09 August 2014

Of Changed Plans

I wake up earlier than I want on a Saturday morning (but that's nothing new, is it?). The plans for today aren't what I had looked forward to. I had anticipated a lazy day, where we had no plans, because sometimes no plan at all is just the plan you need to re-charge and reconnect as a family - particularly when the last time you had that no-plan, a mere week ago, Mommy spent the morning raging at kids who didn't deserve it, slamming cabinets until their frames fell apart, and finally leaving the mess for her husband to deal with, because something inside her just couldn't take it all - all of this thing called life.

Yet, on this same Saturday morning, another woman awakes - if she slept at all, because who can sleep when the warmth beside her is gone? When there were sounds through the night and your protector is missing - and won't ever return? She awakes, if she even caught those forty winks, through the night-sounds and the nightmares, to find she is still in the nightmare.

How had she planned, just a week ago, to spend this day? Was there a birthday party to attend? A gathering of friends, family? Was he finally going to get to that project she'd been bothering him to finish? Or just mow the yard so it could be clean cut for another week? Had she planned to snuggle in just a little longer next to that man of hers, pretending they couldn't hear the kids down the hall, for just a few minutes? Or do their boys toddle in to crawl into bed, asking where's Daddy? At work? No, not at work, because he never made it to work on Tuesday morning, when he slipped quietly out of the house in the early morning hours to go earn a paycheck and take care of his family.

I grieve for her. I grieve for the third time in less than a year and a half for a woman too young to be widowed. A woman now left alone with two little boys who don't understand why they can't wrestle with Daddy - one of whom may be too young to even remember his face a year from now. And then there's the one in her womb - the one they announced to the world only a few weeks ago - the one who will never meet this man called "Daddy."

And she'll have to do it all alone. Or at the very least without the one who is half of the life inside of her - who was all of her life on the outside. The ultrasounds, the first kicks, the first contractions, the first push, the first cry - all without him who helped her create this miracle (though, thankfully, she has Him Who is the creator of all miracles).

And I thought my life was too much?

So I awake on this Saturday morning, the same one where she will be saying final good-byes to a man with whom she had planned to spend her entire life, not realizing his would end at twenty-four, to serve her. A minuscule gesture of love to someone who is hurting more than I can imagine. In a world that is too much pain.

And it's not what I planned, but then, it's not what she planned, either.

01 August 2014

Of Losing Her Teeth (Literally)

Way back in January (which feels like yesterday), I took Micaiah for her regular dental check-up, where she received exciting news: she had her first loose tooth! Now, of course, as we all know, if it took a dentist to tell you your tooth was loose, it's probably not on the precipice of falling out just yet. But Micaiah, who has been waiting for this moment ever since she first watched The Berenstain Bears Visit the Dentist at the tender age of three, was ecstatic.

And for months we got to hear her tell everyone she met, "I have a looth tooth!" performing her best mimicry of Sister Bear's loose-tooth-lisp (try to say that without lisping). So, the day before Easter, on a Saturday morning visit to the donut shop, we smiled and nodded while she, once again, told us about her precious tooth. Until I got finished paying and joined my family at the table, where my husband said, "You need to see this"

Lo and behold, that tooth was loose! More than dentist-tapping-on-it loose, but tongue-wiggling-it-prominently loose. "That's going to come out in the next couple days," he declared.

He may have over-estimated.

That very afternoon, Micaiah came from her room after nap time to tell me a sad story, "I was playing with my tooth and fell out and now I can't find it!"

Wait. Back up. It what? "Wait, is your tooth in your mouth?!"

"No! I don't know where it is!"

Still processing. "It came out?"

"Yes, and then I lost it!"

You're telling me! She lost a tooth! Her first tooth! And she was more upset at the literal losing of the tooth than at the fact that she now had a distinct hole in her bite. No worries, though, Daddy came to the rescue and found that tooth in the thick pile of her new carpet (we had just moved in a few weeks before and the texture, thick enough to lose something in, was still new to her). And our baby girl got to leave her first tooth under her pillow. And the Tooth Fairy almost forgot for the first time to give her a dollar.

And of course, our precious planner, put that dollar right in her future-car fund. She has much more restraint than her mother.

Fast forward a couple of months. She had started it again, insisting the tooth right next to the half-filled hole, where her new chomper is pushing it's way into place, was loose. And sure enough, it was a little wiggly. And by two nights ago, as we prayed for her before bed time, her smile showed a distinctly crooked tooth - it was barely hanging on.

Thus, after breakfast yesterday morning, when she came to me with the same story, "I lost my tooth. I don't know where it is!" I was a little less surprised, but no less excited. We were able to narrow the time down to realize she probably lost it while she ate, but the little guy is still missing.

Thus, she wrote a note and left it dutifully under her pillow, hoping the Fairy would understand. Unfortunately, the Tooth Fairy's response must have fallen out from under the pillow while she slept, so the poor girl woke up thinking the Fairy had taken the note, been utterly disappointed in her and left nothing in return. I can only imagine the shame she bore for the hour or so until Momma found the new note and read it to her.

No worries, she found the dollar the Tooth Fairy dropped under her bed - and this one isn't going in the car money - it went straight into the money purse. This one is getting spent.

As for me, I'm ready for this little girl to stop taking the phrase "losing a tooth" quite so literally.

(Side Note: She's totally wearing the same skirt in those pictures. Considering she doesn't wear that skirt every day or anything, I find that humorous. Could just be me.)