I just found an email I sent to Hillary Powell in 2006:
"Well, let me tell ya. Today my first daughter was THE DEVIL. She is very very TWO. She does not seem to throw normal tantrums when she does not get what she wants, she uses this devil voice to scream at you. Picture REDRUM. Or the Exorcist. I am serious, it hurts my ears and my spine and it is NOT cute. And then Miss Maggie Belle, she has learned how to pull up in her crib but not how to get down. So her thing is to stand up the whole time she is supposed to be napping and alternately yell and giggle. And so I go up, lie her down, and before i am down the stairs, she is up again. She did not nap ALL day today. I was so aggravated when my mom called she threatened to call CPS on me and I actually told her to go ahead, I could use the break from them both. So, there goes my mother of the year award."
I did not grow up in a large family. Therefore, as a mother, much of our daily familial life is novel and surprising to me. For example, I was unaware that, in a family of seven souls, one might ask, "WHO FARTED?!?" seven, eight, perhaps even nine times in any God given day.
Watching Dead Ringer with Bette Davis
Me: I hate it when I kill my twin and assume her identity and then it turns out she had murdered her husband and then I get the death penalty....
Maggie: Everyday struggles.
One of the ways I fell for Walker: I used to get a Word of the Day emailed to me, some random word, with the definition. Periodically I would forward one to Walker and his friend Dave, and they had to compete to come up with the best sentence (which would often turn into an essay), and I would judge the winner. I would often cry, cry I tell you, CRY with laughter.
whether i see you or not
you still are
whether i obey you or not
you still command
whether i love you or not
you still love
whether i heed you or not
you still speak
whether i seek you or not
you still seek
whether i praise you or not
you still glorify
From the time I first found out I was pregnant with Shep, I knew two things: that he was a boy, and that the Lord was calling him to something special for his Kingdom. The verse we printed on his birth announcement and had read at his baptism was I Samuel 1:27-28:
"I prayed for this child, and the Lord answered my prayer. He gave me this child. And now I give this child to the Lord. He will serve the Lord all his life.”
Verse 27 is lovely and sweet. Verse 28 has always scared the heck out of me. Giving your child to the Lord can mean anything. For Hannah, it meant sending her only son away when he was three. It's a dangerous prayer.
Lately, Shep has been asking hard, hard questions about his faith, and about the Jesus he has always loved, and the bible we have always poured into him. And he's been struggling with doubt. And he's gotten some ideas that maybe Christianity is silly and foolish contradicts science and reason. WhileWalker has said over and over that these questions are not only normal, but good, it's not normal or good to me - I have the gift of faith, a rare gift I realize, but one that means I have never, ever seriously doubted. So Shep's questions have made me very nervous, because my greatest fear is that one of my five children not know the Lord.
So a few months ago when I heard that apologist John Lennox was coming to speak at UT, I asked Shep if he wanted to go, and he said yes. I wasn't sure if he would like it, if it would be over his head, if he would be bored.
Hearing Lennox, professor of math at Oxford University, brilliant, winsome, yet so intimidating an apologist for the faith that the atheist physicist who was due to debate him flaked at the last minute, ignited my son in a way that I've never seen. And Shep begins to say things like "I want to be a bass playing apologist now."
Then after the talk, we ran into Andrew Coleman, and old, very dear friend of mine and Walker's, who is also one of the most brilliant people I know, who translated space manuals into Russian for NASA, and who is also such a winsome apologist for the faith. Who needed a place to sleep sometimes when he came up to Ratio Christi at Univ. of Texas Austin meetings. So last night Andy stayed with us and kept Shep up way past bedtime discussing why astronomy and physics and science and the bible are completely compatible. And Shep was elated and encouraged in his faith.
And I went to bed remembering that I gave my son to the Lord. And that the Lord is in charge of his destiny. And that the Lord knows the plans he has for Shepherd and knows exactly how he intends to accomplish them and is the author and perfecter of his faith and his sanctification, just like he told me 13 years ago when I felt him kick within me, just like he knew about 20 years ago when I first met Andy at Metro Bible Study in Houston.
