Friday, February 26, 2010
Monday, February 22, 2010
Last night we attended a Lenten discussion series at our church about true love. The room was filled with young and old married couples, divorced folks, singles, the elderly, our youth group, and little Cora Mae. Father Dwight and Mary led the enjoyable discussion and got me thinking about true love in the sense of parenting. Here are a few highlights.
First, Father Dwight drew from M. Scott Peck’s book The Road Less Travelled. Peck defines love as "The will to extend one's self for the purpose of nurturing one's own or another's spiritual growth". Not as exciting as something like, “True love is an eternity of butterflies in your stomach, love notes in your mailbox, and the whisperings of sweet nothings in your ear every night as you drift into a love drunk slumber of dreams filled with slow dances in a beautiful, pristine pasture”. Peck goes on to say simply that “love is as love does”; so simple yet profound. The statements are applicable to many types of relationships like family, close friendships, and communities.
So, what do all these semantics add up to? Love is work! Relationships are work! A participating partner must actively choose to be in the relationship, consciously engaged and ready to work. It isn’t about winning or getting what you want, rather a conscious effort to grow and accept. Let’s face it. We can’t make people who we want them to be, but we can love them for who they are. Even if sometimes who they are doesn’t always set our stomachs aflutter with goo goo ga ga love tremors.
So what does entering into a loving relationship entail? First and foremost, it requires risk. So what is at stake? Your heart. You WILL be heartbroken and disappointed. It is almost a guarantee. But is it worth the risk? YES! Also, it requires trust. Do you earn your partner’s trust, or is it a gift from them? Once it is broken, can it ever be regained? Having survived my teenage years I learned this one the hard way. Trust is a delicate issue. Did I earn it from my parents? Or was it a gift from them? Can you ever fully trust again after a breach? Probably not really, but you can give the gift of trust again knowing that you are in a loving relationship and that there is risk involved.
So, how does all of this tie into parenting? Even though our child is only 7 ½ months old, we realize that our love for her means that there is a lot of work in store for us. We can hope that our influence will help shape her into a special person that we are proud of, but ultimately realize that we can only really love her for who she becomes.
Then, there is the risk thing. Sometimes when I hold her, my heart beaks into a million pieces as I see flashes of the future. She will grow up. She will leave us. We will be heartbroken (probably long before she leaves us). Heartbreak in parenting is certain. The risk is real, but I already know it is so worth it. Both the heartbreak and the work, for the ultimate true love that will be revealed.
Now, if only someone could explain that to her! Sigh.
Wednesday, February 17, 2010
Tuesday, February 16, 2010
I didn’t fail this morning. My feet hit the pavement at dark-thirty with excited four legged friend at side. There is something about being out before the sun comes up that lends towards a pleasant day. Cruising the streets taking roll on who is up and who isn’t. Pondering the busy preparations for the day in front of mirrors and in kitchens. Wandering through the calm stealing a little peace from neighborhood streets.
I walked past a house where a baby was born just last week. Born there in that very home. The lights were on and I envisioned two new parents tending to a tiny, delicate person. I slip past driveways where I know old, single ladies live and wonder about their mornings. Are they lonely? Or are they enjoying a leisurely morning of coffee and news after years of getting their own out the door.
These streets are so familiar. The people, the houses, cars, dogs, cats, and junk in the yard. I don’t “know” everybody but in a way I do. Walking becomes this intimate act with your neighborhood. So much more is absorbed than when zooming by in the car.
I like walking. Walking in the crisp morning air that hints of spring around the bend.
I like walking. Walking in the evening with my family; baby snuggled up to me and hand slipped into husband’s.
I like walking. Walking with girlfriends while swapping thoughts and feelings. Some big, some small, but all important.
I like walking. Walking at night with the stars overhead to remind you of the enormity of this thing called life.
Sometimes my feet yearn for a dirt path or a country road while my eyes search for mountains on the horizon. Other days my toes wish to be tickled by sand while my ears strain to hear the lull of the evening tide. Mostly, though, I am content to walk through my neighborhood streets in this sweet little life that I live.
I like walking.
Wednesday, February 10, 2010
My running shoes stare at me from the corner wondering when they will hit the pavement again. I can't peel myself from the sheets for an early morning dark run, or even a walk, and by the time everything is finished up in the evening, I just want to ride the couch. I NEED to move my body and to feel fresh air on my face but am having a hard time getting out the door. I NEED some motivation. A little bit of sunshine would be a good start...sigh.
Soon Cora and I will take the good old BOB for a cruise around the block. Subtle hints of spring will speckle winter's blase' canvas. Surprise blooms will beckon at every corner, fleeting in their beauty. Overnight, chlorophyll will color nature's blanket technicolor green and all this listlessness will fade to make room for renewed energy.
Friday, February 5, 2010
On this day thirty-two years ago, my big brother came into being. Well, I guess it was really some months before that but those are details I don’t really want to get into. Ahem….moving on. I wouldn’t trade my big brother for anything. Mom told me that when I was a baby, he used to get up with her in the middle of the night when she would feed me. I can just see the two of us all snuggled around Mom. He would dutifully run to Mom when I had awoken from a nap and announce that I was up. I guess he’s always watched over me in different ways.
From playing ninjas to building mummy tombs with every blanket and pillow in the house, we have had a lot of fun over the years and I look forward to the years to come when our kids will play together. We’ll teach them some of our most fun games.
I love you big brother and I am proud of you. HAPPY BIRTHDAY!