Thursday, May 31, 2012

What makes a daddy?

I found this photo on the Weather Channel's website. It was taken by someone named Nathan Ralston near Throckmorton, Texas.

Last week, we had a surprise middle-of-the-night thunderstorm. One round of lightening, which lit up our bedroom like the Las Vegas strip, prompted Aubrey to jump out of bed like the house was on fire. Before the the thunder made its violent reply...One Mississippi, Two Mississippi...he was back with Olivia in his arms. He put her down next to me and she curled up against my back like a little kitten and went right back to sleep, leaving the lightening and thunder to fight it out amongst themselves.

There is a reason this image sticks with me and serves as an effective description of the man we call Daddy.

Olivia is terrified of thunderstorms. 

Terrified might be a bit of an understatement. One clap of thunder will send her into panic mode and if she can't immediately find you, she will fall apart. Lightening and wind make it worse. Thunder has always made her jumpy, but I blame this new level of anxiety on last year's tornado. It was frightening. 

Aubrey knows this.

Aubrey also knows that, in her mind, he is the only one big enough, strong enough and tough enough to keep her safe from the angry voices of a storm. Even as she turns to me for a soft voice, prayer or song, she has one hand on "My Daddy," keeping him close and keeping us safe.

It didn't surprise me at all that Aubrey's first instinct was to go to her to keep her safe and to keep her from being afraid. It's what he does for all of us.

There will come a time when we'll have to let Olivia face storms on her own. Whether those storms come from Mother Nature or living life, we can't protect her forever. But now, in the innocence of childhood, is not the time to teach her to be tough and independent. Now is the time to teach her that she is safe, secure and protected. That she can trust Daddy to do all he can to love her and shield her from all things fearsome and destructive in her small world.

Then, when she has to face them on her own she will be able to do it with confidence. She can do it knowing that as soon as she cries out for sanctuary, Daddy (because that's who she will ask for) will be there. Even if it means driving all night through a thunderstorm to get to her.

That's about as good of a daddy as you can get.

Friday, February 3, 2012


If you know anything about me, you'll know I have a cat named Parley P. Cat. If you follow me on Facebook, you'll know that said cat is old and sick. And if this is the first time you're hearing anything about any of this, it's probably your own fault because if you know me--even a little--you know how much I love my cat.

Parley is on day two at the vet. She's been having trouble breathing so they're treating her with lasik shots to draw fluid from her lungs. The kids and I went to see her this morning and she is breathing normally now and has a little bit of spring back in her old bones. She's approaching 14, though you wouldn't know it to look at her. She's still playful and spry. If you've known her all her life, though, you can tell. She's mellowed quite a bit and is skinnier than she's ever been. Never one to cuddle on cue, she was true to form in the vet's office, opting to sit with us just for a little while before climbing down and investigating. And this is when we learned of a new symptom: Parley can't see.

Part of this week's on-going sickness has been extremely dilated pupils. And I mean Shrek's Puss in Boot's have-pity-on-me-I'm-the-cutest-cat-in-the-world dilated pupils. Her pupils are still too large, making her look like she's in a continual state of devilry. The cause is unknown as all her blood work came back normal (although her thyroid is in the high range, but still normal--it wouldn't account for blindness anyway). I should amend that blind statement by adding that she can't see well. I think she can see in general but I'm not sure that she has very good depth perception. She ran into a cabinet and a wall. And even though she knew they were there, she didn't know exactly where they were. She reached them sooner than she thought she would.

There are treatments and procedures and specialists that she can see. But she's 14 years old. I grew up on a farm. Treatments, procedures and specialists are costly. Put it all together. We'll bring Parley home tomorrow to live out the rest of her days/weeks/years with us. We'll love her and spoil her and sleep with her whether she can see us or not. And by we, I mean I. I love her to pieces for so many reasons (another post entirely; I don't have time for anything but a health update today) but I am a country girl and as much as I love Parley like a person, I know she's an animal. My main goal is to keep her free of pain, which she is, and let nature take its course. I just hope the rest of the course is a long and winding one.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Why doesn't Amazon sell free time?

I haven't posted on my blog in awhile. I'm aware of this and I'm sorry if your lives have been duller because of it. I post all the time in my head, though. Finding the time to put it to digital paper is quite another thing.

This year, I made some serious resolutions. The amount of time (or lack thereof) in my day is always a problem for me. I feel rushed, I feel out of control, I feel like I can't do what I want to do. This year, my resolutions are all aimed at (partially) solving that problem.

No, Amazon doesn't sell more time.

But in the last three weeks, I've learned that finding a way to manage the time I have is almost just as good. After four years of being a stay-at-home mom, I finally found a daily schedule and routine that works for me. This is no small thing, I assure you. I also moved personal prayer and scripture study to the top of my list. I do it first thing in the morning and it's really become like coffee for me. {If I drank coffee, which I don't, but if I did that's what it would be like...} My years of experience have taught me that if I put my spirituality first, somehow things go smoother, I work faster and more cheerfully, and I have more time. Don't ask me how it works, it just does. And don't ask me why I threw that lesson out the window after I had kids, I just did.

Not a spiritual person? Well, I have to say you're probably missing out. But try meditating or big-time service work. Do it. And in a month, I'll tell you, "You're welcome."

So, what will I do with all my "extra" time in the year 2012? I won't waste anymore of it on The Office, that's for sure. So far, it's been spent sewing and crafting and spending time with the kids. The latter is most important and with this springtime January (last week hit the 70's, people!), kid time means time in the backyard and at the parks. And when the springtime showers come through, it means snuggling on my bed reading books, playing silly games and listening to music.

But most likely, I'll do what I've always wanted to do and spend it with my nose in a book. And yes, my friends, Amazon sells plenty of those.