11 November 2008


last night i was thinking about the pacing of life and our tendency toward discontent; how we can easily spend too much of ourselves in missing the past or yearning for the future.

it was a bit after nine. the younger kiddos were in bed, and i was listening to love's playlist while folding tees and socks still warm from the dryer. mostly i was filling the time till the hubby came home from the ER with our ten year old son.

the boys had basketball evaluations earlier last night, and partway through, bee jumped up and briefly hung on a support bar of one of the portable basketball goals. turns out the goal wasn't properly weighted down, and the entire thing tipped and fell on him. he hit the ground first, knocking a knot into the back of his head, then the goal came crashing down on the side of his skull.

he cried a lot, and it's funny how that's a relief: that he's conscious and has breath and enough cognizance to cry. he couldn't remember what happened, didn't even know where he was. the right side of his head, over the temple, was swollen in a way that makes a mother's stomach swoop and sicken.

at ten, bee's my oldest, and i have the unfortunate tendency to treat him like a mini-adult. but in times like this i see starkly--almost jarringly--just how small he still is.

so. back to the sleeping siblings and lovelyn's music, and laundry softened with dryer sheets. while i was folding, the song "you're gonna miss this" by trace adkins came on, and it got me to thinking. the lyrics delineate a girl who can't wait to graduate, can't wait to move out of her starter newlywed home, can't wait till the kids have outgrown their screaming, and she's told over and again to slow down...that someday she'll miss this.

i'm not sure why we do it, why we live so much of today rushing off for something better, why we only appreciate the joys of right now in retrospect.

certainly, i hope i'm ever anticipating the day, the hour, that God makes all things new. when horror and decay and brokenness are done.

but as long as i am a resident of this earth, i don't want to invest my attention in the imagined gains of twenty years from now, or the lost treasures of a decade past. i'd like to be very deliberate about recognizing and celebrating the richness of today.

so right now, i am hugely grateful for:
-play-dough mornings with my littlest
-these four happy children, and every hour i've been given with them
-a husband who values the valuable
-girlfriends who'd turn cartwheels in a field with me
-a warm, safe home with enough food to grow our kiddos
-living in a place that knows peace
-bee's zany jokes
-zee's intuitive sensitivity
-how em still loves to snuggle and the way he laughs from this place in the back of his throat
-elle's unabashed singing, complete with dance moves
-great literature and autumn hues and the way a violin can sound so full and lonely

and well, i could go on for quite a while, eh? as i'd guess could most of you.

would you do me a favor? add to my blessing by telling me--in a comment or an email--what your grateful list looks like today.

grazie, i miei amici. grazie.

addendum: bee's okay, by the way. he's got a massive hematoma (blood pooling on the outside of his skull) and a concussion (a brain bruise), and we're to keep an eye on him to rule out the very slight potential of continued internal bleeding, but the preliminary reading of his CAT scan looked fine.


Jenn said...

My heart was pounding reading your post Nic...praying for continued healing for your LITTLE guy.

I have too many things to list. Life is so fleeting...

drizzly rain and sick children who want to sit on my lap all day, friends who live in places I've never even been, a husband who loves me...despite, baby socks, a sink full of dishes that reminds me of last nights dinner, my four year old who is learning to email, a God who is full of promise....

thank you for the sweet reminder my sweet friend,

Anonymous said...

Oh Nic. I'm so sorry Bee was hurt. And I'm so impressed with how calmly you can talk about it. I would be a wreck. I'm glad he seems to be doing okay.

I absolutely love that song but haven't ever let myself think to deeply about it because I know my own tendency to get quite philosophical.

Things I'm thankful for. Well there are the big things:

Ben. Just the miracle of his whole entire little life. That fact that he even exists in my current space when he came so close to not is beyond anything I feel I even have a right to wish for.

Evey. Everything about her from her razor sharp intellect to her creative streak to her uncanny ability to cut straight through the junk of life and get to the core of things.

Chris. We've been together so long and still everyday I find something new to marvel at, to appreciate. And even in the annoying things I still love him to pieces.

Jobs that keep us busy and happy and well supported beyond anything we could have imagined.

Family that loves us and takes care of us unconditionally.

