"If the God you believe in as an idea doesn’t start showing up in what happens to you in your own life, you have as much cause for concern as if the God you don’t believe in as an idea does start showing up. It is absolutely crucial, therefore, to keep in constant touch with what is going on in your own life’s story and to pay close attention to what is going on in the stories of others’ lives. If God is present anywhere, it is in those stories that God is present. If God is not present in those stories, then they are scarcely worth telling." ~ Frederick Buechner

26 May 2012

A Poem for a Saturday

I was first introduced to Kathleen Norris early in my undergraduate years. One of my favorite professors would read excerpts of Norris' writing to us,  and one of the texts for a writing class I took from that same professor was Amazing Grace: A Vocabulary of Faith. From there, I read Cloister Walk and Dakota.  I discovered this week that our public library has the Norris canon in almost its entirety, so I went a little click-happy reserving the books online.

I fetched them from the library today after our usual Saturday morning jaunt to the farmers' market and immediately starting savoring the lines of Little Girls in Church in the parking lot of WalMart as Little B napped and N ran in to get Draino for our clogged shower.

"Cinderella in Kalamazoo"
Kathleen Norris

Unaccustomed to rain, hills,
trees overhead
gentle as a lover's hands,
I pass the student center, where
medievalists crowd the cash bar,
pause on the steep path
to the dorm, remove my shoes
and am carried for a time
on waters deep as liturgy,
rain sifting through trees
like unexplained tears.
Compline has ended: Cistercians observing
Bernard of Clairvaux's nine-hundredth year
sang the "Salve Regina"
to a perfect, oceanic stillness.

and built like a barrel,
the hem of his habit rolling
like waves onto shore, my unlikely fairy godmother
bade me sing. "This is not
a spectator sport," he boomed, inviting me
to learn the chant. And as I joined the others
on the wild green ride
our song became conveyance,
a glorious means of passage
along a narrow road.

"Can you help me?" asks a monk at the door.
Midnight strikes
as we move a table into place
for morning Mass.
I'll be gone by then, on a flight
to the known world, back
through two time zones, my shoes
still soggy, to my drought-stricken plain;
back to my life, the man I love.
I will find it changed,
a dusty old house
where doors no longer fit their frames.

09 May 2012

A New Kind of Wa-Wa

Little B really wanted to have some of what was in "Ma-mo's" cup. He tends to like sour things, so I poured some of my lemon juiced water into his sippy to let him try. He kept drinking it and making hysterically funny faces, so after a few minutes of laughing with him, we decided this was a video-worthy occasion.


A long, long time ago (well, okay, about a year ago, but it feels like a lifetime!), when Little B was a 100 days old, we had a Baek-Il party for him. We didn't have rice cakes, nor did we make offerings to any pagan goddesses as per tradition. Mainly, it was a gathering of friends to celebrate Little B, as well as a small attempt to pay homage in some way to my Korean heritage.

Nich prayed a prayer of dedication over B that day, that we would commit to raising him in a way that brings glory to the Lord.

We planned to dedicate Little B at our church as well, but the child dedications kept being postponed ... until this past Sunday. Because we felt we had already made the commitment when we decided to have children and again at B's Baek-Il, this step of doing it before our congregation was really just a public profession of our commitment. Nich and I both have served and do serve as leaders in various ministries in our church, and as such, we felt that it was important to be an example in this way.

Word to the wise: If you're going to stand on stage with a child, do it while they're too little to wriggle out of your arms or wait until they are old enough to understand obedience. Otherwise, this is what you'll have to deal with:
We specifically asked Justin (who is the youth pastor at our church) to dedicate B, because he and his family are good friends of ours and B is familiar with "Uncle Justin." We thought this might limit the acrobatics. Maybe it did. Who knows what he would have been like if one of the other pastors had tried to hold him?

All that squirming must have tuckered him out, because he conked out on the ride home.
In other news, Little B suffered his second major injury this week by tripping on the vacuum cord and bonking his head on the corner of the entrance to the kitchen. He got a scrape and a bump, but he's none the worse for it.
This mama, however, took a moment to have a pathetic cry after the alarmist phone nurse at our pediatrician's office kept trying to convince me that I "had" to take B in to the Urgent Care to get his forehead stitched. B has been a challenge as of late, as he is testing boundaries and learning independence ... all while desperately needing me to be close by (or holding him) frequently. He has also dropped his afternoon nap. He is also cutting some more bottom teeth. By the time dinnertime rolls around, both Little B and I have strung out nerves, and we are READY for "Da-doo" to come home.

A friend once told me that what gets her through the tough days with her children is to remind herself that "this too shall pass." I am repeating that to myself often these days. After all, part of dedicating myself to parenting Little B in a godly way is to love, love, love him through these not-so-fun stretches.* Until then, I look back at these moments, and my heart melts all over again.
Five days old. Photo Credit: Collignon Photography
*Getting out of the house, phone calls with good friends who don't judge, flowers, good books, and brown paper packages tied up with string also help a great deal. 

08 May 2012

Head Rest Love

A few weeks ago, we ordered a bike seat for Little B so that we could maximize our excursions once the weather got nicer. We've gone out on our bikes quite a bit already this spring, and this past Saturday, Nich took B out on a ride while I took a much-needed nap on the couch.

About an hour later, my phone rang. I answered it and heard Nich whispering, "Come down with the camera."
So tuckered out from all the good, fresh air
When Nich tried to wake him up, Little B raised his sleepy head and promptly laid it back down.
When we finally got him awake, he wanted water ... not from his own cup, but from Daddy's bottle.

02 May 2012

Ride, Ride, Ride, Ride, Horsey!

You might remember, we got Little B a pony for Christmas.

A rockin', talkin', singin' pony.
He has taken to doing stunts on it. Merely rocking back and forth on it must not be enough of a thrill anymore.
He also stands on the crossbars of the baby gates.

We're holding our breaths, knowing that the day he climbs out of his crib is imminent.