It’s all thematic: halloween, souls, treats, brothers…..

So, here on All Hallows Eve….happy Halloween!

But on THIS particular All Hallows Eve, I’ve got soul formation on my mind and heart.  I like to think thats a bit more thematic than simply my usual grasping for what candy I can snag and coax from my little cute trick or treating kiddos.  So, indulge me a moment….

This past weekend we had our one and only OFFICIAL visit up at the Novitiate with my eldest son.  My Chris.  My Brother Peter Joseph.

We all piled into two cars, texted directions to my Jon so he could drive down from campus and meet us too, and six hours later the whole family was together again for the first real official visit since July and the last time til next August.  It was wonderful.  And the added benefit was that we got to get to know a little bit of our new larger family: the Dominican brothers of my son…thus, in a small way, my new sons too.  (They like to eat the cookies I send, and that’s good enough for me!).

I have much to say about the visit {I know what a surprise}…but I’m tired and processing all the big emotions plus am buried in laundry and chores of re-entry (and, um, Halloween traditions).

So, until I can coherently sort out my thoughts, I want to leave you this.  It’s a little phone video, lifted from the Novice blog of Father Benedict…and because he’s such a great nice guy I don’t think he’ll mind.  The link is worth checking out too, because he’s got all kinds of interesting stuff up there and also, often, pictures of my son and his new brothers.  Now, I don’t want you to think they only sit around in cafeterias and bang around on the banjo – this was a special night and they were trying to keep us parental types entertained and happy.  They succeeded!

But, they are doing serious work up there.  They do have fun and laugh a lot too.  But, in fact, they are doing the most important work, and it’s utterly apropos to this day: they are forming their souls.  Today is the eve of all saints.  And these  young men are discerning God’s call to them in an intentional, prayerful, mindful manner.  And it’s hard work.  It’s because they aspire to become saints.  Now, I do too.  I just am much more distracted about it and keep stumbling along that long road…but we are all called to it…so to see these thirteen  young men live it, really, is inspiring and makes me cry.  Happily for us all, I was sitting to the rear left of Father Benedict so you can’t really hear me wrassle Gabey or snuff up my tears when my Peter Joseph sings and plays his guitar.  But, I did.

Roll away your Stone, by Mumford and Sons.
Cover, performed by Brother Peter Joseph and Brother Timothy
for Parents Weekend ‘talent night’ in St. Gertrude’s Cafeteria.
Thanks Father Benedict for the video (and allowing my shameless lift)
“Roll away your stone, I’ll roll away mine
Together we can see what we can find
Don’t leave me alone at this time,
For I am afraid of what I will discover inside
You told me that I would find a home,
Within the fragile substance of my soul
And I have filled this void with things unreal,
And all the while my character it steals
The darkness is a harsh term don’t you think?
And yet it dominates the things I seek
It seems as if all my bridges have been burned,
You say that’s exactly how this grace thing works
It’s not the long walk home that will change this heart,
But the welcome I receive at the restart
The darkness is a harsh term don’t you think?
And yet it dominates the things I seek
The darkness is a harsh term don’t you think?
And yet it dominates the things I seek
The darkness is a harsh term don’t you think?
And yet it dominates the things I seek
Stars hide your fires,
And these here are my desires
And I will give them up to you this time around
And so, I’ll be found with my stake stuck in this ground
Marking its territory of this newly impassioned soul
And these here are my desires
And I will give them up to you this time around
And so, I’ll be found with my stake stuck in this ground
Marking its territory of this newly impassioned soul
But you, you’ve come too far this time
You have neither reason nor rhyme
With which to take this soul that is so rightfully mine.”

Sweet Sixteen

Oh what a day it is!

Our sweet Hannah Banana turns sixteen today!!

Yup, you read that right…she’s gonna be a driver!

I know, I can’t believe it myself.  See her up there? Those are her new wheels…..cute huh?

Ok, so she doesn’t get new wheels after all.

But she will get her license (today or in a few, depending on homework particulars, of course) and she actually is a pretty good driver…and she’d better be.

So, instead of the  usual long winded birthday post, I’ll just let you all marvel at the fact that my sweet beautiful first daughter is now, already, a sweet sixteen  year old.  I’m all kind of astounded by it myself.  A little nervous.

 But, even more, so very proud of her and who she is becoming: a beautiful capable talented amazing young woman who is prepping to go grab some shooting stars.  And she’s got just what it takes to do it.

