Thursday, November 5, 2009

Out of the Ordinary

Most of my days are filled with ordinary things. I do laundry; and once in a great while, I write about it, but usually I don't. I cook, and only occasionally post anything about it. I check math pages for Josiah, tie David's shoes, cut up food for Tobin, and change Shav's diaper. Yes, life is mostly ordinary.

Occasionally, however, something happens and I think, "Aha! This is not ordinary!" Lest I forget some of these recent not-ordinary occurrences, let me jot them down here in this catch-all blog post. Two of these events are bad, two are good, and one is just plain weird.

Are you a good-news-first or bad-news-first kind of person? I prefer to start with bad news so that I can end on a good note, so here we go...

Bad #1 - One day a while back, David had been in the playpen and had climbed up to sit down on the edge of it. He's usually a pretty skillful monkey as he climbs around, so this wasn't a new activity for him; but unfortunately on this day, he lost his balance and fell backwards--hard. With full force, he hit the floor, basically head first. I was sitting on the couch very close to him so I quickly scooped him up, tried to evaluate the extent of his injury, and held him close to comfort him. He cried. Loudly. For a long time. I felt so terrible and wished that I could take his pain away. After he calmed down and I was able to determine that he would be just fine and didn't have long-term damage, we had a little talk about why exactly it wasn't a good idea to sit on that side of the playpen and how it would be much wiser to sit on the side closest to the couch so that if he fell, he would land on something soft (if he had to sit on the side at all, which he actually does need to do sometimes, particularly when he's climbing in and out). It's not unusual for David to fall down, run into something, or otherwise get hurt; but that fall was one of his worst and it makes me grimace just to think about it.

Bad #2 - Speaking of grimacing... On another day, Shav was in the playpen and David got in to lie down beside him and hold his hand and talk to him and play with the toys in the playpen and do all of the stuff that is such fun to David when he's in the playpen. Tobin was outside the playpen (I never let him and Shav be in the playpen at the same time, for obvious reasons), standing on the couch, holding one of the big boys' light sabers. Before I could stop him, Tobin leaned over the edge of the playpen and dropped the light saber squarely on Shav's and David's heads. Ouch! From relative peace and quiet in the house, I suddenly had three boys squalling: David and Shav from shock and pain and Tobin from the realization that he had done something very wrong. I think he did it innocently, just testing to see if gravity was still working or something like that. :) But oh my goodness, what a poor choice of an item to drop and a location in which to drop it! Even though the light saber is made out of plastic, it is HARD plastic; and I hate to think how that felt crashing down on Shav and David. Fortunately, there were no long-term effects from this little incident either.

Good #1 - Last Friday was David's family night, and he chose bowling as the activity of the night. It just so happened that there was a two-games-for-the-price-of-one special going on that evening, so Jeff played the first game with Josiah and David while I nursed Shav and kept an eye on Tobin. We play with the bumpers up, of course, or else David's score would almost certainly be a big fat zero...and that's no way to spend your family night. :) Josiah had the best game of his life, getting a real strike at one point (not a bank shot off the bumpers) and actually scoring higher than Jeff (who bowled a much worse game than he normally does)! When it was time for the second game, I asked Jeff if I could play in his place; and he gladly let me. It has been YEARS since I bowled. Seems like every time we go, I'm pregnant; and the "bowling ball" in me prevents me from having much to do with bowling balls on the outside. So anyway, there I was, wearing those silly-looking rented bowling shoes, holding the lightest bowling ball I could find (except for the super light one that the boys were using, the one that's reserved only for kids), trying to figure out how to do the "wind-up" before letting the ball go (that sounds more like baseball than bowling; maybe that was part of my problem), hoping that no one was watching me but feeling very exposed as I stood there. I finally worked up the courage to walk forward and let go of the ball, and guess what? I got a strike!!! A real honest-to-goodness strike without hitting the bumpers! On my very first turn! In all, I got three strikes during that game and ended up with a score of 114. I'm sure that's the highest I've ever gotten in my life. I could not believe it. It was great fun! :)

