Tuesday, July 2, 2013


It was Sunday morning, and I was helping in the church nursery. I was nine, and he was under a year old. He missed his Mama like crazy. The nursery workers gave him to me to try to calm him down. He had such a really big head for such a young baby and boiling hot tears poured down his cheeks as he sobbed for Christel. I rocked him and bounced him and sung to him, but to no avail. The nursery workers asked if I wanted them to take a turn with him, but I declined. I finally sat down with crossed legs on the floor and rested his head on my legs. His screaming became sleepy and lazy as I rubbed his forehead. Eventually he calmed down enough, and I was able to feed him his bottle where he finally fell into a deep sleep in my arms. One of the ladies asked me as I held him how many children I wanted someday. Without hesitating I said, "Twelve." (my  answer has gone down to five to eight since then----I am not superwoman or Michelle Duggar.)
This happened twelve years ago, and last Saturday that baby boy spent his thirteenth birthday in my home. I wanted to write about what makes him so perfectly "Matt". These three things stood out to me the most as he stayed with us this weekend.
 Matt is kind. I was getting ready to take him and his sister back to their home two hours north of me today. I told them that we could either play "Rock, Paper, Scissors" to figure out who would sit in the front seat or one of them could do the kind thing and put their desires aside for their sibling. As we walked out to the car, he went directly to the back seat. Matt is kind.
Matt has the best giggle. He laughs at everything. It's preciously hilarious. His eyes squint and cocks his head to the side. It's the same contagious laugh he has always had.
Matt is helpful. He took initiative this weekend. He was here for four days, and learned how to do specific things around the house. During the four days he took responsibility for those chores and did them without being asked...setting the table, pouring the water, helping with the dishes. He is a pretty neat thirteen year old.
 I love that I get to watch him grow up. He is such a person.


  1. I have missed you out here! You and Matt are both lucky to have each other in your lives. Your love and pride in who he has become --is apparent and don't ever underestimate how you impact his life! You will be a great mom some day....your love and joy and ability to share yourself with others will help carry you through the exhaustion and sleeplessness and---well---looks like you have already got some strategies for crying babies!

    I have one sister who is not married with no signs she ever will be. Which means I will never get to be and aunt. I so looked forward to building that special relationship with a child -- one not my own. While your sense of commitment to community is sometimes stressful and produces anxiety as you feel pulled in a million directions....it is also the thing that grounds you and gives you strength. finding the balance is key. (though I really think impossible---just doing the best you can is more of a real goal.) Love the picture! My mom lives in Panama City Beach Florida for 4 months out of the year. Across the street from the beach. I could sit there for hours. (sigh) I have only been there once to visit. I must try to get there more often. You inspire me! And what you wrote about --- made me really think about what I want to do. Working with kids when I was a teacher provided that way to help and connect and impact kids in a positive way. Being a librarian where I read stories and helped people find what they need was a mini version of that. But then my job changed and I went from buying books (selecting, reviewing, touching them) to managing the department that does that...working with suppliers, running budgets, use statistics...hand holding others who were being told they have to manage their collections with no idea how to do it. My job took out the people part...the help part...the service part.

    Thanks for helping me sort out what I need to feel fulfilled in the work I will have to start again at some point.

  2. Thanks so much for this comment. It's so kind and encouraging.
    I'm not an actual aunt yet, but I have many "adopted" nieces and nephews. I have two of the most amazing aunts ever and I love being an "auntie" myself now. :)
    Your mom lives about 6 or 7 hours away from me when she is in Florida. :)