Happy Happy Sweet Sixteenth Birthday Hannahboo!  


We love you so much and are so very proud of you!

I hope all your birthday dreams come true! 

metamorphosis

We are seeing change.

Literally.

Visibly.

Change right before our very eyes.

And, really, it’s kind of nice because for once we get to SEE progress instead of only try to analyze and infer progress. For my tired old mind, that’s just a nice change-up. I realize that this is a routine passage for most kids in our modern culture. But let me remind you that it is NOTHING like routine for some of our kids. In fact, for my daughter from Ethiopia, this was unthinkable. Literally, unthinkable. Not even a dream.

You see, this little girl had never been to a dentist and this little girl was so SO shy and so SO self-conscious that she hid her smile behind her hands. Sometimes, if you could delight her or make her laugh at some silly slapstick physical comedy, then her smile would light up a room. But she would quickly catch herself and hide it. Not long after we brought her home, a few months, she asked about the braces on her older sister’s teeth. She pointed at them and then pointed at herself and asked, “Me?”

Oooh. We discussed it, alone, as parents of a newly home teen. We evaluated the lack of words to convey the process, the difficulty, the length of time, the pain. We talked about it with her as best as we could, we showed pictures of the process, we looked at calendars. She was insistent, “Me? Yes, ok, please. Me?” We thought of putting it off for a long time, until she had more english, more security, more time at home. But, she can be a stubborn, pushy little gal…..and so, finally, we caved said, “We can go talk to the doctor.”

And so we did. And we spoke with him at length about the particular challenges of this set of teeth and patient. He was game to try. He understood the need to be EXTRA gentle, and slow, and careful, and KIND. He understood her need to have me by her side, literally sitting on the edge of the chair, at each and every checkup and procedure. His office and staff didn’t blink. They just did it. Kindly. Patiently. Always, always, with a smile. For TWO years.

Now, yesterday, they once again, had an appointment with my Marti. But this one was MUCH anticipated and dreamt about. This one was to remove those braces.

This one, once again, was done with kindness and gentle hands but also much pomp and circumstance to celebrate the big day: balloons, gifts of forbidden snacks (popcorn, starburst), photos, hugs, high fives. She also got her new retainer for nighttime, and practiced taking it in and out a few times to make sure she could do it well. It was fine tuned to keep her new smile all beautiful and in place.

So we have our shy girl, the one who came to a new country and new family. She said to me in her first months home that she was “No pretty,” she cried and hid her mouth. Nowadays she’s feeling pretty good about herself, I think. She talks daily of her “Magic Hair” (‘nother post that!). And, now, she laughs with joy at her new megawatt smile and when I told her she was beautiful, she laughed and hugged me tight. Her smile lights up her face and she is all grins now about that smile; she says it is “SO pretty! Me happy!” Which makes me grin.

And, just because it’s kinda perfect, there is this: when she picked out her colors for her retainer, she picked a hot pink {of course}. Then she was asked if she wanted to pick any decals. She picked a butterfly. I didn’t think anything of it, til I saw her yesterday, giggling and smiling ear to ear without those braces. And there it was, right next to her, emblematic. She has grown out of her cocoon. She has changed in her own metamorphosis.

Our Marta has become that very butterfly.

Siren Calls

So, this is the danger season.  It’s the crazy season for me.

How? Well, yeah, I’m in the birthday blitz season (seven months straight of birthday-o-rama and the ensuing  exhaustion).  But, no, I’m referring to the danger zone of the holiday season…but MOST specifically the danger zone of THIS holiday.

Yeah, there’s a reason Halloween is so scary:

Candy.

It’s the candy, babeee.  If you’re a sugar addicted craving monster mama this season is nothing but danger.  Sure some folks go overboard with the sugar plums of Christmas or the laden tables and pies of Thanksgiving…but me, it’s the candy….the cheap mass produced childhood memory attached candy.  Don’t get me wrong, I can get all snooty about fantastic european chocolates or local foodie-gourmet specialties like this amazing wonderful addictive YUM of toffee (UPS passes my house every day, just saying, hint  hint…)  

Mmmm, candy.  It’s my major weakness.  Really.  (Ask my kids or coffeedoc, they’ll confirm….).

