Wednesday, March 28, 2012

"Thank you for being born and being among us"

"Birthdays need to be celebrated. I think it is more important to celebrate a birthday than a successful exam, a promotion, or a victory. Because to celebrate a birthday means to say to someone, 'Thank you for being you.' On a birthday, we do not say, 'Thanks for what you did, or said, or accomplished.' No, we say: 'Thank you for being born and being among us.'"

~ Henri Nouwen, Here and Now

Happy Birthday to my Sophia Marie Elise!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012


That was the word we used a lot when Sophie was a baby.
She was.
Indescribably delightful.
Happy, goofy, engaging, delicate, easy to please, delighted, and delightful.

The older she's grown, her delightfulness seems only to be enhanced.  She delights everyone around her by her witty sense of humor, her great comedic timing, her mischief, her gentleness, her devotion to her big sister, her interest in others, her generosity, her thoughtful gifts of tiny scraps of paper meticulously cut with safety scissors, her dramatic story-telling, the way she invites herself into everyone's awareness with questions and stories and smiles.

Maya can't hide her grin (even though she pretends to be annoyed) when Sophie grabs her around the waist and shouts, "Yo-ah the best Sissy in the whole wide wold!!"  And when Sophie breaks down because she's hurt, or sad, or has just been corrected, or she's just too emotional and tired, she starts blubbering "Sissy!" in her pretend crying baby voice.  When Maya comes and wraps her arms around her, stroking her head, Sophie starts laughing through her tears.

Without whining (or even showing disappointment), she accepts her limitations from a lot of 'normal' treats and activities because of her peanut allergy, almost every outdoor allergy possible, and her asthma.  But she does make sure everyone knows she's allergic to peanuts.  It's just an interesting fact she carries with her, one more way to make friends.
She makes friends everywhere I take her.  Once she starts talking, the new stranger is usually startled by her voice or vocabulary or random comment and they just can't stop listening.  And within minutes, they are ready to offer her anything she might ask them for.  Maybe it's those huge eyes? Her earnest voice? Or maybe it's the absence of the letter "R" in her speech?

Either way, I've loved my world with three-year-old Sophie.  It's dwindling away...rapidly.  In a few hours, she'll be four.  But as panicky as that makes me feel,...mostly... I just feel pretty lucky to be her mom.  "Motch twenty-eight" will always be a special day.

'Four' is gonna be great.

Monday, March 26, 2012

barely intelligible utterances of excitement

I have a jittery feeling in my sides.  I sometimes feel like flopping my hands up and down and... and screeching.  Every feature of my face smiles.

One of the greatest joys of this trip is the preparation and the anticipation.  Realizing the magnitude of the gift, I want to be able to hold on to as much as possible, to be so intentional that I don't let one hour of it slip by.  My brain is bursting with fresh learning, French phrases and sounds, historical information, stories and art, architecture and Paris, practical information, museum schedules and exhibits, itinerary plans.  I sometimes feel that I'm hardly containing half of the "learning" I am consuming.  And so sometimes my brain just swirls with unintelligible feelings (not words or thoughts)  of pure anticipation and elation.

It hardly seems real.

Sometimes, in my head....when I should be thinking about something else, I'm saying "Ohmygoodness.Ohmygoodness.Ohmygoodness.I'mgoingto PARIS!   THIS. WEEK."

Most of the time I can function and focus and be more outwardly focused.  I can plan for other things, invest in others, listen, be in the moment.  The authenticity and graciousness of the people around me usually keep me grounded.  Some really sweet people that love me even ask me questions about my trip and listen and dream with me...and they are (either genuinely or convincingly) excited too.  Every once in a while, when I am able to be really present in the world around me and the people and the problems and the blessings and the daily stuff...I actually forget for a few minutes.  Then suddenly,  the thought of it just consumes me and I grin and I usually start shaking a little.

Ohmygoodness. I'm going to PARIS.  In a few DAYS!

I'm really sorry about how obnoxious I am.  It'll be over soon.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

April in Paris

I'll be posting pictures soon.  Real pictures.  My own pictures.

I actually thought I'd blog more about my upcoming trip as I waited for the time to pass.  All that time just seems to be disappearing.

Instead, this uncanny March weather has kept me too energized and productive and warm and spontaneous (and outside) to turn to blogging. 

However, I have been dreaming and planning...   

...and researching and reading and wardrobe planning and itinerary writing...  

And by this time next week, I'll be sleeping in Paris.