there at night. I know better than to entice alligators, especially when I can’t see them. See, I grew up out there amongst the Saw grass and I know it’s no place to hang out after dark.

We’re back, and getting settled back into our routine. I’ll be rearranging my workshop because my husband is remodeling the basement and I’m losing 65% of my space. Needless to say, I wont be making anything new for a few days. IMG_8617a IMG_8620a IMG_8622 IMG_8623a IMG_8628 IMG_8632 IMG_8637 IMG_8638 IMG_8640a IMG_8642a IMG_8643 IMG_8646a IMG_8647a IMG_8649 IMG_8652a IMG_8654 IMG_8656 IMG_8657a IMG_8659a IMG_8663a IMG_8667a IMG_8668a IMG_8673a IMG_8674a IMG_8675 IMG_8677a IMG_8677aa IMG_8678a IMG_8684 IMG_8689a IMG_8691a IMG_8693a IMG_8697a IMG_8699a IMG_8700a IMG_8702a IMG_8703a IMG_8725a IMG_8727a IMG_8727b IMG_8728a IMG_8729a IMG_8732a IMG_8734A IMG_8736A IMG_8737A IMG_8738A IMG_8742A IMG_8749A IMG_8756 IMG_8759 IMG_8766

Silver lining

Yesterday, I spent the day at the church my mother attended as a child. My grand parents, great grand parents, and several other relatives are buried. I was really hoping I would get the chance to wander the cemetery with my husband and children, and show them the graves of some of the most special people in our family, and take some pictures. I love cemetery photography. We didn’t get to do that, though. Instead, we spent the day inside the fellowship hall, meeting new relatives and catching up with ones we have known for years, and all the little ones got to play together. It was a really great day.

I was also hoping to spend some time at my mom’s house, searching through her barns. There is stuff in there that has been in there since 1970, so some of it is even older than that. I know there are things in there that are just waiting to be made into something new and cool. I also know that they will still be there when I do finally get a chance to look for them.

We will be heading to the beach today so maybe I’ll be able to collect some cool shells and drift wood. We shall see.