Just walking the aisles of the grocery stores this month is like a mini epic of Jason and the Argonauts sailing through that ocean passage, waiting for the Sirens to start their call. {Remember that movie?? OH wow, talk about a blast from the past, I watched that movie so many times as a kid, laying on the floor in my family room in front of the plaid sofa and being scared silly, but still, I had to watch.  An oddly formative movie, which I’m sure explains so much to you all now….}

So, yeah, nowadays my modern Sirens are named “Snickers” “Reeses” Sweet Tarts” “Baby Ruth“….the list just goes on and on.  But the queen of them all, perhaps Persephone herself, is this one:

Yeah.  “Candy Corn.”

Yup, it’s the queen of all cheap junk candy.  It’s pure sugar, sqooshed and molded into utterly unorganic form: dayglo orange and/or yellow, artificial brown anchoring the non-corn nib shape.  It’s seventies hip, and it’s pure sugar crack zing.  Which is why it so surely, so enticingly,  calls to me this month, every year.   And, as you can see, today I had no Orpheus to read me poetry and silence those sweet songs luring me at the market today.  I couldn’t be tied to a mast to prevent me from leaping overboard… I had to steer and load the darn cart.  So, yes, I fell overboard.  And yes, I have minor regulation insulin issues….ahem…..  And now, I have to hide this from myself, much less the kids.  Sigh. And yeah, I know all about the healthy bananas and fruit on the counter behind these lethal sweet nibs, it’s my kitchen, I took this shot…. but really I’m blind to them.  Because it’s the sugar calling……

Happily enough, and in an ironic twist of fate, I’m old enough that I forget, daily, where I stow things.  So, let’s hope it works before I succumb again, and again, and again……well, you get the idea……

Girl talk and holiness: An advocate

It’s the feast of St. Teresa of Avila!
I love her. I claim her as one of my patron saints due to our shared tendency toward massive headaches and migraines. Only one who has them all the time can really understand how they scramble you…and she did. So, she’s my gal!

Painting by Francois Gerard, c. 17C

But more importantly, St. Teresa of Avila is just one amazing woman and saint. She is one of the three women Doctors of the Church (a distinction noting that her spiritual writings are both sound and very important, influential, indeed foundational). For a woman of medieval times, that is no small accomplishment, not to mention: staying power! Her books such as Interior Castle and The Way of Perfection are just amazing reads. Not fast page turners, but mind blowers. You have to stop every few pages and just sort of…digest it all. And then soak it in, let it sink in….it’s great great stuff and will change your prayer life. She founded the Discalced Carmelites (Meaning “shoeless,” again, what’s not to like?) and had an ongoing friendship and correspondence with the mystic and poetically powerful St. John of the Cross {And if you want a really phenomenal book, tough, dense, but OH so worth it: read the compilation/commentary on these two together: Fire Within, by Dubay}.

But on another level, not the “resume” angle…St. Teresa of Avila appeals to me because she was first of all a real living, breathing woman. I know, they all are, doh. But what I mean is that she was a woman of opinions and ideas and kind of stubborn and pushy, even when that wasn’t always overtly sanctioned in the culture of her time. She was extremely social and loved to sit and chat and flirt even…she was quite beautiful and knew how to use it too. She had to struggle against the urge to chat and flirt and gossip, and spend too much time doing it, because she could lose afternoons to it.

Sound familiar to any of you, especially you gals? Um, yeah. That stuff IS fun. Total temptation.  Sounds pretty modern to me.

St. Teresa’s monastic cell at the Convento de la Encarnación, Ávila
Kinda beautiful in it’s own stark simplicity, don’t ya think?

And yet, even so, St. Teresa could hear in her inmost self the whisper of God who loved her as she was, loved her more than anyone else could. And she responded, bravely, to that irresistible call. And it brought her the ecstasy of union with God in prayer. And that amazes me and intrigues me as I know firsthand how hard it is to push all those opinions and flippy chitchatty conversations out of my head to pay attention to God himself. She knew that frivolous conversation impeded her progress toward holiness…..and she dreaded nothing so much as delusion and the siren call of distraction from that path.  Frivolous conversation? Distraction? I’m the poster girl for it. But St. Teresa gives me hope and I have hope that she prays for me…for my attention to what is important, for responding to that call, that whisper, for my headaches, for being brave enough to listen through the din of my modern mundane life.

Sculpture by Bernini, “St. Teresa in Ecstasy”
So, happy feast day!St. Teresa of Avila, pray for us!

