Sliding Doors

A couple of years ago we were sitting in Bible Study when one of our members walked in crying. She’d just received some devastating news about a close family member, so our study was put aside for the day while we talked it through. We talked about many things, including why bad things happen to such good people, and what happens with believers when their faith is shaken by horrible circumstances.

The conversation has never left me. As we talked about life and death and the unknown future before all of us, my mind kept going to that Gwyneth Paltrow movie Sliding Doors. Do you remember it? The movie takes place on two timelines. In one timeline, she narrowly makes the train home and discovers that her boyfriend is having an affair. In the other timeline, she misses the train and remains in the dark, but they eventually break up anyway. The point is that this major life event hinged on this tiny circumstance.

I think what I took from the movie, other than Gwynie’s awesome haircut way back then, was that we can never know, as human beings living in the present tense, how each small circumstance will play into the grand design of our lives.  Bad things can happen and miraculously, after the struggle, our lives change for the better. We can get what we’ve always thought we wanted, only to realize that it’s not quite what we wanted after all.

As humans, we tend to see only what is in front of us: the doors opening, the doors closing. What we can’t see– what we’re not designed to see— is the Master Plan, the end of our timeline. When all of our doors have opened and closed– on joys and happiness, losses and sorrow, then, I believe, every small circumstance will make sense.

***

We’re having another baby.

Many of you already know this, but I’m not sure why I have held back telling the blog. Maybe because I was afraid of loss, or because we’ve witnessed so much loss among our friends in our years as a young family, and celebrating our news with a big announcement just didn’t seem like the thing to do this time. We had certainly planned a third baby, but had not planned a third baby this year, so I’m also afraid of what’s to come in our house, which will soon become a clown car, and with our lives as parents soon to be outnumbered and possibly out-willed. Sometimes I also feel like I don’t deserve such a blessing. I mean, really.

I’m not sure why we’ve been blessed this way when people we love are suffering. If I’m honest, I know that tomorrow it could be me who is suffering. Nothing is promised to me. Today the possibility of this new addition to our family is wide open. Tomorrow, who knows?

What I do know is that if life were about what we deserved, bad things wouldn’t happen to good people, and the end reward for this life would be the result of work, work, work instead of about waiting and having faith that God is orchestrating our sliding doors in a way that would blow our human minds.

So that is what I am doing. I’m waiting. I’m having faith that the doors opening and closing around me are part of a plan that my little mind needs not understand.

But seriously, if one of those open doors contained a baby name that is not Other Baby Wedekind, that would be cool, too.

Fun Mommy

So have I told you how Bo only says a few words?

So far we have:

Ma/Mama

Ooh Ooh! [in answer to What does a monkey say?]

Ball

He has also randomly said truck, shoe, Buck Buck [or something close] and fat fat feet [He was repeating my very accurate description of his feet. Actually I think I originally said flat, but fat is also accurate, so we let it go].

But noticeably absent from this list is Dada. I thought he sort of screamed it during one of his swim lessons last week, but on second thought it’s more likely that he was screaming DIE! DIE! If that tells you anything about how swim lessons are going.

So you might be wondering what he calls Lee, right?

He calls him Ma. If he wants a hug or a pick up, it’s more like Maaaaaaaa. So just to avoid confusion, we’ve started referring to Lee as Other Maaaaaa. It’s going well, I think. Lee loves it. I think he’s going to adopt it as his new formal name.

But MB also came up with a new name for him today, while we were stuck in the house watching Lee build us a backyard garden in the rain.

Yep. It’s Fun Mommy.

Fun Mommy builds gardens in the rain and gets muddy. Fun Mommy is going to build a chicken coop and get chickens. Fun Mommy does all sorts of [as you may have surmised] fun stuff.

How’s an Original Mommy supposed to compete with that?

Why Mommies sometimes need naps

I don’t know why I’m like this– just my reaction to stress, I guess– but when I have a thousand things to do in the morning, I always end up ready to leave the house way early. One would think that I would run later on those mornings, but that’s hardly ever true on really busy days. I can move pretty quickly when I don’t even have time for distractions.

So this morning, because we all miraculously had our shoes on at 8:30, and because kids who are strapped into the car can’t destroy the house [for the second time in one morning], we left early for school.

With our extra time, I decided to run one quick errand.

Mom, where are we going?

Mr. Tom’s.

Why?

Because Mommy needs to write him a check.

Why?

Because he fixed Daddy’s tire.

Why?

Because Daddy had a nail in his tire.

What’s a nail?

It’s a…thing-y? And it’s…pointy?

[Why questions are no match for some of MB’s what questions. Especially because if you don’t answer in approximately .5 seconds, she asks again. And again. And again.]

What’s pointy?

Sigh.

[At this point we came upon a dead animal in the road, and traffic was such that I couldn’t swerve around it, so I had to come to a complete stop and wait to go around.]

Why are we stopping?

Because there was a dead animal in the road.

What dead animal? I didn’t see a dead animal.

The one we just passed. Don’t worry about it.

After we had completed our errand and gone back the way we came:

Mommy, where’s the dead animal?

Do you really want to see?

YES!

Right there.

WHERE? I DIDN’T SEE!!

