Tuesday, February 21, 2012

A Black Hole

Our dear mouse, Galaxy, has gone on to a better place. 
We are very sad by our loss but realize that it was his time. He died in his sleep, an old man, who served the lab at the middle school well by fathering TWO litters for the genetic studies project. There will be grave side services this evening with light refreshments and refusal to do homework to follow. Services will be at the new cemetery in the side yard. The backyard cemetery was closed due to constant vandalism from the dog.

To my blackbelt

This is the speech that I read to my daughter at the awards banquet during which she was awarded her black belt in taekwondo...


Your Daddy Bryan, little brother, and I are very proud of you.  You have reached a major accomplishment and you have most definitely earned the black belt which you will now wear.

When you were two, I did what many mommies of little girls do; I enrolled you in a ballet school.  Although I did not have the fierce conviction held by the other mothers that ballet was essential to raising a little girl; I did think ballet would teach you grace, strength, and confidence.  Ballet was a learning experience.  It taught me that you already knew who you were and you would stay true to who you were.  Being only two, this was expressed by opposition to participation in any activity in which you were required to wear “pink legs.”  I knew you would find a passion, outside of academics, which would allow you to express who you were.  What I did not know, however; is that this would be in the form of taekwondo lessons.

WHAT?  I had spent so much of my energy keeping you OUT of harm’s way!  (I think now is a good time to thank all of the amazing instructors at the TKD studio for their patience in dealing with the most protective mother who has ever come through their doors.  With their help and gentle understanding, I was able to overcome my fears as you enthusiastically studied the disciplines of board breaking and sparring.)

I knew you loved it from the beginning; the tenets themselves are who you are (except the humility one.)  As for being in harm’s way, it has been quite the opposite.  Your training has served you well and KEPT you out of harm’s way.  Through your journey to black belt, I have watched you become not only physically stronger but mentally and emotionally stronger (but still not strong enough to tolerate the color pink.) 

Julia, you now radiate more grace, more strength, and more confidence than many girls I know who have worn their “pink legs” for years. 

I am honored to be your mom and I love you very much.

I thought it would get easier

I have spent my entire mothering life going to incredible extremes to protect my children.

While I was pregnant, I was the one who purchased EVERY safety item on the safety item aisle in every baby store I entered.  That isn't fair to say.  The safety item fetish did not end after the babies were born; it intensified!  As an added bonus, each safety item purchase came with a free nightmare scenario.

What?  I need something to clamp the toilet lid closed?  True. True. They could slam their precious little fingers between the lid and seat.  It could fall on their head.  What if they tried to crawl in and fell head first into the bowl...?  

The chest tightens, I can't breathe, I buy two for each toilet.

The children have safely made it out of infancy, toddler-hood, preschool, and I have even had my first-born actually not only make it out of elementary school but she  is successfully navigating through her first year and a half of middle school and my second is almost through elementary school.

I have faith that my children belong to God and He will keep them and protect them.  I also know that of all the things which have kept me awake at night and all of the things which have kept me in a state of turmoil are not usually the things which have happened.  I have been absolutely blind-sided by the unexpected.  I think this God's way of trying to remind me that they are His children and He is in control.