My Lobster

I’m up in the middle of the night.  That’s when I do my most muddled profound thinking.

{*Alex, I’m aware that 6 a.m. is not widely thought of as the middle of the night.  I can feel your glare boring into the computer screen as you read this. But when you’ve nursed 4 children through the middle of the night, and finally fall asleep at 6 a.m., that becomes middle of the night. Forever. I also realize that you and a couple other people in the world get up before 6 to make the money.  I pushed 4 kids out of my body, you didn’t. I win. Booyah. Super love you anyway}

This is a long and windy road.  Stick with me, and I promise we will come out on the other side.  I’ve been mulling this over since about 3 a.m. when Donovan awoke, crying in his doorway because he had an accident.  He was very sad.  I can’t bring myself to deny my 3 year old son something to drink at night.  I’m thirsty all the time, its kind of miserable, so I just can’t resist my baby boy when he is “firsty.” We bought a waterproof matress cover, I’ll do laundry, life goes on.

Back to the lobster.  After I tucked Donovan back into bed, I tried to go to sleep.  It was elusive, hence the middle of the night blog post.  There are many things on my mind. For instance, why on earth there are 14,000 Christian  churches in Ohio alone, and yet, there are still 2,600 + kids waiting for homes in the foster system.  Or why it seems, the majority of people don’t care about orphans.  Kids, living life without a mom and dad. No one to celebrate their very existence, or hug or teach them.  I don’t understand it.  But we do seem to care about decorating, and smart phones and celebrities….

So then I was sad.  And because I was sad, I thought about the fact that I miss my best friend.  Friendship is hard.  And sometimes it can be the most painful for me.  We moved around constantly when I was a kid.  There are a lot of mean kids out there. And indifferent kids, which are almost as bad.  And mean, bullying girls.  This is a long separate story, but suffice it to say that I have a troubled, traumatized history in the friendship department. I’m working on it.  Beth Moore’s “Goodbye Insecurity,” is fabulous and I highly reccommend it.

Stay on the path, I promise this is going somewhere.  🙂

So I was laying there in bed, trying to be still so the dog wouldn’t notice I am awake, and come over to lick my feet or face, and good golly, please not in that order.  {he has a licking issue, whatevs}  So my wayward, middle of the night thoughts led me to jealousy.  Women who have had that life long or years long best friends who knows everything, will send pictures of things you might like (not need) at Target, commisserate about middle of the night linen changing, laugh uncontrollably with you, understand  that Kindergarten is breaking your heart, pop in for one cup of coffee, let you go on about your super sexy husband… who just won’t stop hoarding used razors in the medicine cabinet or rinse the toothpaste from the sink……  You get the idea, THAT friend. The one that chooses you as a priority.  You know the one. 

I have sisters and a brother.  They are awesome.  My brother once stood in front of me, as a dog was wanting to attack me on our paper route.  He will always be my hero for that.  My sister lets me know when and when not to wear my heels, and we have deep conversations, and laugh a lot. My biggest sister gets the fact that I will always want a baby and want to be pregnant again, and she is my go to girl for love, acceptance and advice.  My baby sister will always be my baby sister, and will just have to get over the fact that I think its creepy when she talks about her husband. I think he’s fabulous, and wonderful for her, and I’m so happy for them…. but baby sisters don’t have husbands. Baby sister is super supportive of me, and I adore her for it. My siblings however, all live far, far away.

Are you still with me?  If you were skimming, 6 a.m. is middle of the night, Alex is super sexy, siblings are cool, pee at night is bad, Mari sad, wants a bestie in town. Caught up?

As I was tossing and turning in my self pity, I kicked Alex accidentally.  Poor dude has to sleep sitting up for 5 more weeks because of the shoulder rebuild, and I go and kick him.  I’m awesome like that.  Does he get mad or kick me back? No he does not.  He mumbles one thing in his middle of the night, oxycodone stupor.  “I love you Mari.”

And I realized something profound, {told you I would get there}.  I have had a best friend for 12 years.  He likes to laugh about our kids, like a friend would, he knows everything about me and still likes me anyway, he chooses me over any one else, he is always up for a cup of coffee, he puts up with my incesssant phone calls, loves Chinese food, and not only that but he thinks I’m sexy too.  I was complaining in fact, about a certain part of my physique yesterday and he simply hugged me and said, “There’s a reason no one ever made a song that goes, “I like flat butts and I cannot lie, you other brothers…..”  First I got really indignant, and then I planted a big kiss on his mouth to stop him from singing, but mostly because I was so in love with him in that moment.

He’s my lobster.  He is the man, who only had eyes for me on our 10th anniversary trip.  The man who while I was miserable in a bathing suit, with actual Brazilian women in thong bikinis surrounding me, was planning a surprise vow renewal for me.  The man who held my hand through child births, child death, and in the middle of the ocean facing my fear of drowning.  He’s never left my side.  What more could I possibly want in a friend?

 
 
 
Did you make it to the end?  What do you think about it the middle of the night?  Or are you one of those lucky people who just sleep?
 

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Going Back to School With Compassion

By now, most parents have shopped for school supplies, updated essential items for wardrobes, packed lunches and sent their children back off to school.  If you are anything like me, you headed to Target with an extensive list. You carefully selected the needs and threw in a few “wants” to help ease the transition and put a smile on their faces. Lisa Frank has still got it! Puppy folders, tye-dye pencil pouches and brand new crayolas are sure to start my girls’ year off great.
I’ve been scouring Pinterest for healthy, but fun lunch box ideas.  I printed out signs with the applicable grade on them and made my children pose for pictures while their bellies were swarming with butterflies. 

We gently reminded the big girls about being kind, working hard and most importantly to look for someone new or lonely.  I was always, always the new kid.  I went to 7 different elementary schools, and I still remember, with absolute clarity, the girl who would reach out to me at each school.  I also remember and hold the scars, of the girls who didn’t.  Kindness to the lonely is something we stress in our family. It is just as essential a school supply as their paper.

In America, we get to do this.  Moms get to prepare, clothe and spoil our children back into school.  A brand new pair of sneakers with surely help our sons feel like they can race like an Olympian.  New hair bows and a glittery shirt will help our daughters walk in with confidence and happiness right?

But what if you couldn’t?  What if you couldn’t buy the neccessities, or pay for lunch?  What if you had to pay to send your child to school and you couldn’t afford it?  What if you knew that to not send your child to school would mean a lifetime of debilitating poverty, and likely death?  Hopelessness.

What if I told you that you can not only send your child back to school with the things they need, but for a very small amount each month, you can send a child to school,  feed them, and give them medical care when they need it???

Superman isn’t real, Iron Man isn’t coming to the rescue, Spider Man isn’t swinging in to save the day.  But you CAN be a superhero.  You can come to the rescue of a child who NEEDS you.  You may not wear a costume, or a cape but there are parents out there waiting for you to come to their rescue.  You are a superhero to them.  Be on the Avenger team.

And if you are on the Avenging team already, write letters of encouragement.  Send a birthday card. Stay in contact.  Sadness, fear and discouragment creep up quietly, and they need us to be a lifeline of prayer and kind words to stick it out.  Compassion Int. goes out of their way to make it easy on their sponsors to stay in contact with your child and their family.  Write a letter to your child today! See how their school day was, as if they were one of your own that you are interviewing at the end of the day. 

Go to http://www.compassion.com today to sponsor a child, and send them to school with Compassion.

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