Good #2 - For the past six or so years, it has seemed like every time Jeff and I start to hug or cuddle or get affectionate when we're in the presence of the boys, one or more of them comes over and tries to squeeze right in the middle, destroying the romantic mood of the moment (but making for lots of great family hug times). Possibly for the first time, however, one of our sons not only didn't break up an affectionate moment between Jeff and I, but actually prolonged it. Here's what happened: one Sunday in church, Josiah was standing between Jeff and I. During a time of singing, Jeff reached over, right in front of Josiah, and took my hand, holding it briefly before letting it drop. Even though our hands had most likely been squarely in front of his face, completely blocking his view, Josiah immediately reached over and took Jeff's hand and my hand and reconnected them. I was so surprised. I literally cannot remember another time when any of the boys have done something like that. It's usually more like, "Daddy's hugging Mommy; let's go stand between them" or "Oh, good, Mom and Dad are cuddling on the couch; let's tackle them." When Josiah did that, it reminded me of the saying about the most important thing a father can do for his children is to love their mother. Maybe, just maybe, Josiah is realizing what a good thing it is when Jeff and I express affection to each other.

Just plain weird - On a Sunday afternoon in October, Jeff was looking out our front picture window and noticed that something was falling from the sky--something that looked suspiciously like...CORNSTALKS! Upon further examination, we realized that it was indeed pieces (approximately twelve inches long perhaps?) of cornstalks and leaves that were landing in our yard as the wind dropped them down. We looked up...and up...and saw dozens, maybe even hundreds, of these pieces in the sky. Some were low and some were high--so high that we could hardly believe our eyes. How in the world did they get up there? Where did they come from? It seemed like something that might have been caused by a tornado picking up debris from some cornfield and carrying it along for a while. But this area gets tornadoes only very, very rarely; and we certainly didn't hear anything about one during that time period. Besides, there were SO MANY cornstalks and leaves in the air. It was so strange, and I don't know if I'll ever understand it.

So, those are some of the extra-ordinary things that have happened around here recently, but what's a blog post without pictures? Here is something else out of the ordinary that I spotted not too long ago: Shav sucking on...what? Not his own thumb. Not any of his fingers. Must be someone else's finger. But whose could it be?
Ah, it's David's little finger that's in Shav's mouth! I guess Shav had been getting a little fussy and David heard him, so he climbed in the playpen, got himself into what looks to me like an awkward position so he could reach Shav's mouth, stuck his pinky in there, and let Shav suck on it. It's not the first time something similar has happened in this household, so I guess I shouldn't be surprised that David would be quick to help me in this way, by using his little finger to soothe a cranky little brother. :)

Since I didn't post yesterday, I want to catch up and write two memories for 30 Days Thankful.
Days 4 & 5 - I was thinking about my childhood and some of the out-of-the-ordinary things we did as a family. One of the things that came to mind was the way Dad would occasionally get out some slides of family pictures, get them set up in the reel (is it called a reel?), set up the screen, and do a little slide show for us. I LOVED it. Maybe that's where my love for photography, especially family photography, got started. Despite the inevitable "Oops, I put this slide in upside down" mishaps, it was always a great time of laughter and joy and family togetherness. And it never happened as often as I wanted it to!

Another fun memory is going to the local swimming pool, another relatively rare occurrence that we children would have loved to be more frequent (but now that I'm a parent, I understand fully why we didn't go more often!). In a book I was reading with Josiah today while we did school, we happened upon the exclamation, "Geronimo!" and I told him how I would sometimes yell that as I excitedly jumped off the side of the pool into my dad's waiting arms. It still brings back a sense of security to remember those moments. There wasn't a doubt in my mind that my dad would catch me, and I felt such glee as I jumped in, got out, stood on the side, prepared to jump again, etc. Around and around I went, and he never let me down. "Geronimo!"

I'm thankful for family times, old-fashioned slide shows (even though there weren't nearly as many pictures of me in the shows as there were of my oldest two siblings!), jumps into the swimming pool on hot summer days, a trustworthy dad who was involved in my life, and these happy memories.


Margie said...

I enjoyed the broad nature of this post - the bad, good, thankful, weird. But the most touching to me was Josiah's reconnection of your hands. The simple gesture makes such a statement about what's pleasing to children, about marriage, and love - both matrimonial and filial. I'll hold this image in my mind today.

chicknboy said...

Josiah was so sweet to reconnect your hands!

Falling cornstalks?! yes, that would be in the weird category.

~thanks for sharing. :)

Patti said...

I too love the Josiah reconnecting of the hands moment. I think it probably is indicative of the fact that he is realizing that his place in the world is MOST secure when he is NOT the center of your universe. Beautiful, that moment of maturity. I also love sweet David giving Shav his pinky.