**Much of this was posted several years ago…I’ve been in the trenches, busy, but today I’m lifting my head up long enough to repost.  Because this gal is one of my chosen patron saints.  Thanks for understanding.

Exhale

I do it.

I pray the rosary, every day.

  • It’s a breath
  • a balm,
  • a comfort,
  • a fixture,
  • an exercise,
  • a respite,
  • a gift,
  • a present,
  • a journey,
  • an attachment tool,
  • a joy,
  • a mediation,
  • a love,
  • an exhale.
Today is the Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary.
I think, sometimes, people who get all worked up about the rosary forget that we are ASKING FOR PRAYERS, not worshipping.  Just like we ask each other, our friends, our pastors, the clerk at the market….. And they forget that Mary prayed too.  Better than anyone else, ever.  And still does.  For us.  And she’s the  mom.  Christ’s mom! And he’s the perfect son.  And what does a perfect son do? He listens to his mother!  And if he knows better, and can’t do what is asked, he gently explains….. So, I’m just saying, those prayers are worth much.  And regardless of that factor, the rosary is a meditative time that makes any day better and deeper..and so too, me.
Happy Feast Day!
Our Lady of the Rosary, pray for us!

Tweet Parenting?

When correcting your child, anything over twelve words is too long.

Whew.  Eleven.

Dang.

I went over. Again.  Fail.  Sigh.

See how hard this is?

That’s a direct and thought provoking quote from Dr. Karyn Purvis and the Empowered to Connect Conference from a week or so ago.  As she so eloquently puts it: Anything longer than 12 words goes into the ‘blah-blah-blah category (OK, so it’s a paraphrase…she actually acted out the Peanuts Teacher Talk Sound – see video above).  Well, I know this, I do.  But, this was/is always like a shot between my eyeballs as I, as you know so well, cannot speak in short simple phrases.

Our modern techno world and social networking should help with all this I think…..you know, it’s a kind of “Tweet Parenting” (I want royalties if you use that term now….) But, as you know if you follow me on twitter……I can’t do it.  Can’t type that way either.  Don’t really tweet – word limits and all.   Sigh.  So.  Something to work on.  No wonder my kids ignore me…..but I’m working on it, see?:

“Use  your words.”

“Please find your shoes.”

“Don’t hit your brother.”

“Bedtime!”

“PJ’s!”

“Teeth brushed, yay!”

“Pee! Good job!”

“Hop in bed!”

“Time for our song!”

“Do you want to hear the story?”

“OK! Sleep tight!”

“Back to bed.”

“Lights out!”

“Really, back to bed.”

“No cookies IN bed.”

“Lights out, that means off.”

“Sshh, your brother is sleeping.”

“Back to bed, means IN bed.”

“I’m going to bed now, you stay up then.”

“Lock up, eh?”

You see what I’m up against……like I said, a work in progress……

Because it’s mean. That’s why.

This video is worth the watch.  Even if you don’t have kids who have special needs…in this  culture that is so hard and so harsh, we need to remember this.  We need to take a stand for what is right and against what is wrong.  I have issues with this term.  I have kids who have special needs, say what you will about the term. I have kids who fall ALL the way up and down any spectrum you wanna hand out.  That’s the beauty of  having a big old family.

But, the hard truth is that our culture is changing for the worse on many fronts and it’s hidden in bling and lightening fast flash.  And our sordid facebook/kardashian cultural decline is impacting a wider swath of our children than we realize.   My own Cyber/Facebook screed coming at a later date…..meantime, watch this, watch the whole thing.  And brava to this young girl for taking a stand and for eloquently making a difference.

Take a look, you’ll be glad  you did:

h/t to Love that Max

Attachment tools and signals: the bandaid.

Kids love Band-aids.

Right? I mean, don’t you sometimes think, “Doh, why, oh WHY didn’t I buy stock in bandaids?” Because your kids go through them by the gross. Because you commonly walk into the kitchen or bedroom and find little discarded fluttery piles of bandaid wrapper remnants, left behind. Because, as you stand in the market and eyeball the different kinds and colors and characters and compare the ridiculous prices relative values of the choices…you think, “I went into the wrong line of business. Forget plastics. I should’a gone into bandaids. I’d have that Bahama beach house already!