A newly rediscovered passion that keeps me up nights thinking and planning happily into the wee hours of the night. This passion that helps me see the world so much clearer and so much more beautifully than I once did.

And I could go on for days.

carole said...

Glad to her your boy will be OK. "They" say a bump is a good sign when your child gets a thump to the noggin. Maybe so, but it shatters many a mum.

Things I am grateful for:
Girls (18 and 20) who still call me mummy when they REALLY need me

The person who invented SKYPE because it allows me to see and talk (for hours on end and for FREE) to one daughter while she studies abroad and another in Boston OR both at the same time!!!

Friends and family who really rally when you get some difficult news

And for tomatoes, water, and Yoplait whipped Key Lime Pie yogurt

Great post, and I just realized I am also grateful for wonderful bloggers like you ;)

gail said...

Great post on slowing down and being grateful. glad to hear your boy is going to be ok. our son had a big ol concussion last spring and becuz he's nonverbal they decided to life flight him 2 hours away to the big city. boy, was i a wreck. praying was the only thing that got me thru.

did you ever pick up your award from my blog?

love your blog!

Tonya said...

I was just telling Jase the other day about a friend who is fighting against breast cancer for the 2nd time. She has a 2 and 5 year old. She is not gonna beat it...she is just fighting to live with it...I told him I have no reason to be down ever on anything...I do not have any reason to doubt that I will wake to see my children each day until I am old and have lived a full life...everytime I think of her, I get such a perspective about how blessed I am to just be breathing and living and to have my 3 beautiful babes healthy and happy...

we are all so blessed...it is the simple things that really bring us the most joy...sad that we lose sight of that so easily...

glad your son is ok...



Unknown said...

oh, nic....poor bee! i'm so thankful that he seems to be doing okay and will be praying for his continued healing tonight.

the girls and i were in the kitchen today when that song came over the surround sound. i cried with joy. joyful that we were eating ridiculously unhealthy, but delicious mcdonald's biscuits together, joyful that we were wiping down countertops together, joyful that we were dancing as we did it, joyful that we were taking breaks to be held up high and spun around....
i am definitely going to miss all of this someday....but am so, so thankful that i realize that. that way, i don't have to miss it all happening around me right now.

Unknown said...

p.s. you inspired me to record my list over on my blog. thanks, nic!

Kimberly Vanderhorst said...

So glad he's looking to be okay. My heart swooped as I read that.

I'm grateful for...

...blog friends I love enough that my heart swoops for them.
...my darling girls who sleepily cuddled me this morning and played hide and go seek with no screaming for a full half hour together.
...my gas fireplace.
...the fact that the woodpecker I scared off this morning hasn't come back.
...the glory of the view from my windows.
...second chances...and all the chances after them.

Anonymous said...

Lovely post.
I have been on this big "LIVE IN THE MOMENT" kick for awhile now, and what great peace it brings.

I am thankful for so very many things. Here are a couple that pop in to my brain at THIS moment:

seasons, as in winter spring summer fall

seasons, as in the kind we grow through in life

music, books, art, writers, and all those who pour their hearts into these areas...whether they are three or ninety-three

child-like faith

thanks for the post. off to listen to LANDSLIDE, as i have been the past couple of days,,,,(see what is on my mind and why ?) :) oh, i think i had better head out to throw some snowballs with my sweeties first! LOL


Anonymous said...

I stumbled upon your blog & I must say- I love the way you think! =) I'm sorry to hear about your boy & hope that he recovers nicely.

I am thankful for. . .

- A clear mind & a healthy body
- My wonderful husband & sweet baby girl who are also happy & healthy
- A knack for creativity
- A warm home filled with love to raise my children in, which in turn leads to my being thankful for the upbringing that I had & also that my husband had

Thank you for the reminder to keep our lives in perspective! =)

amelia said...

Beautiful! I love your grateful heart.

I also wish you were meeting up with me for that showing of Twilight... that would be SO much fun!

Rebekah said...

I'm thankful to read that your son is alright.

I also have a list of some things I am thankful for on my blog today - we are growing a Thankful Tree!

On a side note, thanks for giving me the courage & direction for editing my blog template :) I guess that's another thing I'm thankful for today!