Well, dead animals aren’t so great to look at anyway.

Why?

Because they’re kind of gross.

What’s gross?

It means icky.

What’s icky?

Another large sigh. Um…nasty? Do you know what nasty means?

[I realize at this point that I am giving her a vast arsenal of descriptive words for the next time I attempt to make her eat broccoli.]

No. What’s nasty?

****

And now, if you’re like me, your eyes are getting h e a v y.  I usually know it’s time to recharge the batteries when my default answer to noise from the backseat is I don’t know.

Mommy what time is it?

I don’t know.

Mommy what color is your car? I think it’s white.

I don’t know.

It is white. I know it is. It’s white.

I… don’t…zzzzzzz.

 

 

Jumping In

Bo starts swim lessons tomorrow. I’m not sure Bo is going to learn much the first day, but Miss Joy might learn a thing or two.

Like, BO DOES NOT DO SCARED.

But BO DOES DO MAD. Need we revisit the Easter Bunny?

I’m not quite sure how this is going to go. On one hand, he obviously loves the water.  He’s pretty smart and annoyingly coordinated [except with walking. walking=hard. climbing=betta].

But he’s also stubborn as the day is long. I have no idea where he gets this. I swear.

Either way, pray for us.

But if you’re short on time, just pray for me. Mama is going to need it.

And I’m including this one just to show that they really are nice to each other.

Like, once or twice a week.

Easter and other things

So other than Bo’s fully clothed leap into the pool yesterday, Easter was quiet and low-key for us. Holidays here never really seem like holidays unless there are at least eight Wedekinds involved, and we were just shy yesterday with seven [that’s a hint, Kaylan, Kirby, and BEN].

I didn’t get pictures of Bo’s dive, but here are some other pictures to fill you in on the weekend.

Buck and Bo were not enthusiastic about sitting with the Easter Bunny when it got down to the nitty gritty.  Mary Bullock looks like she’s smiling, but she was definitely bribed to sit in the same vicinity as the bunny. In her head she has already gone to her happy place.

Bo has not yet developed such a place. Obviously.

It’s getting almost impossible to get good pictures of Bo. He currently operates at three speed settings: reckless, turbo reckless, and asleep. Yesterday at church while going down the stairs, I realized that my thighs were aching from following him around in the crouched position at Saturday’s egg hunt. I declared it my work out for the month.

On Sunday I tried to get a family picture, but Lee had already taken off his suit and could not be persuaded to put it back on. So I set my sights on taking a picture of the kids together, a hard enough task.

They really are sweet together sometimes. I just never have my camera then. So we bribed them with peeps.

Then we tried to extract the peeps while they were still smiling. This proved unwise.

OK ok you can have your peep back. Sheesh.

Peep. MONSTERS.

So that was our weekend, minus some shots of my house being a complete wreck. But you didn’t want to see those, did you?

Hope you all had a wonderful Easter! Happy Spring!

 

Works in Progress

My often hilarious, frequently infuriating but never ever dull Mary Bullock has always been in command of her words.

She started asking “uh-dat?” [what’s that?] incessantly at 12 months and filed away our answers in the vault that is her mind. She didn’t use them all right away, but she has forgotten exactly none of them.

Her first sentence was at nineteen months in the backyard with Lee: Puppeet eat grass. Puppeet is what she used to call Ingle before she started calling him A-noool [which made us laugh like middle schoolers for a long, long time].

That was such a cute age, when she had all these interesting things to say, and we were finally getting to know what was going on in that noggin of hers, after spending so much time just guessing about what she might be thinking, putting words in her mouth. See the doggy? Do you like the doggy? The doggy smells bad doesn’t he? Yes, he does.

But now, well.

Now she does not need words put into her mouth. She’s got enough to say on her own these days. Only it’s not so sweet as Puppeet eat grass.

Last week, for some reason I have already forgotten, she yelled [and she can YELL!]:

YOU! NEVER! LET ME! DO! ANYFING!

and then:

I! AM NOT! YOUR BABY! ANYMORE!

And then she went in her room and slammed the door.

I had visions of my future, let me tell you. In my head, I told her: If you think I don’t let you do anything now, you just wait until you’re sixteen.

But the words that crush me, that really really just crush me, are the words that she turns against me.

YOU! ARE NOT ALLOWED! TO SPEAK! TO ME! THAT! WAY!

THAT! IS NOT! HOW! YOU TREAT ME!

Because she’s heard me say those words to her, and she files them away in the vault, and she trots them back out right when I am being the worst parent I can be, the one who loses her cool and yells about messes and sibling fights and oh who knows what else, there seems to be an endless list of reasons these days.

And what am I going to say? That I’m allowed to yell at her? Of course I’m allowed, but that doesn’t mean I should. Or that just because she’s only three she wouldn’t call BS on that reasoning.

Lately we’ve been talking to Mary Bullock about the Golden Rule: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

Or: Treat other people the way you would like to be treated.

So when she came back to me with YOU ARE NOT ALLOWED TO SPEAK TO ME THAT WAY! last week, I thought to myself [after I stammered for an appropriate comeback]:

Well, aren’t we just a pair of works in progress?