No? Ok, maybe that’s just me. I admit it, I’ve been chintzy at times on the bandaids. The bandaid for the invisible booboo, it used to make me (way back when I was much younger of course, ahem) blanch at bit. Then I finally relented and thought, “Meh, whatever helps. Fine, get a bandaid.” Heck, I got all magnanimous and everything about the bandaids. I let. It. Go. Big of me, right? Sigh……

Now, after this Empowered to Connect Conference, my eyes have been opened anew to the beauty and wonder of bandaids!

No kidding!

First, the good stuff. And sure, maybe you hip and savvy moms already had this all figured out. And I’ve had my moments of understanding too, give me a little cred…but still…to have it visibly on big screen shown to me and 900+ other parental unit types….well, it brings the point home: bandaids are a fantastic tool for attachment and healing. What’s more, bandaids are a great signifier of same. What’s that? YEAH! That endless need for bandaids, if brought to you, can show a trust that YOU are the one to help heal a hurt, however small or vanishing. Right. Do to be clear, it’s not actually about the bandaid. I just use that for the catchy title. It’s about the need to be nurtured. It’s about trying to reach across that gap in trust..to grab onto your kid on the other side.

Let me back up a moment. In this conference last weekend , one of the first videos that Dr. Purvis showed was of a ‘nurture group’ (I know, the titles make me squirm sometimes, thinking how my kids might react to that term, but, still…) with teen girls in a residential treatment center. Now, I’ll tell you, I typically come to these resources thinking mostly of my newest daughter, adopted as an older child. It’s been a tougher road that one, and it’s easy to get a little stuck on the ruts there. But this video instantly had my hyper focused attention, because one of the girls reminded me so disconcertingly much of one of my other daughters. This other daughter does manifest attachment issues but due to brain injury/trauma/behavioral stuff and the sheer complexity of her little self. And it’s easy to forget that her issues are so there, there. But Friday, I sat up and had that klaxon clanging; because I could’a been looking at a possible future glimpse of my girl in manner and general attitude. Not a certain vision. A possibility. Key point, that.

Anyhow…This video was about the idea of asking for help, for nurturing, by asking for a bandaid for a hurt. And this girl, in the video, she couldn’t or wouldn’t do it. Not in that session anyhow. And Dr Purvis was her usual wonderful accepting nurturing self and didn’t make a big deal of it. Which means, that acceptance allowed/empowered that very girl (by report) to soften – she did ask for that bandaid help, the very next day. Presenting the idea of being accepting to opening up the avenue or idea of healing, allowed this child to be vulnerable enough to take one baby step forward to admit she might need a bit of it. Just one bandaid’s worth. Hugeness.

And what that also shows, is that all those zillions of times your kid(s) come to you for bandaids? Ask YOU to look, see, kiss, comment on, PUT the bandaid on their invisible or visible hurt?

Attachment, people!

I know, you already know all that probably. I did/do too, most of the time. But when you are in the trenches and/or parenting one or more kids from hard places or with needs or whatever…well sometimes that reminder can be a brick on the/my head. And the daughter that we fight so hard to find a way to, to attach to and her to us? Well golly don’t ya know she’s come to me, oh, let me think here, about 700 times I think to show me an owie or a bump or an ouch. To see it. To hear it. To kiss it. To bandaid it. Sometimes it’s not even real, really. Sometimes it’s somatic. I’ve rolled my eyes over it as she walked away. Shame on me. Because I should’a gotten on the table and danced. As Karyn Purvis pointed out this weekend, “That’s paydirt.” I can’t have long conversations with her about her attachment and her issues. She has delay issues that prevent it. But this doesn’t need conversation, it works at any level. And it showed me something that made my heart and head go “zing!” Our issues with her are less attachment than I thought all this time. Our issues with her are more cognition and anxiety (and those are many, but still…). And yes, some attachment, especially when the anxiety makes the survival skills raise their ugly head again. But, still, not as MUCH attachment as I presume too often.

Those hundreds of hurts, of complaints even, of owies that I wondered about in dismay for the past two years….”Really, you fell in the bathroom again? Your knee? Oh, ok, I’ll kiss it. Be careful, ok?” Well, even though we weren’t GETTING each other totally…we were still stepping through the attachment dance.

And it counts.

Are we done? No! Not for a lifetime, I’m guessing. But have we made progress I didn’t even see?

Oh. Yeah.

