Saturday, July 24, 2010

Beloved Faces

Emmaus is trilingual. He is fluent in Amharic, English and Zion. Yesterday, he and his little brother chatted away nap time (to my dismay) on subjects of which I understand precious little. The nuance of Zion's speech is a bit like Pig Latin: always drop the first letter; discard one or two in the middle, and in the end add something, like a giggle, a grunt, a hug or a punch.

My own words and actions can sometimes come back to haunt me. Malachi knows I love caramel, in all forms, as I have expressed to him. On Tuesday of last week, he made scrambled eggs for me and everyone else in the house under 8! Six large plates containing wet, jiggly mounds of pale yellow, filled the table. (There is a cow and a flock of chickens somewhere we should thank.) The kitchen was in shambles, but all was in order on the table. I obediently delved into my plate to discover an odd sweet taste mixed into my eggs. Malachi beamed, "Did you get it Mom? I hid a very special treat in your lunch!" The taste of the hidden caramel had permeated every ounce of my eggs! I dutifully downed the mound to the last bite, glad to be gifted in the skill of eating anything. Since my thoughtful little chef watched my every bite, there was no other choice.

Not long ago Salome' sat on a little chair pulled up to the coffee table. On this pretend desk she placed books, discarded envelopes and junk mail, pens, a purse and her prized possession, a broken cell phone. In the midst of a rather stern conversation with her dolly, the cell phone rang (in her pretend world), as she answered her voice changed completely. She was no longer a cross Mommy. No, she instantly became joyful, using a voice as sweet as honey! She had entered the false world on the other side of technology.

I am thankful and often humbled by the me my children see. There is nothing hidden in word or action from their keen eyes. Their discernments and interpretations are true. If I dare to believe I am the best mother I can be, I must die to the self I think I am and embrace the refining fire of who I want to become! As I see humor in each day, a little laughter reminds me of the replenishing fuel of God's grace and mercy. It is my job to be honest and transparent in the midst of my joys and trials, in language and action, to the beloved faces I see daily and the ones technology hides from my view.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Right Perspective

The time is 12:23 am and I am breathing deeply as this day finally ends. My desire for a week or so has been to finish a blog I'd written called Perspective. This writing time is food for my soul, so I felt happy to spend a few moments to rewrite. In the midst of reshaping a few phrases, I hit an obscure command that should be labeled “black hole” and now, my Perspective is lost.

Perhaps my weighty analogies of “rain-soaked day” and “sunlight filtered through delicate branches” spoke less convincingly of my subject than my computer-illiterate action of cleaning the slate. My own perspective can easily be lost by a difficult morning with my littlest team-members. Day before yesterday, Emmaus, who not long ago told me, “Mommy needs to obey Emmaus!” (isn't his English excellent?) offered me an unopened silver nail polish bottle. I was thrilled that he'd come to me without opening the container first. He was immediately followed by Zion, who also held a nail polish container in his hand, this one, a candy-apple red. The brush, however, hung precariously from his teeth! Only weeks before he had highlighted the tips of Ezra's hair with hot pink! [And no, I have no idea why the toddlers find nail polish everywhere!]

I certainly find ample opportunity to “look at the bright side” when disaster seems to lurk around every giggling corner! Yesterday, at the pediatrician's office, I kept losing a child or two, to the brilliant distracting escapades of the third. I now feel I know the entire reception staff far better than expected. “And how does this copier work?” Zion was certainly wondering. The office goldfish, I am thankful to report, remains alive, though perhaps in a state of shock. Such excursions leave me weary and wondering at my own capabilities. I know that love covers a multitude of my inabilities. So when, in the sweet moment of my question, “Who is beautiful?” they all cry out, “I AM!” I realize we will make it!

And, in the odder moments when I forget the power of my influence, Salome' reminds me. I made a strange comment on some fluffy shoes at the shoe store. I thought they should be “worn by someone drinking a martini!” Salome' didn't miss a beat, she pulled on a pair of teal boots and announced, with an aire of sophistication, “These boots make me feel like I should be drinking hot cocoa!” On another day, her comment was this, “Why are you so beautiful Mommy? It must be because God made you!”

So I leave you with the right perspective tonight. You are beautiful, because God makes only beautiful people! Just ask Salome', resident expert on shoes, people and perspective.