And I'm so thankful for the encouragement that our sweet, sweet God sent to this momma's heart.
Eva: once I stole a bracelet from the lost & found at church, and you found it, and you made me bring it back and talk to the pastor about it. Me: and you never stole again, did you? Eva: Nope. At least, not from church.
I've started asking Shep to write mini essays regarding his various infractions...basically to give him an opportunity to reflect on "Why Not Coming Home For Dinner On Time Is Bogus". Here's his response. Like the smart ass line about how if he's not at dinner it's "ridiculously boring" and he is there to "lighten it up".
The note Maggie is receiving tonight, after losing three teeth in one week:
I am so very sorry for not retrieving your tooth (or should I say
teeth!) sooner. I would’ve been here right away if it weren’t for the
very fact that in Fairyland, everyone had been superbly busy lately. I
believe it’s all the children around your age. Their teeth seem to fall
out of their mouths like raindrops fall out of the sky! Because of this
very unusual dilemma, the Fairy Queen has decreed that all fairies shall
retrieve the teeth when at least three of them have already come out of
the same child’s mouth, but as you can see that doesn’t help the issue
much. I must tell you some splendid news! I am to be married! Yes,
Jack and I are very excited. I do believe that Jack is your dear
brother Ike’s tooth fairy! He speaks very pleasantly of him, but he
waits for him to lose more teeth.
Well anyway, Jack and I are to
be married by December. I do not wish for it to happen in the winter
months for in the winter we fairies have to wear protective coverings
over our wings. I must say that is not very attractive – or comfortable –
in my opinion. I will discuss with Jack whether or not we can arrange
the celebration earlier, like maybe in November, or even perhaps
October. Well, actually October wouldn’t be good. I won’t have enough
time to plan…
I am so sorry! I got off track! I have a tremendous
problem with that. To get back on schedule, I must say that I cannot
write anymore. I have 156 other children tonight! I fear I will not be
ready by morning. Ciao!
Walker was out, maggie couldn't sleep, so she crawled in bed with me as I watched The Family Stone, which is not appropriate. At one point we broke for the kitchen to get cheese. 'This cheese is good' I said. 'ALL cheese is good' she answered and we fistbumped.
I'm starting to see that the endless nights of vomit & teething & night terrors are redeemed when they turn about 9. It's still hard. Hormones loom on the horizon and they can make teething look like babyplay. But then there are the moments when your kid shares your love for stinky cheese and laughs at appropriate times in grownup movies and you go, oh yeah....this is why we had you. Cause you're so cool, and I so love hanging out with you, in bed, watching movies and eating cheese.
We watched The Bible with the the 3 oldest a couple nights ago. Maggie's questions "How could dey film them when cameras hadn't been inbented yet?" were much, much easier than Eva Rose's "But I don't get it! How could Abraham have a baby with Hagar when he was married to Sarah? How? Tell me now! I need to know!"
I told Ike something and he said, "Okay, I will tell that to my brain
and it will remind me. My brain tells me things. Like watch: what's 2+2,
brain? Four! What's 8+8, brain? Sixteen! See, it just told me that!"
Because Frieda Pitts Hooks broke her back recently, our Thanksgiving was cooked by Luby's this year. My mom ordered a roast, a ham, and a turkey for the week. And for the first time in my 40-something years, I was responsible for cooking thanksgiving, as in, taking the food out the containers & heating it. Easy, right?
I got two meats out and put them in the oven to heat up for 2 hours.
The beef, and the ham.
So for the first time in the history of ever, we had no turkey this Thanksgiving.#momfail
Shep is running for Vice President of student council. His speech is
Wednesday which sadly I will miss since I'll be in Houston. But we
worked on it tonight. He said, "I should be Vice President because I’m
focused, hard working, and a good listener."
To which he replied, "I didn't say I was honest."