And my other daughter, the one who I had hyper radar sighting in the video? The one who does/doesn’t have attachment stuff on any given day? One of my other complicated kids? Well, we’ve had some more connected progress after this conference. Not perfection. But strides, steps. Screwups too; me. But, she’s asked me to kiss her forehead and cross it each night at bedtime and getting out of the car at school this week. And Monday she stepped on a toothpick. It hurt. And guess what?

She wanted a bandaid. No, she ASKED ME for a bandaid.

Paydirt.

Wanna know what I said?

You betcha honey. Which one would you like? “

Zing went the strings of my heart.

Little Big Love, Redux

It’s the feast of the Little Flower: St. Therese of Lisieux!

Which means it’s also my Marta’s feast day: Marta Therese (get the connection?).

St Therese is one of the fav’s at our house, you all know that.  I’ve written about her many times, and posted multiple novenas to her here on blog.  But whether you want to talk about her being a Doctor of the Church; known for her solid writing/teaching and doctrinal insight, or whether you want to talk about her humble “Little Way”……St Therese is about Love.

And wadda ya know…so is our Faith. So is God.  So, should be, myself.

And I kinda always thought we added “Therese” to our Marta’s name because we prayed novena’s to this saint on Marta’s behalf.  We hit St. Therese up for many prayers to bring our girl home and get her healthy.  St. Therese had TB too.  St. Therese wasn’t highly regarded among the other nuns in her convent.  She was thought to be slow or dim, she was often overlooked, she was young, she was small.

She was one of God’s “little ones.”
And so is our Marta, to be sure…one of God’s “little ones.”
If I know anything, I know that.

But really….
I am learning, every single blooming day, that I think we were compelled to add “Therese” to Marta’s name also because this saint teaches us how to love.
In the little things.
Which of course, means that they are the very biggest things.
Because this saint struggled all her life to die to her self and her pride and her desires so she could love Jesus better.

And she ultimately was given the grace of real understanding of the biggest simplest secret: that Love was waiting for her.  She didn’t have to scale great heights, or go on far missions, or accomplish amazing feats to prove her love.  All she had to do was lift up her arms(heart) and open herself to Love.  And, um, do it.  Love.  Love in the little things.  Every day.  The next thing, right in front of her.  Do the chore before her without complaint.  Smile at the irritating Sister and bite her tongue.  Not correct the error of someone being catty, but let it roll off her back.
It wasn’t easy for her, she didn’t possess any “saintly” or superhuman patience:

“I understood how easy it is to become all wrapped up in self, forgetting entirely the sublime goal of one’s calling.

Rather she figured out that:

“…perfection consists in doing God’s will, in being what he wills us to be.”

and

We can do no good when we seek our self.”

And yeah, it sounds so simple.  Like stupid simple, right?

Well, yup, it does.  So why do I fail and kick and fuss and gripe against it every blooming day?
Because it’s the hardest most profound thing we can do, any day, any moment.
And yet, also the most sublime and simplest.

To bring this ramble back around…and so it is with  my Marta Therese.
She too, teaches me how to love. Really.
Really love.
Because it can be so hard with her.  Because she is small and suffers the after-effects of the TB that ravaged her. Because it’s still sometimes strange and it’s still often hard and it’s sometimes ridiculously complicated. Because I am slow and am ridiculously complicated and strange. Because she has delays and it makes things very slow and often limited and sometimes strange.

But oh, I know, she is aptly named.
She is one of the small ones.
And she loves, to the best of her ability.
And I am called to love her.
And sometimes that is simply an act of will.
And sometimes it is with a tired fuss.
And sometimes it is with a stabbing intake of breath, glimpsing her for a moment as God does.
He sent me one of his special ones, to give me remedial lessons.
Because I too am slow.
And need so  much to learn to truly really love.
The little way.  
It’s so big.  

So today we celebrate, I am thinking upon, St. Therese of Lisieux, and her intentions:

 “I ask Jesus to draw me into the flames of his love, to unite me so closely to him that he live and act in me.
And I am asking her for her prayers, for our Marti Therese, my family,  and for me.

So that I can lift up my arms and  heart, and love better, more truly, all those littles ones given to me…..eight of them.

See, remedial lessons, lifelong….me.
Doh.
And so I can say, “Thank you, here I am Love, lift me up.”

**Disclaimer: I posted this last  year.  It remains true and I feel the same, today. Hence, it’s busy, I am reposting.**