Archive for July, 2006

Fix It

Jonah brought me a toy brush. “Can you fix my hair?”

“Sure,” I said. I swiped the brush across his head a few times. “There you go.”

“Did you fix it?”


He touched his head. “You fixed it! It’s not broken!”


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Just Like Brother

When I was little, I never knew what to do with Barbie dolls. I had a few, because my friends had them, but I rarely played with them. My brother and I spent much more time with his trucks and Micro Machines.

It surprised me when Anna and Sarah began to show a strong preference for all things girly. They love dresses and bows and pink hair curlers, all of which I loathed as a child. This makes Grammie very happy.

Naiah is only thirteen months old, but we already know she’s my clone. My parents have flashbacks when they hold her. She pretends everything plastic is a car. She plays with balls and action figures, and follows Jonah around the yard.

Yesterday afternoon, she watched him intently while he played tee-ball. We had to pull her away from the tee again and again, so she wouldn’t get clobbered by his swing.

Today, she went outside with her sisters, while Jonah took a nap. And what did she do?

She grabbed a plastic ball, toddled and crawled over to the tee, balanced the ball on top, picked up the bat (three inches longer than she is), stood up, and hit the ball with the bat.

That’s my girl.

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Good-Bye. Hello.

Well, my parents started the trip back to Ojai tonight. They’ll stay overnight somewhere, a few hours from here, and get home in the afternoon tomorrow. I’m sadder than usual about their departure. It was fun introducing them to everyone at the church plant and the mother church.

So I have this clean house.

It seems like an enormous opportunity to start some new habits and routines, to make it beautiful and keep order.

I’ve been shining my sink every night. My counters are bare and bright every morning. I put things away. I think I like it. I could live like this.

So now I just need to keep ignoring that stupid voice in my head that says it’s all doomed to explode any minute. I really am improving. Just not as quickly as I’d like.

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At Breakfast

Me: Jonah, do you want me to cut your eggs up?

Jonah: No, just down.

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Spoiler Warning: Pirates of the Caribbean, Dead Man’s Chest

I was pushing Naiah and Jonah on the swings at the park today, when two boys took the swings next to us. The younger brother, Nathan, looked like he was around eight years old. The elder brother looked about ten or eleven.

I couldn’t help but overhear. . .

Nathan: Hey, you know that ship that sank?

Big Brother: The Titanic?

Nathan: Yeah, that one. Do you think you’d be one of those people who’d stay on the ship, so other people could live?

Big Brother: Yeah, I’d do that. And you know how Jack Sparrow went down with The Black Pearl, so his friends got away from the Kraken?

Nathan: Yeah.

Big Brother: Would you do that to save people?

Nathan: You mean like if my family was on board?

Big Brother: Yeah.

Nathan: Yeah, I’d die if my family could get saved.

Big Brother: Me too. If Davy Jones asked me, I’d be like, “Yeah, I’m ready to die!”

Nathan: Yeah, me too.

Big Brother: I’d be like, “I’m not afraid of dying.”

Nathan: Me too.

Big Brother: Nathan, who’s always protecting you?

Nathan: God.

Big Brother: Yeah. Do you believe in miracles?

Nathan: Yeah.

Big Brother: I’m not scared of dying.

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It just gets weirder. The day before yesterday, I could not see a way in heck to make a dent in the towering mess that had overtaken my house. But yesterday, for no apparent reason, it suddenly made sense. Over the course of the day, I put the whole house to rights. I wish I could predict the days when I’ll be able to think like a normal person, so I could plan to have company then.

I’m also realizing what an intolerable perfectionist I am. Even though the house went from war to peace in a day, I wasn’t satisfied. There are still clothes in the laundry room. The desk is messy. And the bookshelves aren’t arranged. I really need to get over myself.

So I’m back to reading FlyLady, shining my sink, and taking baby steps. Hopefully I’ll get into a sustainable groove that I can practice and improve upon, and eventually look like an organized person on the outside, even if I’m still me on the inside.

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Papa and Grammie brought Anna and Sarah home yesterday. They’re staying the weekend with us now, and heading back down to Ojai on Monday.

After breakfast, Jonah brought his toy cell phone to Grammie. “It’s for you!” he said. “It’s Grammie.”

“Oh,” said Grammie. And she proceeded to have a very convincing conversation with herself on the phone. “Okay, bye!” she said. She gave the phone back to Jonah.

He looked disappointed. “She’s gone?”

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